By Jason Keidel
» More Columns
The Quotable Rex Ryan is a compendium of comically gaudy guarantees, wig wearing, alleged foot fetish videos, and other unsolicited sentiments. But the loquacious coach was oddly muted this week.
Now we know why.
The Jets pulled of New York's football version of Dumb and Dumber, the maddening exacta of two big losses in one afternoon, leaving both teams out of frosty breath by the time each opponent stampeded to large halftime leads.
Perhaps Ryan was prescient. Maybe, after thumbing through endless spools of film, he knew his Gang Green had no horses to stop a highly potent Eagles team that was once a dream but would now regard 8-8 as a resounding success.
In an inverted world, the Jets played a perfect game. They couldn't run or pass, couldn't stop the run or pass, and couldn't hold onto the ball. When Michael Vick wasn't slashing the Jets' secondary, LeSean McCoy was gashing it. The final, 45-19 score could have been much worse. It was that bad.
(And can someone tell Santonio Holmes – who had two balls squirt through his hands and clasped by the Eagles' talons – to stop those gratuitous touchdown dances, while his team is down three scores, while provoking the ref to pluck a flag from his pocket?)
Ryan's main mantra is no one embarrasses his defense. But his brainchild suffered brain cramps all day, his lineman, linebackers, and secondary suffering whiplash while watching the Eagles dart by Ryan's defenders as though the former were sprinting blacktop while the latter scampered on a beach.
Granted, the turnovers gave the Eagles a short field a few times, but that wouldn't have mattered. Vick threw for 274 yards on just 15 completions in just three quarters. (He was benched for the fourth in light of the laugher.) McCoy (18 rushes, 102 yards, 3 TD) made the Jets' (allegedly) heretofore hefty defense his personal demo, scoring at will, untouched, as the announcers kept announcing the team record he tied or torched with each touchdown Frankly, the Eagles could easily have dropped 60 on the Jets.
And thus the Jets did the impossible: they made the Giants look good.
As a result, this weekend's clash of the titans has lost pints of juice. Now we have a floundering, 7-7 squad against a teetering, 8-6 team. We can't say the game lacks gravity or local media insanity. But, on the brink of the playoffs, you don't want a contest pitting two teams who think yesterday is acceptable.
We'd love to see a rematch in Indianapolis in February. What would cause New York's aorta to pulse harder, spark more inspiration and perspiration? At this pace, however, such a redux is as likely as an 80-degree December day.
Feel free to email me: Keidel.Jason@gmail.com
Can Rex's Jets turn it around in time for the reeling Giants? Be heard in the comments below...
for more features.