Even in defeat, Rex Ryan always has something to say. But this time, he's probably right.
After the Patriots narrowly escaped MetLife Stadium with a 17-16 win over the New York Jets yesterday, Ryan said the following, per Mike Cole of NESN.com:
“I don’t know if it is really possible to control Tom Brady. If not, we’re the team that always gives him the biggest challenge, whether he admits it or not,” Ryan said after the game, according to WEEI.com. “I just think we play defense a lot different than most teams in the league. We don’t just line up and play standard defense. I think that’s what I am talking about. Everybody plays hard and we’re no exception. Through the years, that probably holds true.”
Counting yesterday's contest, the five of the last six match ups between the two rivals have been decided by three points or less. Additionally, with yesterday's win, the Patriots improved to 3-3 against the Jets in New York under Ryan.
Playoffs included, the Patriots are 9-4 against Ryan all with Brady under center.
Ryan is also one of only two coaches in the last 10+ years to go into New England in the playoffs and win (Jim Harbaugh did it twice with the Ravens).
Ryan always seems to have a very good scheme ready for Brady and Co., and yesterday was no different. Brady was sacked four times and lost a total of 36 yards and New York was consistently able to pressure him throughout the afternoon. That's a recipe for success against Brady. But that was overshadowed by the ineptitude of the Jets offense.
Brady finished the day going 23-of-35 for 182 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Those would probably be considered game manager-type numbers. But against a Ryan-coached defense, Brady isn't the only quarterback to put up those kinds of numbers.
The overwhelming consensus in the football world is that Ryan will be fired at the end of the season, which he probably should be. He had some success with a team that, before he arrived, was a laughing stock. They've seemingly reverted back to that, but to his credit, Ryan's players have continually voiced their support for him over the years and have always played hard, as yesterday showed.
Ryan is a defensive genius and he will absolutely have a coaching job in the NFL for as long as he wants to do it. But a head coaching position may not be his calling card. That being said, there is no doubt a number of teams would be lining up for his services as a defensive coordinator or something similar.
Assuming he coached his last game against the Patriots yesterday, I'd love to bet Brady, Bill Belichick and others are going to be happy with not seeing Ryan on the other side of the field twice a year anymore.