Jets head coach Rex Ryan has a reputation of delivering verbal jabs to the opponent in the media, but when presented an opportunity to deliver knockout blows to the punching bag that is the New England Patriots defense, Rex took a different approach.
He told the media, per ESPN Boston:
"I think their defense doesn't necessarily get the credit they deserve," he said. "Every year they get criticized for their pass defense, what they rank, and all that. But it's not about that.
"The Patriots play complementary football. Obviously, you have the No. 1 offense in all of football—scoring offense, total offense, everything-else offense—so what you try to do is win the turnover battle. Their record when they win the turnover battle is phenomenal. That's something they do and I think it goes overlooked."
Good defense isn't all about holding an opponent to as few yards as possible. Good defenses come in different flavors.The Jets' defense aims to stop the pass and put pressure on quarterbacks. The Patriots' defense aims to get the ball back into the hands of the offense.
Praising the Patriots for getting the stops when they need to doesn't fit the narrative the media has already written for this defense, but Rex points out that the Patriots are 39-4 since 2008 when they win the turnover battle.
The Patriots currently rank third in the NFL with 16 turnovers on defense, and first in the NFL with a plus-10 turnover differential. They are 2-1 this year when winning the turnover battle, the lone loss coming to the Baltimore Ravens.
In New England, good defense isn't about stats. It's about winning games. Bill Belichick has said it in the past: "Stats are for losers. The final score is for winners."
Here are some more links from around the AFC East.
Joe Caporoso of TurnOnTheJets.com delivers a breakdown of the matchup between the Jets and the Patriots.
New England Patriots
Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 Sportsradio highlights Bills defensive end Shawne Merriman's first practice back with the team.
Matt Patrick of PhinPhanatic.com points out that the future is bright for Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon, who logged two sacks against the Rams.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand.