Rex tweaks Namath

Rex Ryan couldn't resist.

The Jets' coach was talking Monday about Mark Sanchez, how he was roughed up by the Ravens' pass rush and how a quarterback as good as Joe Montana would've struggled under that kind of heat. Ryan made two Montana references, and this is how the second came out:

"It was the pressure. That’s why I was saying Joe Montana can be the quarterback -- maybe not Joe Namath -- but Joe Montana can be the quarterback. There is nobody, under that kind of pressure -- Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, whoever -- would’ve had a rough day."

The Namath dig, no doubt, was in response to the legendary QB's very public criticism of Ryan and his old team over the past seven days.

MANGOLD UPDATE: The Jets need C Nick Mangold (high-ankle sprain) in the worst way. Ryan said he's hopeful that Mangold will be able to play Sunday against the Patriots, but he didn't sound overly optimistic. If Mangold practices Wednesday, he'll probably be limited.

"He’s getting better," Ryan said. "They worked him pretty good before the game and he had no issues, so he’s getting better."

HEAD'S UP: First-year OLB Garrett McIntyre suffered a concussion and is day-to-day.

SACK EXCHANGE: No one was willing to take the heat for Haloti Ngata's strip sack of Sanchez, which resulted in a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Initially, LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson and LG Vladimir Ducasse blocked Ngata, but Ducasse peeled off to block a blitzing linebacker. Ferguson also peeled off, giving Ngata a free path to Sanchez.

Ferguson called it "a needless, pointless sack," blaming it on a miscommunication.

On Ed Reed's strip sack, which also resulted in a touchdown return, the protection call never was communicated. Presumably, that was on rookie C Colin Baxter. If it had been communicated, Ferguson would've blocked Reed and LG Matt Slauson would've blocked Terrell Suggs. As it turned out, Reed was came free, unblocked.

JOE McVERSATILE: Joe McKnight scored on a 107-yard kickoff return and also made his debut at cornerback, blitzing Joe Flacco on the play in which he was intercepted by LB David Harris -- a touchdown return.

McKnight, in Ryan's doghouse a year ago, has made two of the biggest plays of the season -- the kickoff return and the blocked punt against the Cowboys in the opener.

"The kid has talent," Ryan said.