If there is a demon that haunts Jets head coach Rex Ryan, that demon's name is Peyton Manning. While we chuckle and laugh at Ryan's boisterous nature and at his cockiness despite the fact the dude has never won a damn thing as a defensive coordinator or as a head coach, it's hard not to like Ryan. He has tremendous respect for Manning, and seems almost obsessed with beating him.
Earlier today, Sports Illustrated's Ross Tucker Tweeted this:
Then [Rex Ryan] said he wants to play the Colts in the AFC Title Game again this season & said Peyton has cost him two rings. This is awesome.
No offense to Ryan, but if the Saints could beat the Colts 31-17 as they did in Super Bowl 44, they'd have waxed the Jets 55-0. And, please, to suggest that the 2006 Baltimore Ravens would have beaten the New England Patriots that year is absurd. The Ravens were a paper tiger that season. All Indy did was expose them. As the AFC Championship that year proved, the Patriots were a better team than the Ravens.
But, I understand Rex Ryan is as big a homer for his teams; as well he should. However, the quote under-scores Ryan and the Jets' obsession with defeating the Colts. Back in late April, the Jets designed their entire draft around finding players who could help them beat Manning. After the jump, we go into detail...
From the NY Post:
Tannenbaum and Ryan said this pick had a lot to do with the Jets' AFC Championship loss to the Colts when Peyton Manning picked apart their thin cornerback group en route to the Super Bowl.
"Clearly, that was an issue, certainly," Ryan said.
"This gives us a better chance to compete against the passing attacks we have to face in AFC," Tannenbaum said.
This off-season, the Jets used their first round pick on Boise State corner Kyle Wilson. They also signed Antonio Cromartie from the Chargers, a man whose entire career was made back in 2007 when he picked off Peyton three times in a Sunday night game in San Diego. This was the infamous game where Dwight Freeney broke his foot, Peyton threw six picks, and Adam Vinatieri missed a chip shot field goal late in the fourth quarter that would have won the game for the Colts.
The Jets, and Ryan, have looked to beef up their secondary to counter the Colts passing attack. To counter, the Colts have a healthy Anthony Gonzalez, a further developed Pierre Garcon, newly drafted tight end Brody Eldridge, and the same QB that continues to haunt Rex Ryan: Mr. Peyton Manning.
Oh, and the Colts defense is better. The same defense that knocked Shonn Greene out of the AFCCG and held the run-happy Jets to 86 yards on 29 carries.
Oh, just FYI: The Jets play the Patriots twice a year. Maybe Rex should focus a bit more on the other future Hall of Fame QB who seems to own him. That guy's name is Tom Brady.