There’s a four-way tie for first in the AFC East Division. Of course, it’s only a four-team division, so there’s also a four-way tie for last in the AFC East, but that hasn’t kept New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan from reverting to form.
His team is fresh off a 35-9 stomping of the Indianapolis Colts and an 82-yard performance by his quarterback tandem (Sanchbow? Tebez?) that “counts as progress.” The New England Patriots, the Jets’ division opponent Sunday, stumbled to a 24-23 loss in Seattle, so naturally Ryan has done some thinking and is back in the prediction business.
“I want them to know, and they know that I think we’re going to beat them,” Ryan said (via Rich Cimini of ESPN New York). “I don’t buy into all that other stuff. I recognize they’re a great football team. And [Bill] Belichick’s a great coach. I never once said that he wasn’t.
“But we’re not going to back down or concede anything. They’re going to get our best shot. We know we’re going to get theirs. It really doesn’t matter who says what. We’re coming up there to take our swing. And we’ll see if we land that punch to win a game.”
Ryan’s teams are 3-4 against the Patriots, including the playoffs, but the Jets are 2-0 in the division right now. Never mind that the Patriots’ three losses have come by a total of four points.
“We always get their best, and they always get ours,” Ryan said. “We’ll see if our best is better than their best on that particular day. They’ve been the dominant team in our division. We’ve been second every year since I’ve been here. For us to get to where we want to get to — or anybody in our conference — they have to beat New England.”
Meanwhile, Jets fans are enjoying the view. As Jim Brady, noted fan and former Postie, put it Sunday: “We didn’t land in first place. First place landed on us!”