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Rex Ryan full of praise for Jets’ passing game

Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York

Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York Jets and head coach Rex Ryan of the Buffalo Bills speak after the game where the New York Jets beat Buffalo Bills 37-31 at New Era Field on Sept. 15, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York. Credit: Getty Images / Brett Carlsen

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Rex Ryan thought his Bills “could cover” the Jets. But he guessed wrong.

It didn’t matter which receiver was in Ryan Fitzpatrick’s line of sight. He connected with them all. And the Bills just couldn’t figure out how to stop them.

“I mean, we thought we could cover them. We thought we had a chance,” Ryan said Thursday night after his Bills’ 37-31 loss to the Jets. “We knew, obviously, they have a great group of receivers: Decker and Brandon Marshall. But the other guys — I thought No. 81 [Quincy Enunwa] played his butt off against us, obviously, No. 11 [Robby Anderson], No. 89 [Jalin Marshall]. Everybody showed up.

“ . . . We did everything. But you know what? To their credit, it never mattered what we played because they were the better team today.”

Not only did Fitzpatrick throw for 374 yards — his second-best total with the Jets — but six different targets caught a pass from him.

Entering the game, Fitzpatrick was 1-8 against Ryan teams, but he put up one of his best performances on his old home turf.

“I mean, he was hot and they were making plays,” Ryan said. “They were just throwing them up there. They were throwing up jump balls up there and their guys were coming down with it.

“ . . . Time and time again, they kept throwing it up there and their guy kept coming away with it. You know, Brandon Marshall told me he was going to kick my butt today, and he was right. He did.”

“We definitely had a conversation,” Marshall confirmed later. “I love messing with Rex. He’s a great coach, brings a lot of energy. So it’s fun when you can get a body blow in, here and there, on the big guy.”

With the win, the Jets improved to 1-1 and Ryan’s club fell to 0-2.

Only 26 teams have made the playoffs after starting the season 0-2 since 1990 (12 percent), according to the NFL. And the Bills now face the daunting task of climbing out of that unenviable hole.

Asked about his offense, a frustrated Ryan said: “To be honest with you, I think our defense played so poorly that I couldn’t tell you about that.”


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