Winning football games is all about getting 11 men to work together. According to Jets head coach Rex Ryan, it may take a 12th man to put the Patriots away this Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
In his weekly appearance on 98.7FM ESPN New York, Ryan asked the home crowd for a little extra noise in helping to picking up the victory over the Patriots to move to 4-3.
This is not the first time Rex has put out an APB for fan assistance against the Patriots. The Jets head coach recorded a voicemail that was sent to every season-ticket holder prior to that '09 game, urging Jets fans to "make it miserable for Brady and company" by making as much noise as possible.
He wants to recreate the atmosphere from that game, which was the first Patriots-Jets showdown of the Rex Ryan era. The Jets won the game, 16-9, and sent souvenir-sized game balls to their fans for their help and support in creating a raucous environment.
"It was so loud," Ryan said, "like, I've never been in a stadium before where it shook. The floor was shaking. And I think if you make it like that, we're gonna beat this team."
What about the guarantee? On one hand, it's interesting how far Ryan's opinion on making guarantees seems to waver over time (hat tip Barstool Sports for the screen shot).
This, however, wasn't quite a guarantee, because it came with a caveat, but Ryan thinks the fans in the stands could have just as much of an impact as the players on the field.
"Our guys are going to give everything they have, there's no question about it," said Ryan, "and it starts with the preparation, but oh, it'd be nice to get a little help from our fans, that's for sure."
That '09 game, however, took place at the old Giants Stadium, a bedrock of hardcore Jets fans cheering their team on. MetLife Stadium, like many new buildings, is cavernous and loaded with club suites that don't harbor the kind of raucous fans required to create a real "12th-man" advantage.
When the two teams last met on Sept. 12, the Jets also got a little help from Brady and the Patriots offense. Passes indiscriminately hit the turf, going high, low and wide of targets at times, and were dropped or deflected at other times. Brady completed 48.7 percent of his passes that day, for what was his lowest completion percentage since Dec. 20, 2009 against the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots receivers also dropped four passes.
They're not expecting to get that much help from the Patriots this time.
"We know they're going to make adjustments," Ryan said in the interview, "so you've got to be ahead of it. If you stay with the same plan, don't expect the same results, because it's not going to happen. This [Patriots] team will prepare like nobodies business, and we know that going into it."
Here's brief rundown of the history of Rex Ryan's guarantees/pseudo-guarantees against the Patriots:
- November 26, 2010: Rex said, "Our football team believes we can beat anybody, and we're going to prove it. We've won eight in a row on the road, and we plan on making it nine.” The Jets lost, 45-3 at Gillette Stadium.
- January 15, 2011: Rex said, "We respect 'em. We do not fear 'em,. And we're gonna win the game." The Jets won, 28-21 at Gillette Stadium.
- October 15, 2012: Rex said, "I want them to know, and they know, that I think we're going to beat them." The Jets lost, 29-26 at Gillette Stadium.
Mixed results, no doubt, but the guarantee means nothing if Jets fans don't bring the noise and make communication difficult for Brady and Co.
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