FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - With one masterful throw, Tom Brady delivered a devastating blow to the entire Ryan clan.
When he fired a touchdown pass with five seconds left to beat New Orleans on Sunday, the Patriots quarterback not only outsmarted the defense of Saints coordinator Rob Ryan but dropped Rex Ryan's Jets two games behind New England in the AFC East.
Rex Ryan, still reeling from the Jets' 19-6 loss to the Steelers earlier in the day, couldn't believe what he had just seen on TV. But it was a familiar script nonetheless: Brady being Brady.
"Yeah, I saw it," the Jets' coach said Monday of the Patriots' 30-27 win over his brother's team. "It was a horrible day for the Ryan family. Good thing my dad's out of coaching."
Even after 24 hours, the sting of the Jets' defeat lingered. Ryan spent the wee hours of Monday morning ruminating over the what-ifs that might have changed the outcome of the loss to Pittsburgh, but by the afternoon, he was peppered by questions about his emotional state during the Patriots' improbable win over the Saints.
"Heck yeah, you want to see them lose," he said. "No question you want every team in your division to lose. In particular New England, of course."
During his weekly spot on ESPN New York radio, Ryan said: "I felt terrible for my brother, but I definitely felt worse for us. I mean, that's the truth. That's what you think of first: how it affects you."
He stopped short of calling the Jets' Week 7 game against New England on Sunday a must-win, but with a 3-3 team that has been unable to string back-to-back wins together, Ryan said, "Certainly it's huge."
The Jets last defeated the Patriots in the 2010 playoffs. Since then, Ryan & Co. have dropped five in a row, including their 13-10 loss last month.
"Well, thanks, Negative Nancy," center Nick Mangold joked when reminded by a male reporter of how poorly the Jets have fared recently against New England. "You go out there and don't worry about what's happened in the past because things change."
Defeating the Patriots will take a total team effort, Ryan said. That apparently includes the fans at MetLife Stadium. The coach implored all of Jet Nation to party like it's 2009 -- the year the Jets topped New England, 16-9, in Week 2 with help from a raucous home crowd. Brady was forced into consecutive delay-of-game penalties in the third quarter, prompting Ryan to give game balls, typically reserved for players, to the fans.
"It was so loud," he recalled Monday. "Like I've never been in a stadium where it shook. And the floor was shaking. You make it like that, we're going to beat this team . . . Obviously, we have to earn that type of effort from our fans. I understand that. But I'm just telling our fans: Come ready to give that kind of effort. We love the support and we're going to do everything we can not to disappoint you."
Against Pittsburgh, two interceptions by Geno Smith and one miscue by Antonio Cromartie on the Steelers' touchdown doomed the Jets.
"They flat-out beat us," rookie defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said.
Added Ryan: "I hate to lose . . . especially at home."
But he and his players have turned the page on the Steelers. On to the Patriots, and this time Ryan will attempt to carry out the one mission he and his brother have failed to complete this season: a win over Brady.
"Obviously, we haven't fared well the last several games against them the last three years," Ryan said. "We haven't beaten them. We've been close, but that doesn't matter . . . People will judge me however they're going to judge me. I know one thing: I'm going to keep competing. They'll get everything we have this week, and they know it."