In the aftermath of the Jets’ electrifying win over the hated Patriots, the questions mostly centered on the controversial call that changed the complexion of the game: the unexpected FG “pushing” penalty on Pats defensive lineman Chris Jones that gave Nick Folk another chance to be the hero in a 30-27 victory in overtime.
Everyone wanted to know whether Rex Ryan knew about the Patriots’ propensity for using the illegal tactic and whether the Jets coach had alerted his players and officials ahead of time to keep an eye on New England. But Ryan couldn’t help but notice the true message from the Jets’ win wasn’t being received by the media.
“The focus is going to be wherever you guys want it to be,” he said. “But we outplayed New England -- and that's why we won the game.”
Rookie defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said Sunday that when Ryan addressed the team in a pre-game meeting, he told them that “we've got every opportunity to win the game, we feel like we're better than the Patriots. …We’re just going to have to go out there and prove it. And we did.”
Ryan maintained the Jets have respect for all of their opponents -- including the Patriots and the Bengals, whom they play on the road next week. "But if you think we're going in there afraid of them, we’re the wrong team," he said.
“…We fear nobody. And I mean nobody ...We literally fear nobody.”
Ryan initially refused to say how much pre-game intel he had of the Patriots’ special-teams strategy – and whether he shared that with officials – but the Jets coach knew all about Bill Belichick’s plan.
“Let’s put it this way, we watch every single play of the opponent,” Ryan said, adding that his coordinators log countless hours poring over film from all of their opponents’ games. “ ...So you know, we're aware of opponent's tendencies.”