With the Jets hosting the Patriots in the game of the millennia this Sunday, Rex Ryan has once again called on Jets fans to be the potential difference. In his Wednesday news conference Ryan said
"That’s the challenge I’m taking to our fans this week. That we’re here, we’re undefeated at home, and let’s make it miserable," he said Wednesday. "See if you can’t make them burn timeouts. See if our fans can’t make them false start. I truly believe; I wouldn’t ask our fans to do this if I feel they couldn’t be the difference."
When I first heard about this my first thought was a recollection of two years ago. It was Rex Ryans first home game as Jets head coach, after he announced himself to the world by saying he wasn’t here to kiss Bill Belichek’s rings. The 1-0 Jets were returning to the Meadowlands to take on the Patriots and Rex sent out a recorded phone message to all Jets season ticket holders asking them to be loud and harass the Patriots and Tom Brady. The result was this…
It was the loudest Jets game I have ever been to. The crowd was totally out of control, and took Brady and the Patriots offense totally out of their game. Fast forward to tomorrow night and it is another Jets Patriots game, this one at night, for first place in the division and a leg up in the Jets Patriots rivalry. Although it seems ridiculous the crowd really can have an impact on the game, especially because Dan Koppen the Patriots center is still out with an ankle injury. Brady has looked out of synch all season with Dan Connolly taking over Koppens place. If Jets fans can harass Connolly and get to Brady, just like the Giants did last week, the Jets have a great chance at a victory.
This should also be a good test of how the Jets new home retains noise. It had its moments this year, especially in the 9/11 game against Dallas. When McKnight blocked the punt it was as loud as any single moment I’ve ever been a part of. If Jets fans can manufacture that kind of noise against the Patriots tomorrow I think it can give the Jets an advantage in a game that very well may determine who wins the AFC East.