The New England Patriots received some praise from New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who told The Republican that the Patriots are the team to beat in the AFC East. Bill Belichick gave some praise yesterday to Tim Tebow, so it was Ryan’s turn to give a compliment to the Pats. It’s interesting to see him deliver some praise on the team, because he’s usually less generous.
Ryan said, “New England has had a stranglehold on this division for several years. The three years that I’ve been the head coach they’ve won our division, and honestly, quite handedly. They’re the ones to beat. It goes through New England, without question.”
I like how he added the “quite handedly” part, and it’s obviously true that the Patriots are the class of the AFC East. But with a questionable pass defense and the way the Houston Texans have been playing this season, the Pats might “only” be best team in the AFC at this point in time. But still, the consistency that the organization has shown over time clearly merits this praise from Ryan, and it always feels good to hear such a competitive coach give this type of praise to a rival.
I’m not one of those people who likes to harp on the Jets struggles, and I feel bad for them. They’re going to be without their No. 2 and 3 backs in Week 7, and both Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis have been lost for the year. That’s their best player overall and their best skill position player, on a team that has terrible WR/RBs and a thin, struggling secondary without Revis. Antonio Cromartie has really stepped up, but Wes Welker and the tight ends are going to be lighting up the Jets defense.
In the piece, Ryan also references the Patriots turnover ratio which is at +10, and he gives some really good reasoning that shows why he’s a better coach than some of us give him credit for.
“I know every year, New England, they get criticized for their pass defense, what they rank and all that. It’s not about that. The Patriots play complementary football,” Ryan said. “They have the No. 1 offense, so what you do is try to win the turnover battles.”
The New Orleans Saints didn’t have the strongest pass defense when they won the Super Bowl, but they got key turnovers at an incredibly high rate and had a high-powered offense that out-gunned anyone. The Patriots can run and shut down the run, and the passing game is great. Chandler Jones and Devin McCourty give the team two stars on pass D, and a +10 turnover ratio is always a great thing. All three losses have been close, so it’s a matter of doing a better job of playing prevent defense; something that Saints team did well. Things will normalize for the Patriots, and the turnover margin point that Ryan brought up was excellent.
Thanks for the praise, and Sunday’s game is going to be a lot of fun to watch.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.