Are Rex Ryan and Jim Schwartz firing shots across each other’s bow? Not really, although some would like to stir the pot that way in advance of the Jets-Lions game on Sunday.
Following Ryan’s comment with Detroit media Wednesday, one report out of the Midwest led with the idea that Rex:
made a little news in Detroit this week by saying that the Jets were bringing the league’s “best defense” to town. He also said the Lions shouldn’t count on another offensive outburst at home.
That prompted Schwartz, when advised of the comment, to reply:
“… They’ve done a good job of putting pressure on the quarterback. I think they have 15 sacks. We have 22. I think that’s what it is.”
Ryan said today at his Atlantic Health Jets Training Center news conference that the context of his Wednesday remark was a little lost in the translation.
“My comment about the best defense in the National Football League coming to town, well, they’re averaging 38 points a game [at home] and one of their reporters asked me, ‘Do you think they’ll score 38 this week?’ ” Rex explained. “I said, ‘No, the best team in the league’s coming to town. No way you’re scoring 38.’ I don’t believe that.
“Whether that’s a shot across our bow that we only have 15 sacks, that’s fine with me, that’s good. They ought to be proud of the fact that they’ve got more sacks than we do and more turnovers than we do,” he continued. “You generally want to judge yourself against the best, so judge yourself against our defense. That makes sense to me.”
Well, we all know this one will be settled on the Ford Field field on Sunday, but here are two factoid graphs that should help each side prepare for the other.
The Jets must consider that the Lions are not only one of the most dangerous 2-5 times this NFL season but in almost any season. Since the 1970 merger, 182 teams have opened their seasons with that same 2-5 record. Only seven of those 182 had more points scored than their opponents. The two teams with the biggest point margins are both playing the season: The Chargers, who were plus-28 after their first seven, and these Lions, who are plus-18. Green & White, beware.
And careful, Blue & Silver as well, the Jets D, as Ryan says, may be coming on. They posted their first touchdown-less effort game of the season against Green Bay — they pitched five zero-TD shutouts last season. And in yielding 237 yards to the Packers, the Jets climbed back into the NFL’s top 10 in opponents’ yards allowed per game, to No. 7, their highest ranking of the season. In 25 weeks as Jets head coach, Ryan’s and Mike Pettine’s defense has been a top-10 team 18 weeks, and including the four Baltimore seasons from 2005-08, Ryan-Pettine D’s have been in the top 10 in 83 of the last 93 weeks.
Whose recent trend gets busted? That’s why they play the games. But while Rex doesn’t need me backing him up, it should again be said that while he unashamedly talks up his team, it’s never at the expense of the other team. About his offense, Ryan said today:
“We’re kind of licking our wounds a little bit. To get shut out, that’s kind of embarrassing. This is a prideful team, a prideful group, a prideful unit, and I expect us to rebound, even though we know this is a tough place to play and that’s a tough team to play over there.”
And allows that some folks might be right about his defense, although he respectfully disagrees:
“We’ve got to get some turnovers and things like that. But yeah, there’s no doubt I expect to have the best defense in the league every year. Is that realistic? I don’t know, probably not. But that’s what we expect … and I think my history is pretty close to that.”
Ryan had one good development and one painful one on his injury report today. MLB David Harris, who sat out Wednesday’s practice with a sore back from weightlifting, returned to full practice today.
But late in the session, starting S Brodney Pool collided with CB Darrelle Revis. Revis is fine but Pool left the field and was thus listed as limited.
“We took him off the field, more as a precaution than anything,” Ryan said. “We’d rather be safe than sorry.”
Tags: Brodney Pool, David Harris, Detroit Lions, Jim Schwartz, Rex Ryan
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