Rex Ryan usually picks one or two games a year (usually against the Patriots) as games that he feels are more important and ratchets up the motivation of the team both inside the facility as well as through the media. This usually focuses the team and gives them a chance to steal a victory when they need an edge.
Here Josh Cribbs explains this week’s plea for focus is to do nothing but rest and think about the game. The is the excerpt from Rich Cimini’s Rex in the City post on 10/16/13:
“I saw it in his eyes in the team meeting,” Cribbs said. “He really wants this game. I can tell he really wants this game. He was like, ‘Rest your legs and go home. Don’t do nothing for your wife. Say: ‘Baby, next week. I’m going to do it next week. I’m going to take out the trash next week. I’ll take the kids to practice next week. But I’ve got to rest for this game.’ I’m going to tell him to put it on paper, so when I give it to my wife, I can be like, ‘Hey, Rex said that I don’t got to take out the trash.’ So he might get a call from my wife.” Cimini ESPNNY.com 10/16/13
The Jets need this game badly. They have been alternating wins and losses through the first 6 weeks of the season and have the Patriots this week, a very good Cincinnati team on the road the following week then the Saints at home before the bye. Winning here could be the difference between going into the bye 3-6 with four straight losses and 4-5 or even 5-4 with an easier second half of the schedule having survived their toughest stretch of the season.
The Patriots are beat up losing the heart of the defense Vince Wilfork and star linebacker Jerrod Mayo to season ending injury and having cornerback Aqib Talib, who is having a great year, miss the game with a hip injury on defense. On offense they will be without Danny Amendola who has another concussion and perhaps stalwart guard Dan Connelly who did not practice on Wednesday either. They may get Rob Gronkowski back but we’ve seen him almost ready then pulled back at the last-minute. The plan for the Jets seems simple with the middle of the Patriots defense being injured it is time to focus on the run, especially Chris Ivory. If the Jets can stay close enough to be able to do it they should run the ball at least 40 times and throw off of playaction. Defensively know that Brady will play better than 18-38 but the key is to limit them to field goals not touchdowns in the red zone.
The Jets have never beaten the Patriots in the second game of the year going 0-4 and losing by an average of 27.5 points per game with Brady figuring out Ryan’s traps and the Jets offense being overwhelmed by a well coached Patriot defense. To turn this around Rex is turning the clock back and becoming “Fat” Rex again, if only briefly. He is going to be loud, bombastic and in your face and his swagger gives them the best chance to win on Sunday. The cast of characters have changed in four years, especially this year, and hopefully the results will as well.