Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Jets, Ravens one win from Ryan Bowl
By Tim Graham
AFC North blogger James Walker raised the possibility of New York Jets rookie head coach Rex Ryan facing his old club in the conference title game.
As unlikely as that would have seemed when the playoff seeds were settled, the potential skyrocketed when the Jets and Baltimore Ravens notched road upsets in the first round.
Ryan, who spent a decade with the Ravens defense before joining the Jets, discussed the possibility Sunday on a conference call with Jets reporters.
"I think both of us would sign up for that right now," Ryan said. "It would be a great accomplishment for both teams to get to the championship game. I wouldn't feel so bad if we sent them home packing, that's for sure, but I respect that group so much."
Both teams would need to win on the road again this weekend. The Jets visit the San Diego Chargers in Qualcomm Stadium, and the Ravens play the Indianapolis Colts in Lucas Oil Stadium.
A Ravens-Jets AFC championship is the only way another game will be played in Giants Stadium before they tear it down.
"Certainly if that would be the case, it would be great," Ryan said. "When somebody asked me for what scenario I would like to see the most, it would be us hosting the Ravens for a lot of reasons.
"Not saying the Ravens are going to be less of an opponent because that's ridiculous, but just because I have a lot of personal friends on that staff and on that team. I'm excited for their players and really for that organization."
Ryan believes his old players are hankering for that matchup, too.
"There's no question," Ryan said. "They know what's happening. They can look at it statistically. They can look at it any way they want. We played each other in the preseason. [Ravens coach John Harbaugh] and I talked then about it: 'Hey, let's meet in the playoffs.' We both thought that would be a heck of an idea.
"I'd love to see that happen, but we've both got a lot of work to do before that's a possibility."