Rex Ryan: Why He's Due to Beat Peyton Manning

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IJanuary 6, 2011

Rex Ryan has been haunted by Peyton Manning.
Rex Ryan has been haunted by Peyton Manning.Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Rex Ryan hopes it isn't another Groundhog Day, or make that Groundhog Night, when his Jets get yet another chance against the Colts and Peyton Manning Saturday night.

For Ryan, Manning has been his ultimate nemesis, the ultimate super-villian. The Colts quarterback is Lex Luthor, General Zod, The Joker and The Riddler all rolled into one guy who has haunted Ryan.

No wonder Ryan said "it's personal." Manning is his own living, breathing, touchdown-throwing jinx. Hes' the Terminator, the ultimate nightmare for the big boy.

"I owe him one," Ryan said of the guy who drives him nuts.

"He needs to feel what I've felt the last two times in the playoffs. That's why I said it's personal. I can't stand getting beat. And I know the main source of that has been Peyton Manning."

You gotta give Ryan credit, he knows what he's afraid of and isn't too shy to admit it.

Manning has been scary. He's got that 5-1 record against Ryan defenses, he's thrown 12 touchdown passes and only two picks when he's gone up against Ryan-led defenders.

Painful memories for old Rex.

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"We thought that was our Super Bowl," Ryan recalled as he remember the game where Manning led his team to a come-from-behind win over Baltimore in 2006. "If we won that game," Ryan remembered, "we were going to win the Super Bowl. Everything is going our way and he finds a way to beat you. It drove you crazy."

Now Rex and his guys will go indoors at Lucas Oil stadium for a rematch of last year's AFC title game.

"I've waited a full year for this," chirped Ryan, who obviously wants this one so bad he can barely stand it, thus all that "personal" stuff.

Now, when the son of Archie heard about Rex's latest rants, he was his typical, media-savvy, coy self.

"I wasn't even aware. I really don't have any reaction to it," said Manning, who no doubt has been holed-up in some dark video room, plotting his latest round of evilness that he hopes to inflict on Ryan's charges one more time.

The brother of Eli comes in on a roll: Four straight wins by Indy to close the season makes the Colts the poster boys for the importance of victory in December.

The bookies like the boys of Indy, they're a 2.5 point favorite to continue the misery for Ryan.

Last year's title game turned out poorly for the J-E-T-S. Indy won 30-17 and there was Manning hitting 26 of his 39 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns.

You can just imagine Ryan, he at least knows what his UNLUCKY number is and that is probably 18.

The number 18 makes Ryan shudder; at least Saturday is not January 18th.

"Last year he carves us up," Ryan said as he replayed the nightmare in his mind. "And that's him. But I feel I owe him one."

Ryan owes him more than one. Manning's five-up on him.

Maybe, just maybe Ryan's overdue on this one and you'd think the Jets have a pretty good chance with all the players the Colts have lost to injury this year.

Ryan will need a really good night from his defense, but then he's been down that road before.

The Jets added defensive help this year and this is where the D needs to step up its game.

Rex knows it, his team knows it.

They're overdue, for sure.

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