Monday, January 17, 2011

The Jets haven't reinvented football

Don't believe people who say otherwise.

The new rules:

• Boring is out; brash is in. That whole hyper-paranoid, “One Voice,” never-say-anything-that-might-rile-your-opponent approach employed by New England coach Bill Belichick? That is so last decade. The new product – with Ryan as its, uh, foot model – features swagger, self-aggrandizing behavior and as much unchecked smack talk as a locker room can muster. Whereas Belichick went so far as to bench his top receiver, Welker, for the Pats’ first offensive series because of the player’s veiled shots at Ryan earlier in the week, the Jets were utterly encumbered by such trivialities and hell-bent on defending their coach’s leadership style and honor.

Here's the thing: a lot of teams trash talk. The Jets won because their O-line is better than the Patriots' D-line.

• Chemistry and gutty role players are out; talent and playmakers are in. For all the talk about the post-Randy Moss Patriots’ success in spreading the ball around to guys like undersized halfback (and Jets reject) Danny Woodhead, rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski and resuscitated receiver Deion Branch, the Jets prevailed in part because their skill-position studs – most notably wideouts Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards and halfback LaDainian Tomlinson, a former league MVP – parlayed their superior athletic ability into end-zone trips.

Talent advantage:
Brady > Sanchez
Welker > Edwards
Gronkowski/Hernandez > Keller

LaDainian Tomlinson, Trevor Pryce and Jason Taylor must almost certainly be considered swansongers, not marquee playmakers.

I think what Michael Silver is trying to get at is that Rex Ryan brought on "bad character" guys in Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, whereas Bill Belichick (a bad character himself) traded away Randy Moss. That's really all there is to this. But look, the Jets won because they muscled the Pats on the D-Line, not because they were brash and more likely to assault someone at a club.

• Belichick’s reign as football’s unparalleled defensive guru is out; Ryan’s coronation as his equal or (gulp) patron is in. Belichick, with three Super Bowl rings as a head coach and two others as an assistant to his credit, has confounded many a great mind over the years. But he got owned by Ryan on Sunday for 68,756 fans and all the TV-watching world to see, and it is likely to torment him throughout the offseason and beyond. When Ryan opened his postgame news conference by referencing an earlier prediction and proclaiming, “I thought it would come down to me and Belichick and thank goodness it never did because he won that battle like he always does,” it was hard to avoid bursting into laughter.

Here's what won the game for the Jets:
-A superior NY O-Line vs. a thin NE D-Line
-An excellent job by the secondary in roughing up Brady's options

I like Rex Ryan, I think he's a good coach and that he called exactly the game he needed to for beating New England. It ultimately came down to New England not having the talent to stop what the Jets were doing. It had very little to do with brashness, drunk driving arrests, skill players or genius.

This is Joe Namath calling his shot; yes, very magical because he mouthed off and then backed it up in one game. How did that carry on into a trend?

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