FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Watch out now! The Jets may be 2-8, but they're much-improved since their last meeting with the Buffalo Bills.
At least, that's what Rex Ryan believes.
Despite eight straight losses this season and the benching of second-year quarterback Geno Smith, Ryan said Thursday that his team is "a lot better" than it was when the Jets were embarrassed by the Bills, 43-23, at MetLife Stadium Oct. 26.
In what ways, you ask?
"A zillion ways. Almost every way," Ryan said. "We do a better job of communicating in the back end, we're much better in the red zone. It starts with the communication down there. We're a better tackling team than we showed. And, obviously, we've got to take care of the football a whole heck of a lot better. And we will."
Ryan said his team "got destroyed" by the Bills in their previous meeting, but although he credited the Bills, he stressed that the Jets were doomed by their own mistakes.
Smith opened the game with three interceptions in the first quarter and his replacement, Michael Vick, turned the ball over three more times. Ryan's defense also gave up an 84-yard catch-and-run play by Sammy Watkins.
Because of the snowstorm that has paralyzed the Buffalo area, the rematch between these AFC rivals, which had been scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m., was moved to a 7 o'clock start at Ford Field in Detroit on Monday night.
But the uncertainty that had surrounded the location and day of the game was of no concern to Ryan. All he knows is that he'll be walking onto the field with a far different team.
"Let's see where we're at now," he said. "Let's see how much better we are, because we think we're a lot better. And we'll need to be. But the proof will be in the pudding. We know we're a lot better football team than the last time we played them.
"We know what it looked like the last time we played them," he added. "And we got destroyed by them. So we'll see if that's the same team this week. There's no way we're that poor a team."