EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 13: Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets disputes a call with referee Terry McAulay in the third quarter during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium on October 13, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Steelers defeated the Jets 19-6. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Jets coach Rex Ryan has certainly toned down the bluster in recent years -- chronic losing tends to have that effect -- but that doesn't mean the Patriots' arch-rival has just conceded the division. The upstart Jets are 3-3 with rookie quarterback Geno Smith, and if last Sunday had gone as most people expected -- New York beating the 0-4 Steelers and New Orleans' high-powered offense outpacing New England -- the Week 7 Pats-Jets game would have been a battle for first place in the AFC East.
But the Jets lost to the Steelers and we all know what Tom Brady and Kenbrell Thompkins did to the Saints, which brings us back to Ryan, who spoke his mind about not only how the weekend unfolded, but also looked ahead to the rematch with the Pats (the two teams met in Week 2 and New England won in a barely watchable game).
"It was a horrible day for the Ryan family," Ryan said, talking about the Patriots' last-second win over the Saints (via ESPNBoston.com). "It's a good thing my dad is out of coaching. It was tough."
It didn't help that Ryan's twin brother, Rob, is the Saints' defensive coordinator. And the family ties, in addition to the AFC East implications, played a part in what the Jets coach said next.
"Heck, yeah, you want to see them lose, no question," he conceded. "You want every team in your division to lose, in particular New England."
So is Sunday's get-together a "must-win"?
"'Must-win' might be a little much right now, even for my deal," Ryan said, before acknowledging it would be a "huge" game.