The New York Jets lost three straight games to end the 2011 regular season, eliminating themselves from the playoffs. It would seem that Rex Ryan ought to have a lot on his mind, like veiled snipes at his starting quarterback and a toxic locker room environment. On Friday he took time out to weigh in on the this week's AFC Championship Game in an interview with WFAN, however, predicting the Baltimore Ravens to win over the New England Patriots due to their superior defense:
"The only way you're going to beat New England is if you have a great defense," Ryan said. "And when you look at the teams that won - obviously Buffalo was the one exception - in three years I'm talking about, the Giants had a great game defensively, they were able to get pressure on the quarterback, make plays in the back end. The Ravens had beaten New England before with a dominant defense. We beat New England three times but we did it creatively...a different type of defense, (Tom Brady) wasn't comfortable."
Ryan went on to predict a potentially monster game for defensive end Terrell Suggs, who recorded 14 sacks for the Ravens during the regular season. SB Nation blog Baltimore Beat Down agrees, extolling the unseen value of quarterback pressure and the turnovers it causes.
For updates and analysis on these teams leading up to the 2012 AFC Championship, visit Ravens blog Baltimore Beat Down, Patriots blog Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston. Don't forget to check out SB Nation's NFL hub for all your playoff news.