Rex Ryan thinks of '85 Bears after loss
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- A day after his team embarrassed itself on a national stage in a 45-3 loss to the New England Patriots, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said his goal for this season remains the same: to win a Super Bowl.
Ryan then made a comparison that is sure to leave some football historians scratching their heads when he said the Jets' blowout loss to the Patriots reminded him of the Super Bowl champion 1985 Chicago Bears' loss to the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football.
The Bears came into their early December Monday night showdown against the Dolphins at 12-0 and lost 38-24. Chicago, with Rex's dad Buddy Ryan guiding its legendary "46" defense, went on to win Super Bowl XX.
"It's funny. I've been around this game a long time. That was the worst defeat in my coaching career that I've been a part of," Ryan said of the Monday night loss to the Patriots. "But there's another defeat that I think was probably just as humiliating, just as bad ... and that was the '85 Bears against Miami."
Ryan never directly compared his team with the 1985 Bears, which sported one of the best defenses in football history. He said that he hoped the Jets would finish the season the same way the Bears did -- as Super Bowl champs.
"I hope history repeats itself," he said. "The goal of the Chicago Bears was to win a Super Bowl. And that's our goal. Whether people like it or not, I really don't care. That's our goal. That's our mission going into this season.
"It was a huge loss," he said of the loss to New England. "There's no question about it. We got pummeled. We played terrible. But it's one game. Everything we talked about is still attainable. We have a quarter of our season left. So we're far from pressing the panic button."
A somber and somewhat reserved Ryan also admitted the obvious on Tuesday, saying he had to "question everything" about his defense's performance on Monday night.
The Jets allowed 405 total yards to New England as Tom Brady torched Gang Green for 326 yards and four touchdown passes.
"We thought going in we had an outstanding scheme," said Ryan, who spread the blame between players and coaches. "We thought we had a great scheme, but the execution was poor."
One play Ryan addressed was Brady's 18-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker in the third quarter. The Jets were in a blitz package, leaving Welker alone one-on-one with Drew Coleman. Ryan said he'd rather see Antonio Cromartie or Darrelle Revis on Welker in that situation, but the unit "had some confusion" on the play. The result was Welker burning Coleman to put the Patriots up 30-3.
"That was not what we intended to do," Ryan said.
He also said quarterback Mark Sanchez (17-for-33, 164 yards) was "sloppy" against New England, though he wasn't singling out the second-year quarterback. He cited missed tackles by the Jets defense, a 13-yard punt by Steve Weatherford and a 53-yard missed field goal by Nick Folk as other reasons for the Jets' debacle.
The Jets, who took the day off on Tuesday, will have just four days to prepare for Sunday's home game against the Dolphins, who come into town with a 6-6 record and in10th place in the AFC. The Jets close the season with road games at Pittsburgh (9-3) and Chicago (9-3) before a Week 17 matchup against the 2-10 Bills at home.
"If we go out and we win our four games, we'll see what happens," Ryan said. "But we better start by beating Miami. ... I'm not good in playoff scenarios, but I know one thing: We're going to get their best shot."
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.