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Rex Ryan: We weren't scared

Head coach Rex Ryan talks with referees during

Head coach Rex Ryan talks with referees during a game against the New England Patriots. (Oct. 21, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

Rex Ryan got hit from all sides on Monday about some of the play-calling in Sunday’s 29-26 OT loss to the Patriots, with reporters at Ryan’s press conference echoing fan sentiment that the Jets were too conservative after recovering Devin McCourty’s fumble at the New England 18 with just over two minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

Tim Tebow ran for two yards on first down, then Joe McKnight ran for a yard on second down. Mark Sanchez tried to throw it on third and 7, but was sacked; Nick Folk’s field goal gave the Jets a brief lead, but Tom Brady and the Patriots drove down the field in the final 1:32 to tie, then win in OT.

“We felt good about running the football or we wouldn’t have called them,” Ryan said. “We were trying to get a first down. It wasn’t like we were just trying to burn their timeouts. We were trying to get a first down to win the game. To their credit, they made some plays.”

Ryan got aggravated when asked if his team were playing scared, trying not to lose rather than seize the game and pull off the upset.

“That’s not even close. We go down to win. I think that’s, saying we played scared, that’s somebody that probably never played the game in his life,” Ryan said. “That’s a ridiculous comment. That’s certainly not the way we do it. Everything we did was to try and win the game. You’re running traps on two of their best players, they caught balls in those situations where, if the ball’s thrown here or there, we’re feeling a little bit different today. Again, that’s -- people can write any opinion they want, they can say that, but to say we’re scared, that’s not even close to being accurate.”

Ryan also heard about a third-and-2 pass play on the Pats 3 on the opening drive of the second half. Mark Sanchez missed connection with Chaz Schilens on a slant, forcing the Jets to settle for a field goal.

“It’s easy to go back and say we shouldn’t have thrown the slant. I agree, absolutely I agree, because it didn’t work,” he said. “But that’s the opposite of, well, we shouldn’t have run it (late) and we should’ve thrown the slant. Whatever. In hindsight, you have all the answers. At the time we’re making a call that we think we’re going to be effective at. We got the one on one coverage, it’s just the execution was a little off.”

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