Wes Welker's "foot" press conference has become an instant hit in the media. So much so that Bart Scott and Nick Mangold have come to defend Rex Ryan by taking jabs at Welker. To say the least, it's been an interesting week in the NFL that just keeps getting better.
We are almost 24 hours within kickoff and yet these two teams haven't stopped going at one another via the media. Bill Belichick is as subdued as any coach in the history of the NFL; he warned his players earlier in the week to stay out of a media war with the Jets.
For the most part New England has avoided issuing any trash talk back. Instead choosing to brush off the Jets' brash talk. That, of course, was until Welker threw gasoline on the fire which got things going again.
All of this started with Ryan issuing a number of statements claiming that this was between him and Belichick. Ryan made no bones about it that this game was personal much like he did against Peyton Manning in the first round.
After Ryan, it was Antonio Cromartie's turn to issue some harsh words about his opponent. Cromartie singled out Tom Brady claiming that he hated him and managed to call him an A-hole. Things have spiraled out of control since then.
But which side has won the war of words? Let's take a look.
New England Patriots
Outside of Welker, there wasn't any Patriots who took the initiative to go after the Jets. But Welker's "foot" and "toe" references were so blatant that it made up for a relatively quiet week from Belichick's team. It would have been interesting to have been a fly in the Jets' locker room after they saw Welker's press conference.
So while the Pats have taken the higher road for most of the week was Welker's semi-subtle jab enough to win the off the field battle?
Before that's determined we have to examine the Jets' side of things.
Oh boy, where to start? The Jets have talked so much crap to the press over the week, you have to wonder if they even believe what they're saying. As was mentioned already Ryan and Cromartie issued the first shots in this week long battle.
But the past couple days it's taken a new twist with a clever shot at the Patriots' franchise and a physical threat from Scott. Here's what Mangold said on his twitter account yesterday. "Wes Welker is a great player. He's really taken advantage of watching film. If we don't keep a Spy on him, he could really open the Gate."
If you're confused by Mangold's tweet, it's a reference to the Spygate scandal the Pats dealt with years ago.
Now let's get to Scott's not-so-friendly words to Welker. "Be very careful what you say about our coach. His (Welker's) days in a uniform are numbered. Put it like that," said Scott when asked about Welker's jabs at Ryan.
Roger Goodell has a reputation for fining players for the smallest things such as a mismatched uniform. The fact that he hasn't laid out any fines is hypocritical of how he's handled issues in the past. Scott's comments are so direct that if he isn't fined for what he said it will reflect poorly on Goodell.
But that's enough about Goodell, back to the Pats-Jets trash talk.
Who won the trash talk war?
Think of this like a boxing match. The Jets have issued a variety punches at the Pats but not all of them have landed. Mangold's tweet was easily the best shot of the week at New England because it took some thought and was clever.
Scott threw a haymaker at Welker with his comments, although I highly doubt it will effect Welker's play on Sunday. Out of all the shots that were taken this week the best one goes to Welker. His press conference was funny, clever and not as obvious as calling someone an A-hole or threatening them.
It not only got the Jets riled up it struck a nerve with them. Even if the Pats only landed one good punch in on the Jets, they were able to dodge most of the hits the Jets took at them.
The Pats came out on top of the media waged war but, none of that will matter when they step on the field tomorrow.