Bill Belichick can talk about how it’s just another game and he can downplay the fightin’ words of his loudmouthed coaching counterpart, Rex Ryan. But make no mistake, the Patriots “HC” loves sticking it to the “NYJ” — the team he coached for about 24 hours in 2000 before scribbling his resignation (as HC of the NYJ) on a napkin.
Well, apparently now after spending a decade in defeat, the Jets are the ones looking to do the sticking.
Perhaps they should start with sticking a sock in their mouths.
The chatter started when the newly hired Ryan boasted in the spring that he wasn’t about to “kiss (Bill Belichick’s Super Bowl) rings.”
This week, with a visit from the Patriots on the schedule, free safety Kerry Rhodes elaborated:
"You go out from the first quarter on, from the first play on, and try to embarrass them," Rhodes told the New York Daily News. "Not just go out there and try to win, try to embarrass them. Try to make them feel bad when they leave here. We don't want to just beat them. We want to send a message to them, 'We're not backing down from you and we expect to win this game, and it's not going to be luck, it's not going to be a mistake.' "
Rhodes added that they’ll hit Brady “more than six times, I promise you that.”
Former Steelers safety Anthony Smith thinks this can’t end well for Woods.
The Pats-Jets rivalry runs deep, but then you already knew that. You’ve lived it. When Bill Parcells bailed for the Jets after leading the Patriots to a Super Bowl loss to the Packers, you felt double-crossed. Ditto, when Curtis Martin followed him. And while today you’d probably like to buy Mo Lewis a beer for knocking Drew Bledsoe out in 2001 (Tom Brady, anyone?), at the moment that vicious hit left you a tad P.O.’ed, didn’t it?
And then there’s Eric Mangini, that Spygate-whistle-blowing former Patriots assistant coach who left coach Bill’s side to head up New York’s sideline and promptly ratted him out to the NFL for their — ahem — camera work. Aside from the whole fired-from-the-Jets thing, he’s a regular Belichick protégé, isn’t he? Keep reading for more on the Man-genius.
Sunday will mark the 100th meeting between these two AFC East rivals, which by the way is deadlocked at 49-49-1. But that record is about as misleading as it gets. Since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994, the Patriots are 20-11 against the Jets, and have won 11 of their last 13 meetings. Forget Woody Johnson, the Patriots own the Jets. And something tells me Kerry Rhodes' gift of gab will ensure that continues.
Four Downs: Patriots at Jets (1 p.m., Sunday)
1. Anybody else hear Randy Moss bring up Rex Ryan’s chatter about Belichick after beating the Bills Monday night? Don’t you dare try and tell me this team hasn’t had this Jets game circled on the schedule. Moss is motivated. Have fun with that, Kerry Rhodes.
2. Give Ryan credit for picking up Patriots quarterback castoff Kevin O’Connell, if for no other reason than to quiz him on all things Tom Brady. Well played, Rex.
3. Losing middle linebacker Jerod Mayo (Remember that 20 tackle game in Week 10 last year vs.the Jets?) is a potentially crippling blow to a Patriots defense that already appeared to have issues in Week 1 against the Bills. Time to find out what Gary Guyton is all about. Gulp.
4. I’m kind of intrigued to see what Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez (a.k.a. “Joe Namath, Jr.”) can do against a Patriots defense struggling for an identity. Could be an ideal stage for Sanchez.
Forward Progress (aka Who's Hot)
Richard Seymour: Traded to Oakland eight days before the season started, Big Sey finally reported for duty/harassment of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers on Monday night. But then, beating up on San Diego is old hat for Seymour, isn’t it?
Adrian Peterson: He may top 300 yards this Sunday against Detroit. He’s the best running back in the NFL. Period. Got that, L.T.?
Drew Brees: Throws six TD passes in Week 1 and we barely talk about him. Oh, right, because he plays for the Saints. Well, here’s a tip: might want to start watching the Saints.
Down and Out (aka Who's Not)
Jay Cutler: The Bears quarterback tossed four INTs in his Chicago debut. Even Rex Grossman thinks that’s a pretty rough day at the office.
Donovan McNabb: Broke a rib in romp over Panthers, which now has everyone wondering how Michael Vick looks in practice (he still can’t play until Sept. 27th, FYI).
Eric Mangini: Why do I get the feeling the embattled Browns head coach may be a regular in this section? Talk about worst week ever: after Adrian Peterson and the Vikings carved up his defense in Week 1, the NFL slapped Mangini with a $125,000 fine for his part in hiding Brett Favre’s torn biceps last season as HC of the NYJ. Now, agents are reportedly steering players clear of Cleveland because Mangini has a bit of a rep for being unbearable. Well that, and the fact that the Browns franchise is an unmitigated disaster.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m just not a fan of Braylon Edwards, who has never quite grasped the concept of letting his game do the talking. And one catch for 12 yards in an opening week loss to Minnesota led to criticism that he and quarterback Brady Quinn aren’t on the same page. Edwards has a history of answering critics. Might want to start him this week against Denver. Just a hunch.
The Patriots aren’t Rex Ryan’s only target. Ryan vs.Crowder is classic.
Games To Watch
Patriots at Jets, 1 p.m.
Vikings at Lions, 1 p.m. (purely for Peterson)
Giants at Cowboys, 8 p.m.
Colts at Dolphins, 8:30 p.m. (Monday)
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