There are very few truths in the NFL, but over the past few years, there's one that's absolute: when the Jets and Patriots play, trash talk will ensue. But that's somehow changed late in the 2011 NFL season, as we've heard nothing from either side about the Week 10 matchup scheduled for this Sunday night.
You might remember such trash talk from incidents involving Wes Welker's press conference about Rex Ryan's feet, Antonio Cromartie calling Tom Brady an a-hole and telling him to target the defensive back specifically, Nick Mangold going after Welker on Twitter, Bart Scott's said that the Pats want to be the Jets, Rex said he wasn't here to kiss Belichick's rings, Rex called the rivalry with Bill Belichick "personal," Scott threatened to end Welker's career, the local newspapers jumped on board -- really, the list goes on forever, if you look at what's been said over the past three years (and that doesn't even count the NFL intervening).
But this year? Nada. The Patriots, losers of two-straight games, aren't big talkers anyway, but the Jets are abnormally silent. In fact, they're even praising the Patriots now.
"We don’t care what difficulties they’re in," Ryan said this week. "Each team goes through dips in the road."
Look, I don't know what alien took over Rex's body, but pageviews be damned, maybe he should hang around for a while, because it's kind of refreshing to have some quiet leading up to a Jets-Pats matchup.
The reality is this, though: Ryan knows that the Jets are the hotter team right now and he knows that his team just performed a defensive dissection against the Bills, and that playing such a game on defense against the Patriots will probably give him the division lead come Monday.
Additionally, the Patriots are straight-up struggling right now, and the Jets have a shot of putting the Pats on their first three-game losing streak since October ... of 2002. (!)
In other words, Ryan knows that poking the bear after you've killed it is much safer than right when you walk into its cave.
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