INDIANAPOLIS - It was a burial of the most bizarre kind.
Having just been humiliated 45-3 by the rival New England Patriots in Foxborough last month, a humbled Rex Ryan -- yes, there is such a thing -- took the game ball and put it into the ground behind the Jets training complex in New Jersey.
While the whole team was on hand for the moment, there was no word if a eulogy was delivered.
Rest in peace, ye cursed pigskin.
Did the ceremony work?
Did Ryan manage to reverse the curse with his antics?
That answer should come next Sunday when the Jets smash helmets with the Pats in Round 3 of their rivalry this season, this time with a berth in the AFC championship game at stake.
Ryan admits the beating inflicted on his Jets was the worst of his pro career.
He would like nothing better than to gain redemption against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Pats, especially on the grand stage that is the NFL playoffs.
Ryan already exorcized one demon when his Jets posted a 17-16 wild-card victory over Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, gaining revenge against his most cursed foe.
At this point, he does not want to talk smack against the Pats yet. That will come.
"We'll get to that soon enough," Ryan said.
Belichick, meanwhile, told reporters on a conference call on Sunday that a Jets-Pats matchup is quite fitting.
"We split with them this year," Belichick said. "So now it will be best two out of three. It's probably the way it should be."
Long before suffering the 42-point drubbing, the Jets beat the Pats 28-14 in Week 2 at the New Meadowlands.
In other words, the series is now deadlocked 1-1.
"I don't think the last game or even the first game, either one of those games, is going to mean a whole lot," Belichick said.
"Both teams know each other well. We're ready for a whole new week of preparation.
"Even though we're familiar with them and they're familiar with us, it feels like every time you play a team -- games go a lot differently."
Will the Great Ball Burial work?
Will Ryan have the last laugh?