Rex vs. Pettine: Round 1 on Sunday

September, 17, 2013
9/17/13
11:05
AM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Sunday’s game between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills isn’t just a battle to avoid the AFC East cellar.

It’s also a reunion of Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine.

Pettine served as Ryan’s defensive coordinator in his first four seasons with the Jets, prior to taking the same job under new Bills head coach Doug Marrone this offseason. Ryan and Pettine also worked together with the Baltimore Ravens for seven years prior to that.

“It is gonna be interesting. I’ve never done it before,” Ryan said Monday, of coaching against Pettine. “He’s kind of a brother, but I’ve faced my twin brother [Rob] many times. So I think I’m ready for it.”

Pettine obviously knows Ryan’s defensive schemes as well as anybody, and will undoubtedly spill everything he knows to his new team this week. But Ryan did not sound too concerned about that Monday.

“There’s no question you’re gonna do that,” Ryan said. “But again, when that ball’s snapped, a lot of things happen. There could be something new, there could be something old, something old that looks new -- a lot of that type of stuff. If it was that easy -- I just don’t think it’s that easy.

“There’s a little bit of that gamesmanship involved,” Ryan added, “but it’s just gonna come down to execution.”

Both teams are 1-1, a game behind the 2-0 New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. The Bills are coming off a thrilling win over the Carolina Panthers, while the Jets are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Pats. But through two weeks, the Jets’ defense has far outplayed their Bills counterparts.

The Jets are currently ranked second in the NFL, giving up just 241 yards per game. The Bills, on the other hand, are tied for 18th overall (369.5 ypg), and third to last in rushing yards allowed (141.5 ypg).
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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