Rex Ryan's Comments Ring True: Why the New York Jets Are the Big Apple's Best

Pasquale GattiContributor IAugust 26, 2011

"I'm not backing down from one comment. I believe we are the best team in New York. My goal is to be the best team in the National Football League, not just in New York. I'm not backing down one bit from that statement. I believe that will be the case."

- New York Jets' head coach Rex Ryan in a conference call with reporters on August 25, 2011

Earlier this offseason, New York Jets' head coach Rex Ryan raised some eyebrows by proclaiming in his book that his team is the "Big Brother" to the crosstown rival Giants.

That proclamation did not sit particularly well with many people in the Giants organization. And while it was a bold statement, when you take a closer look at the facts, Ryan is right on the money.

There's no denying the Giants are one of the most storied franchises in all of sports. This is a team that has been around since 1925 and possesses four NFL Championships and three Super Bowl Championships.

The Jets, on the other hand, have just one Super Bowl Championship—a victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. But it was perhaps one of the most important victories for the advancement and development of the National Football League.

Ryan is not suggesting the Jets have a more successful history than Big Blue.

Fact is, the Jets may never match the number of championships or playoff appearances the Giants have attained in their history.

We're talking about a Giants team that has been around since the mid-1920s—so wouldn't you expect them to have more championships than a team that was established in 1960?

What Ryan is saying that the Jets are the better team right now.

And by all accounts, he is correct.

Since the Giants Super Bowl victory following the 2007 season, they have a record of 30-19 including a one-and-done playoff appearance in 2008.

During that same period, the Jets are 33-21 including a 4-2 playoff record over the past two seasons under Ryan. Seasons that featured back-to-back appearances in the AFC Championship Game.

That fact of the matter is that while the Giants were packing up their lockers the past two seasons, the Jets were gearing up for deep playoff runs.

The Jets also featured the No. 1 overall defense in 2009 and the No. 3 squad in 2010. The Giants were 13th and 7th in overall defense during those seasons.

Gang Green also boasted the No. 1 rushing attack in 2009 and were No. 4 in 2010.

Those are rankings that helped propel the Jets to victories over Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the playoffs during that span.

We all know Ryan loves to talk his team up and make predictions. And the confidence he exudes that rubs off on his players is what has made him so successful over his first two seasons as a head coach.

But his comments in this case are correct because the proof is in the pudding. The Jets have been New York's better team over the past three seasons.

And in a city where the mantra is "What have you done for me lately?" being relevant now is the only thing that matters.

Now let's go eat a snack!