"I beat my brother again," Rex said with a laugh, referring to his twin, Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
As the Jets' head coach, Rex has gotten the best of his brother three times, during Rob's stints as defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns (2010), Dallas Cowboys (2011) and Saints.
Rex Ryan, left, improved to 3-0 as Jets coach against twin brother Rob Ryan.
Including Rex's time as the Baltimore Ravens' defensive coordinator, he's 5-0 against his brother in the NFL, and he's 7-3 including their time as college coaches. Rob last defeated Rex in 1998, when he was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State and Rex was the defensive coordinator for Oklahoma.
Leading up to Sunday, Rex playfully took a jab at his brother by posting on the back of the team's injury report the famous photo of his brother's discouraged reaction to New England's last-second victory against the Saints last month. There was also a photo of Rex next to the one of Rob, and "Sorry about that Jets" and "I wish I could look as good as my twin" were written on the back of the injury report.
Rex did compliment his brother, though, by saying Rob and Kansas City defensive coordinator Bob Sutton have done the two best jobs of any defensive coordinators in football this year. The Saints -- who didn't make Rob Ryan available to speak after the loss -- gave up the most yards in NFL history last season but entered Sunday's game ranked 12th in yards allowed.
Before the game, Rex and Rob posed for photographs on the sideline, including some with their father, former NFL coach Buddy Ryan. Following the Jets' victory, the brothers embraced in a big hug on the field, and Rex mentioned the triumph over his brother to his team in the postgame meeting.
Statistically, Rob's unit allowed 69 fewer yards Sunday (338 to 407), but the Jets' defense won where it matters the most: the scoreboard. The Jets also had two key interceptions, while the Saints couldn't coerce any out of turnover-prone Geno Smith.
While Rex was glad to best his brother once again, he acknowledged there's a bittersweet taste after a triumph over Rob.
"At the end of the day, you realize that your brother just took a loss," Rex said. "That's the tough thing. I pull for them every single week except one. I've mentioned it before -- I always look at their score. There's not one [other] game I can tell you how it went today, but if the Saints were playing, I'd have known."