Either Rex Ryan is that high on the San Francisco 49ers or he still has an axe to grind with the New England Patriots.
The former NFL head coach insisted Monday on ESPN’s “Get Up” that the 49ers, not the Patriots, are the best team in the NFL.
Ryan offered this opinion hours after the Patriots’ 27-13 win over the Cleveland Browns improved New England’s record to 8-0 and the 49ers moved to 7-0 with a 51-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers.
“Not only are they (the 49ers) the best team in the NFC, they’re the best team in the NFL,” Ryan said. ” … their defense in my opinion, they suffocate people. This is the best defense in the league.
“You also have the best running game in the league. And you can take this anywhere, any condition, you can run the football, play defense,. Snow, rain, it doesn’t matter.
“… And I love the coach, (Kyle) Shanahan. You talk about these brilliant young guys? How about this guy? Put him at the top of the list for the brilliant young coaches. Why? Because he’s as creative in the run game as anybody in the league. He gets it done that way. (49ers starting quarterback Jimmy) Garappolo is OK. They just added the slot receiver (Emmanuel) Sanders.
“I love this team. Who wants to play this team? Nobody.”
Ryan was the New York Jets’ head coach between 2009 and 2014 and then led the Bills between 2015 and 2016. His record against the Patriots was 4-12, and he admits to this day “The Patriot Way” pissed him off during those years.
We don’t know for sure whether Ryan’s stints as a Patriots rival cloud his judgement about the NFL’s current pecking order or if he simply is trying to bolster his credentials as a hot-take merchant. Nevertheless, he said what he said and presumably meant it. Feel free to back or roast his views as the season continues to unfold.