- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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New York Jets coach Rex Ryan remains unafraid of any team in the NFL.
“I will say this, and I’ve said it before, we fear nobody,” Ryan said Monday, a day after his team’s thrilling 30-27 overtime victory over the hated New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. “What that means Win-Loss wise I don’t know, but we literally fear nobody.”
Maybe he should.
After all, since advancing to back-to-back AFC Championship Games in 2009 and 2010, the Jets are just 18-21 under Ryan. And they’ve put together just one winning streak in their last 26 games -- back-to-back victories over lowly Arizona and Jacksonville Dec. 2 and Dec. 9 last season.
"I don’t know [why we haven’t been able to string together wins], but if anybody’s got any answers, I’d be willing to listen," Ryan said during a conference call.
“This will be our fourth shot at it this year, and the fact we’re playing Cincinnati doesn’t help matters. They’re playing about as well as anybody right now [they’ve won three straight and are 5-2], and it’s going to be a huge challenge playing in Cincinnati. But again, our mindset is going to be it’s all about this opponent. We’re going to focus like crazy with attention to detail on the practice field and in the class room and then head to Cincinnati and put our best out there, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
“You want to win on the road, you have to bring a good team with you, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We know it starts with us, we have to protect the football. We have to play good sound defense and obviously eliminate penalties.”
The Jets (4-3) have proved their doubters wrong so far, but they can’t afford to rest on their laurels. There is still work to be done.
It’s tough to gain any real respect when you’re incapable of putting together a simple winning streak.
“It’s extremely important [for us to string wins together],” rookie quarterback Geno Smith said. “Now’s the time for us to start developing that consistency that we’ve been talking about and continuing to stay the course. The better our effort on the practice field, the better we’ll be.”
So why hasn’t it happened yet?
“I think just a lack of detail,” guard Willie Colon said. “I think coming off wins we’re happy, we’re excited obviously. But I think we just have to have a little more focus in practice.”