Jets-Patriots a Tale of Two Coaching Mindsets

Just a week ago, a Week 2 Jets-Patriots showdown in the Meadowlands had all the makings of a yawn-inducing routine Pats rout. But a surprise Jets upset of the Texans coupled with with a mostly flat, almost vulnerable-looking performance by New England against the Bills has sparked newfound interest in this AFC East battle, to say nothing of the extensive bluster coming from Jets headquarters. ↵

↵ ↵

↵

↵Jets defensive tackle Kris Jenkins drew some snickers when he claimed this game was the equivalent of a Super Bowl for his team, but, even if that's a bit of a stretch, it's quickly vaulted the match-up to at least a spotlight game for this week. And, with a win, the Jets can catapult into being considered a legit playoff team worthy of respect. ↵

↵

↵Of course, when any opposing player dares air the slightest whiff of confidence in even slowing the Patriots, as Kerry Rhodes has this week, scads of comparisons are made to Anthony Smith's supposed guarantee (really an overblown statement to a reporter that he thought his team could win) of a Steelers win over the Patriots in 2007. Smith, of course, was burned on two deep touchdown passes to Randy Moss, keying a 34-13 Patriots win. And with that, Smith forever became the cautionary tale that dispensers of bulletin board material to the Patriots would live by. ↵

↵

↵The message was clear: Be good, humble, self-effacing souls and hope for the best on Sunday. The Jets players, however, have certainly bought into head coach Rex Ryan's philosophy of not backing down from enemies and trying to convey intimidation repeatedly through the media. It's a tactic Ryan's players indulged in plenty in his days as defensive coordinator with the Ravens. One can trace it back to the attitude of the punishing defenses his father, Buddy Ryan, commandeered in his time in the NFL. Right now, it looks effective because the Jets pulled a surprise win. ↵

↵

↵In many ways, the game Sunday is a reflection of the two coaching styles of the men on the sidelines. In response to Jets players talking big, Bill Belichick's Patriots have been predictably reserved and confident. Truly, that's the mark of continued success but also a result of the atmosphere Belichick has created. Meanwhile, brashness is what Ryan wants to see, even if it leads to defeat. They refuse to be pushed around. Belichick's approach has been effective enough for long enough that this game can't be considered a referendum on coaching styles, even if the Patriots should lose. However, should the Jets prevail, there might be a little less full-blown panic every time a player in the league decides to express a little confidence in their chances. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.