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New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.

Despite defeat, Rex says Jets are much improved

Mark Sanchez reacts in the huddle during the

Mark Sanchez reacts in the huddle during the fourth quarter of a game with the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Oct. 21, 2012) (Credit: Getty)

Rex Ryan began his morning-after press conference by lamenting the missed opportunities, like Stephen Hill’s fourth-quarter drop on third-and-4 and Jeremy Kerley’s slip near the end zone less than two minutes later.

“We definitely had opportunities to win the game,” the Jets coach said. “A play here, a play there. …But it doesn’t matter.”

Their late-game comeback was stalled in the final stages of Sunday’s 29-26 overtime loss in Foxboro. But in the face of defeat, Ryan remained defiant. “Look, we’re going to go toe-to-toe with anybody,” he said. “We have confidence in ourselves. Maybe the outside will have more confidence in us, but we have plenty of confidence in ourselves.”

And after reviewing film of yesterday’s game, the Jets coach maintained on Monday that his team is much-improved.

“I know we’re a better team,” he said, referencing their 34-0 loss to the 49ers in Week 4. “We had to improve as a football team and we did. I see us getting better. We still got a ways to go to get to where we want to get to. But you see it. We’re making strides. And it’s not by luck, it’s by design. The way guys have approached how they are in the classroom, on the practice field and you see it carrying over.

“But we’re not where we need to be yet,” Ryan added. “And we just need to keep working hard and start winning games like this.”

The Jets held the Patriots’ top-ranked offense to 14 points and 381 total yards (compared to their 403). But defensive breakdowns and poor execution cost the Jets a much-needed road win and a shot at first place in the AFC East.

After his Patriots eked out a win in overtime, New England head coach Bill Belichick was complimentary of his division rivals.

“We know the Jets are going to be there all the way through, they’ll be there at the end,” he said. “There’s a lot of football left to be played. I don’t think anybody clinched anything today, I don’t think anybody got eliminated today.”
That was Ryan’s same message on Monday.

“We ran the ball at times effectively against a team that’s pretty good at stopping the run,” he said, referring to the Patriots’ fourth-ranked run defense. “I thought Mark (Sanchez) was really outstanding. Most of the game he was outstanding; accurate with the football. Our protection was good.

“I see it; that we’re getting much better,” he said. 

Tags: jets , rex ryan , new england patriots

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