Another date with the New England Patriots has New York Jets coach Rex Ryan running his mouth.
Nothing unusual in that.
The fact his banged-up squad has the same record as New England,
however, may be a bit more odd.
Two of the four AFC East teams knotted at 3-3 continue their tense
rivalry Sunday when the Patriots host the Jets.
Facing the Patriots always seem to bring out an even more boisterous
side of Ryan, who again expressed confidence despite his team being
outscored 112-40 in losing the last three regular-season meetings.
''I want them to know, and they know, that I think we're going to beat
them,'' Ryan said. ''I don't buy into all that other stuff. Look, I
recognize they're a great football team and (Bill) Belichick's a great
coach. I've never once said he wasn't, OK, but we're not going to back
down or concede anything.''
Sunday's contest will give the winner an upper hand over the other in
the division race, with the Jets trying to improve to 3-0 against East
''I've never stopped not thinking about them,'' Ryan said. ''That's the
team you have to beat to win our division. You always think about
Tom Brady took a more leveled approach to the importance of this
matchup. New England has won three of the last four overall meetings,
falling 28-21 at home in the divisional playoffs Jan. 16, 2011.
"A division opponent is critical. We've only played one of those games
this year," Brady said referring to a 52-28 win over Buffalo on Sept.
30. "We play a team that we know pretty well that always gives us
challenges defensively. They're always a very good team. They're very
much a game-plan defense. They're going to try to figure out what they
need to do to stop us and we've got to figure out ways to move the ball
and really put the ball in the end zone."
Brady completed 36 of his career-high 58 attempts for 395 yards, two
touchdowns and two interceptions Sunday, but Seattle's 46-yard
touchdown pass with 1:18 remaining dealt New England a 24-23 defeat.
Wes Welker caught 10 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown for the
Patriots, whose losses have come by a combined four points. They fell
20-18 to Arizona on Sept. 16 after Stephen Gostkowski missed a field
goal as time expired, and 31-30 at Baltimore on Sept. 23 when the
Ravens made their winning kick with no time left.
"We're 3-3. We haven't earned a better record than that," Brady said. "
We haven't played well enough and consistently enough to be better than
that, but I don't think six games defines a season and I think that
what will define our season is what we do over the course of the next
While the Patriots may be disappointed with their mark, the Jets may
feel a bit more proud given their struggles with injuries.
In fact, health issues led Ryan to say this week that quarterback Tim Tebow could see time at running back Sunday. Backups Joe McKnight
(sprained ankle) and Bilal Powell (separated shoulder) are likely to
miss the game, leaving starter Shonn Greene as the only active running
back who has received a carry.
Tebow has carried the ball 18 times for 64 yards, but Ryan says he's
"got power," and as a quarterback, he "knows all the positions."
Among the more serious injuries New York has had were shutdown
cornerback Darrelle Revis (ACL) and top receiver Santonio Holmes (foot)
being lost for the season in September. Additionally, tight end Dustin Keller (hamstring), rookie wideout Stephen Hill (hamstring) and center
Nick Mangold (ankle) all have been nursing injuries.
Nothing slowed the Jets last week, though, as they routed Indianapolis
35-9 to end a two-game skid. Embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez
finished 11 of 18 for 82 yards and two touchdowns, including a
five-yard scoring pass to Hill.
"It was big, especially having some losses like we did," said Keller,
who had one catch in his first game back since the season opener. "This
is a big win for us. ... It's going to give us a little momentum going
into this next game."
The star, though, was Greene, who rushed 32 times for a career-best 161
yards and three touchdowns. He had 49 attempts for 123 yards and no
touchdowns in his previous four games combined.
"I think we can do it every week against any team," Greene said. "It's
just a matter of us executing, not stopping ourselves and working hard
during the week."
Greene rushed for 61 yards and Sanchez threw two interceptions in a
37-16 loss to New England on Nov. 13 in the most recent meeting. Brady,
who has a 112.7 passer rating and 10 touchdowns in his last four games
versus the Jets, threw for 329 yards in that contest, including 113 and
two TDs to Rob Gronkowski.
-- JETS News