Note to Jets: Don’t Get Too Overconfident
By Alan Schechter
Jan 16, 2011; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick greets New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan after the end of the 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium. The Jets defeated the Patriots 28-21. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
In the wake of two consecutive losses at home, the Jets put together one of their best efforts of the young season, defeating the Colts 35-9 at MetLife stadium last Sunday. The running game was working, Andrew Luck never got too comfortable throwing the football, and the defense showed some life.
But now it is time for the Jets to get back to work, and get at it big time. Looming on Sunday, is the first matchup against the New England Patriots, this time up in New England. Even though the entire division is tied with a 3-3 record, it is never going to be easy when the Jets take on Tom Brady and company. As we all know, Rex Ryan has made no secret of the fact that he wants to take the division away from New England. It even plays into roster decisions to a degree, as Rex Ryan indicated yesterday:
I think as a competitor, you want to win. You’re always trying to win your division first, and that will set you up for everything else. You have to match up. I think that’s the way you kind of look at it. We’ve built our team up on the backend to match up with them. When you have Cromartie and (Darrelle) Revis and guys like that (and) Kyle Wilson, you draft Kyle Wilson in the first round, it’s to match up with those guys. We’re one of the, maybe, the only team in the league that can try to play them in man coverage, where most guys will back off and play zone after zone, down after down. I think we, maybe, present different challenges. Obviously, they present a huge challenge to us. The way they’re running the football too, is different than in the past.
Rex is never short on confidence when going up against New England:
Well, I just think that, I want them to know, and they know, that I think we’re going to beat them. I don’t buy into all that other stuff. Look, I recognize that they’re a great football team. (Coach Bill) Belichick’s a great coach. I never once said that he wasn’t. Again, we’re not going to back down or concede to anything. They’re going to get our best shot (and) we know we’re going to get theirs, so it really doesn’t matter who says what. We are going to be ourselves. We’re coming up there to take our swing, and we’ll see if we land that punch to win a game.
I absolutely have no issue with Rex’s confidence, especially when they are going up against the Patriots. We all know that there is no love lost between these two teams. Let’s face it, they hate each other. There is no problem with guys talking about the rivalry during the week.
Just a cautionary note to the Jets. Don’t let last week make you overconfident. Turn the page and we will discuss it more.
Oct 14, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Shonn Greene (23) runs past Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (50) during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aristide Economopoulos/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE
After Sunday’s game, Rex talked about what he said to the team the night before. It’s the end of the quote that caused me a bit of pause:
I just gave them the normal coach jargon (joking). I think that’s the way I usually speak to them. Our message has been the same since day one and that’s about staying together, building a team, just keep getting better, keep working, taking those steps forward, and at the end of the day, we’ll see where we’re at. We have a lot of talent on this football team and when we pull all this talent together, we definitely want to be a team, and I think we are a team that is better than the sum of our parts. I think that’s it. I think that’s what we want to be, a team that nobody wants to play and I think we’re on our way that way.
He needs to be careful with the “we’re on our way” comments, based on the Colts game. That can spill over to the team, and that might cause a problem.
Don’t get me wrong, the Jets played a terrific football game against the Colts. I was at MetLife to witness it, and it was a thing of beauty. But the Colts are a team that the Jets are supposed to beat. They are better than that team, and they showed it on Sunday. When you look at it, all the Jets have done so far is beat teams they are supposed to beat. They have beaten the Dolphins, Colts, and Bills, all teams that the Jets have a leg up on. They have lost to all of the teams that have been a challenge talent-wise, the Steelers, 49ers, and Texans.
This is what teams that finish .500 do. They beat the teams that they are supposed to beat, and they lose to all of the tough teams. With all due respect to Rex, beating a team with a rookie quarterback does not make you “on your way”. It means you won a game you are supposed to win. We will be on our way, when we beat a team that is tougher than that, and we will have that chance on Sunday.
Remember, the Jets don’t do so well after they beat up on a team that they are supposed to beat. Remember last year? The Jets were high as a kite after the win to open the year against Dallas, and beating Jacksonville 32-3. What happened after that? Three games against tough teams, the Raiders, Ravens, and Patriots, and 3 losses. Just like that, the Jets thought they were better than they were and they were 2-3.
And don’t forget the confidence in 2010 leading up to 45-3.
Be confident, Jets. Just don’t get too overconfident. It can, and has, come back to bite you in the rear end.