TORONTO - When you lead with your chin, as Rex Ryan does, you have to live with the consequences.
After an 11-day buildup of bluster and bombast, mostly fuelled by Ryan himself, his Jets were laid bare as imposters to the crown. To listen to the Jets talk, and that’s all it was, was talk, it was time for a change at the top of the AFC East marquee. The Patriots have had their names up there in lights for a decade.
Maybe they’ll still be there in another decade. Certainly, off Monday’s 45-3 embarrassment, the Jets aren’t ready yet and perhaps never will be.
Ryan’s Gang Green defence is his pride and joy, a relentless, remorseless thing created in his own image and Tom Brady made them look ridiculous. So did little Danny Woodhead whose presence compounds Ryan’s embarrassment, in that the Jets cut him in the second week of the season.
But the stinging indictment against the Jets was on the other side of the ball. They had 11 days, did Ryan and his offensive genius Brian Schottenheimer, to prepare a game plan to attack a New England defence that is among the worst in the NFL, ranked 31 out of 32.
They had 11 days and they brought absolutely nothing to Foxboro. If they had a plan, it completely eluded quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was a deer in the headlights. Sanchez was 17-for-33 for 164 yards and a 27.8 passer rating.
This against a Pats’ defence that routinely allows nearly 400 yards of offence, the majority of them through the air.
“You never imagine this,” Sanchez said. “This was a good old-fashioned butt-kicking.”
The Jets’ defence gave up 405 total yards. Woodhead, cut by the Jets earlier in the season, had four catches for 104 yards, including a 50-yarder when he outran three defenders.
“This humble pie tastes like a car tire and it goes down like peanut butter,” Jets defensive tackle Sione Pouha said.
So, instead of taking control of the division, the Jets now must chase over the course of the next four weeks.
“We’re going to take this like men,” Jets linebacker Bart Scott said. “I know there will be a lot of bad things written about us and we’ll deserve it. Hopefully we’ll see these guys again and get another opportunity.”
Said Ryan: “This may feel like three losses, but it counts as one.”
Yeah, maybe. But there are losses and then there are losses. This was one that can shake a team to its foundations, even one as cocky as Rex Ryan’s Jets.
Do You Even Have To Ask?
You don’t really expect Brett Favre’s 298-game starting streak to end next Sunday, do you? Didn’t think so. Whether it’s the right thing to do or not, you can bet that Favre will carry his mangled throwing shoulder out on the field in Minnesota to play against the Giants if he has to.
That doesn’t preclude the probability that some Giants behemoth won’t knock him silly and before you can say Tarvaris Jackson, Favre will be on a gurney with some new injury that will keep everyone in suspense until the following weekend.
“If the doctors say he is fine and he is functional and not at risk and Brett feels good about it, it won’t be a hard decision,” said his interim coach, Leslie Frazier. “The only thing that makes it difficult is if the doctors say he is fine and he says, ‘I’m not ready to go.’ Between what the medical people tell me and what Brett tells me, we will make a decision based on that.”
Let’s be honest. If Favre doesn’t say ‘I can’t play,’ and he won’t say that in a thousand years, he will be in the huddle. For better or for worse.
Bills O-Line Woes
The Bills’ offensive line was already perilously thin but two more went down on Sunday. With guard Erik Wood already out, centre Geoff Hangartner and guard Kraig Urbik suffered knee injuries that at first were believed to be season-ending.
Head coach Chan Gailey said on Monday that, while both would be out this week, there may be hope for both to return for the last couple of games.