Rex Ryan certainly didn't downplay the fact there's a lot on the line in five days, when the Jets "host" the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
"Yeah I think so because let’s face it," Ryan said this morning on a conference call. "Whoever wins the game can see the guys off and say -- and I hope we are saying it -- 'Yeah, you’ve got a good team, but we beat you' and that’s as simple as that. That answers any argument that you want, and there’s the solution to it."
"You know what?" he continued. "If they beat us, I’ll be the first one to tip my hat to them. I recognize that they are an excellent football team, but I think we’re better and that’s the thing. You get to prove it on Saturday. You don’t get to prove it to them for another four years. So it’s a huge game, there’s no question about it."
With both teams losing yesterday, getting crushed in the process, there's a good chance the loser of Saturday's Christmas Eve tilt will be on the outside of the postseason picture.
"Obviously, the playoffs are the biggest thing. The loser basically is out of the playoffs, so that’s the No. 1 thing. But don't kid yourself. This is still a big thing when both of us play in the same stadium, MetLife Stadium, you have a fan base that’s almost split. There's a lot of things that go into this, so we obviously recognize that we want to win. Is it special? Absolutely, it is special."
Ryan pumped up the Jets' rivalry with the Giants in his book, "Play Like You Mean It," explaining how he never ventured to the Big Apple to serve second fiddle to the Giants. The Jets have never consistently been on the same parallel as the Giants, something Ryan is trying to continually change.
"Honestly, I never came here to be little brother to anybody, so it’s on," Ryan said. "We have to go out and prove it. You don’t play each other for four years, so yeah, there are some bragging rights and all that and some more important things go to it because basically you are out of the playoffs if you lose this game, either team is. So we know what’s at stake.
"But is there bragging rights and all that? Absolutely. We want to be the best team in New York, but we want to be the best team in NFL. It starts with being the best team in New York and it’s going to start with how we play on Saturday."
Ryan thinks there's little dispute on who's controlled the town since he arrived on the scene in 2009, guiding the Jets to successive berth in the AFC Championship game.
"We certainly we were the better team the first two years," he said. "We made the playoffs, went to the championship game. To say a team is better than you that never made the playoffs is ridiculous. Clearly, we were the better team my first two years here, and we get to prove it on Saturday -- who is the best team this year.
"Quite honestly, both of us are having disappointing years, but it comes down to who who beats who. It doesn't matter about the other things. You basically [have] the same record and everything is at stake, So the proof is in the pudding. Whoever wins this game is clearly the best team in New York."