I must say, I’m quite shocked at what’s coming out of New York (well, really New Jersey) from the Jets camp in anticipation of facing the New England Patriots…relative quiet. No talk about kissing rings, winning Super Bowls, me vs Bill Belichick, or anything of the sort. Maybe it’s because Rex Ryan spent the beginning of the week laying into his own team over their 2-2 start, losing their last two games by getting out-bullied in the trenches.
Whatever it is, the Jets’ boisterous coach has decided to simply engage in the pre-game praising that’s usually done here in New England by Bill Belichick and the rest of the Patriots.
“They’re doing a great job [on defense],” Ryan said in a conference call with New England media. “They do what they do, they force takeaways, they’re playing better in red zone. Their defense, statistically, it never ranked way up there. It’s not like they were [No.] 1-2 in league in defense. They are effective, they make you make mistakes, they don’t give up the run, they do great job playing the run, and they don’t have ball shot over their heads — that’s what they do.”
Praising the defense? We don’t even do that in New England. The Patriots, for their part, have gone about their regular business of not trying to instigate or provide bulletin board material. When pressed on Jets CB Antonio Cromartie’s comments from last year (calling Tom Brady an a**hole), Tom Brady simply said, “I don’t care what he said about me, I really don’t.”
“He’s really good. An excellent player,” he continued. Fair enough. NFL Network’s Rich Eisen tried to bait Wes Welker into expanding upon his foot remarks from last season (They were classic weren’t they?), and Welker wasn’t having any of it. “I ain’t gonna bite, Rich. I ain’t biting,” Welker said before wishing Rex Ryan luck on Sunday.
Whether the sides (or side) engage in pre-game trash talking or not, everyone watching knows that this is a big game. While Buffalo may have something to say about it, the Patriots-Jets games usually play a big role in determining who wins the AFC East. Neither team can afford to lose this game, and both will be playing in desperation mode even though it’s only Week 5.
You gotta love rivalry games!