What’s not so crazy, but just as entertaining, is the fact that Jets Coach Rex Ryan is once again running his mouth to the media and talking trash the week before his team will take on the unstoppable New England Patriots. Thank you, Rex Ryan, for having a big mouth. I am even more excited to watch this playoff game.
When Ryan took the helm two years ago, I remember that he made some off-the-wall guarantees that his team would make the playoffs. He guaranteed the Jets would be one of the best teams in the NFL. While the Jets had seen some improvement in previous years, I thought there was no way in hell he was going to find a way into the playoffs with rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez at the helm. I had already seen what little USC’s Matt Leinart did in the NFL and had no pipedreams of Sanchez doing the same.
But somehow Ryan built a team that played impressively throughout the season and made it to the playoffs, where they beat the Chargers in the divisional playoff game but lost to the Colts in the AFC Championship game a week later. For a rookie quarterback and a first-year head coach, it was an impressive run. While the Jets didn’t exactly win the Super Bowl, I would say Rex Ryan fulfilled his lofty early-season guarantees.
Fast forward to the end of this year. The Jets finish the regular season at 11-5. Sanchez at times looked to be a seasoned NFL veteran. At other times, he looked to be a third-stringer thrown in at the last minute with a handful of bad decisions and poor throws.
Even after an entire season, with a winning record, I don’t think anybody really knows how good or bad the Jets are this year.
Yes, they won 11 games but two of those games were in overtime against dismal teams like the Browns and Lions.
In Week 14, the Jets were unable to get into the end zone and lost to the Dolphins 10-6. Probably the most interesting games to look at are the two that were played against the Patriots. The Jets handed pretty boy Tom Brady, who continually looks to be conditioning himself to star in Hollywood’s next teen vampire thriller, a 28-14 loss in Week 2. That win, though, is shadowed by the 45-3 beat down New England handed the Jets in Week 13.
So now the two teams are set to meet in an end-all rubber match in Foxborough on Sunday, and six days before the game, Ryan once again was running his mouth.
“This is about Bill Belichick vs. Rex Ryan,” he said on Monday. “There’s no question. It’s personal. It’s about him versus myself, and that’s what it’s going to come down to.”
I love it. Forget about the players on the field. This is about the hatred and respect felt between two coaches. Rex Ryan is calling Bill Belichick out personally. Why? Who knows. Ryan called out Manning the week before and I guess you could say it worked. The Jets did knock out the Colts, though, I am not sure it was the mistakes of Manning that caused the loss.
Frankly, in a professional sports world where players and coaches are supposed to say the proper thing over and over again – you know, the “boy it’s an honor to be playing a great team under terrific coaching. We are just taking it one game at a time blah blah blah” – it’s refreshing to hear a coach spice it up a bit.
“This is going to be about me raising my level against Bill Belichick,” Ryan continued.
Thank you Rex for making this game fun. I hope it works for you because I would like to hear more trash-talking next week. And the week after that. I wouldn’t mind hearing Rex talk trash all the way to the Super Bowl. He has a bit of Phil Jackson’s mind game philosophy in him.
Will it work for Rex as it usually does for Jackson? As much as I hate to say this, I don’t see how the Jets are going to beat the Patriots. This time, Rex’s alligator mouth is going to outrun his mosquito ass. I’m sure it will be a game to watch. It will be personal.