Rex Ryan’s rants are no doubt original, if not outlandish, but his formula for success is hardly new.
The Jets and Giants share more than a stadium. Ryan has adopted a Big Blue blueprint this season, and it’s carried the first-year head coach to within a game from the Super Bowl.
“We looked ugly there for a while,” Ryan said after Sunday’s 17-14 win over the Chargers. “If that wasn’t a New York Jets win right there.”
Actually, it was eerily similar to a New York Giants win of two years ago. The Giants, who went on to win Super Bowl XLII, had the NFC’s second-best defense, a top-five rushing game and a quarterback relegated to game manager. All similar traits of the Jets, who actually rank higher in more team categories than those Giants.
And like those Giants, the Jets keep winning road playoff games as underdogs.
“We like being the underdogs because that gives us a lot of motivation. People are still not giving us the credit,” defensive end Mike Devito. “[We have] the No. 1 defense, the No. 1 running game and we’re still not getting the credit, even for where we’re at now.”
Where they’re at now is exactly where the Giants were in 2008 — a conference championship game against the league’s second-best passing attack. Eli Manning was able to finally break the 200-yard passing mark in a win over the Packers and Mark Sanchez hopes for the same against the Colts, because in the end it’s not about the coach or his philosophy.
“It's about the players that play the game,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said after Super Bowl XLII. “The players knew that we had a good football team.”