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Excitable Jets coach wants ‘shoe on the other foot’ (honest!)

Bergen Jet

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NY Post

Rex Ryan was at his unplugged, unfiltered best yesterday.

The Jets’ rambunctious head coach, ranting about how Saturday’s AFC wild-card playoff showdown with the Colts and Peyton Manning is “personal” because of his historic inability to beat Manning, said he wants to “to put the shoe on the other foot” this time.

Given the recent foot-fetish flap allegedly involving Ryan and his wife, it was an unwittingly unfortunate choice of words.

But Ryan’s point was clear: He’s sick and tired of losing to Manning, who’s owned him. And he’s ready to reverse his fortunes.

Ryan, whose reputation has been built on the complex and intimidating defensive schemes he devises, has lost five of six meetings against Manning going back to Ryan’s Baltimore days — and the one win was last December, when the Colts pulled their starters in the second half to rest them for the playoffs.

Not counting that game, Ryan is 0-5 against Manning, whose teams have outscored the Ryan-coached teams 144-53, with Manning going 94-of-150 for 1,321 yards, 12 TDs and two INTs. Two of those five wins came in the postseason.

The last meeting between Ryan and Manning was last January, when the Jets lost to Colts 30-17 in the AFC Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium, where the two teams will meet again at 8 p.m. Saturday.

“I don’t know when I’m going to beat him, but I want it to be Saturday night,” Ryan said yesterday. “Is it personal? Yes, it’s personal. It’s personal against him, Reggie Wayne, all those guys, yeah. [Dwight] Freeney and [Robert] Mathis and those other dudes? Absolutely.

“Peyton Manning has beaten me twice in the playoffs. That’s well-documented. You’ve got all the stats. But this is about this year, and I’ve waited a whole year for this.”

Indeed, Ryan and the Jets were stung by the loss to the Colts last January. They watched a 17-6 first-half lead melt away when Manning got hot just before halftime and torched their defense the rest of the way, scoring the last 24 points of the game.

Manning, who also beat Ryan’s Ravens in the 2006 AFC divisional playoff round, finished 26-of-39 for 377 yards, three TDs and no INTs in that AFC title game, a performance that prompted the Jets to improve the back end of their defense for moments like Saturday night.

New starting cornerback Antonio Cromartie and safety Brodney Pool were acquired. Cornerback Kyle Wilson was drafted in the first round. Pass-rushing linebacker Jason Taylor also was signed.

The only time Ryan has beaten Manning came last December when Manning was pulled with a 15-10 third-quarter lead and replaced by Curtis Painter. The Jets defense feasted on Painter and won the game 29-15.

That, Ryan knows, doesn’t truly count.

Not counting that Painter game, Manning has passed for 897 yards, 10 TDs and no INTs in his last three games (all wins) against Ryan-coached defenses.

But it’s that AFC Championship Game that still haunts Ryan and a lot of the Jets.

“You lose a playoff game, it kills you, it’s devastating,” Ryan said. “I want to put the shoe on the other foot. I know this team does, too. We want [Manning] to experience it this time. I respect heck out of this guy, but I’m going to beat him one day. I just hope it’s this Saturday.”

The Jets are hoping that not only are they better than they were a year ago, but that the Colts are weaker.

Manning, whose statistics this season (33 TDs, 17 INTs, 91.4 rating), while near the top of the league rankings, are his worst since 2002, has had to deal with a rash of key injuries and no running game.

He’s without tight end Dallas Clark, who was a matchup nightmare, and receiver Austin Collie, who caught seven passes for 123 yards and a TD against the Jets in the AFC title game. Both are injured and out for the season. The Colts, too, are ranked 29th in the NFL in rushing offense.

But none of those things matter to the Jets.

“Of course [it’s personal], we lost the championship game to them,” Jets right guard Brandon Moore said. “It was a sick feeling. ... We definitely want to get revenge on them and make up for last year.”

Linebacker Calvin Pace called going back to Indianapolis to begin what the Jets hope is a Super Bowl quest, “fitting.”

“It’s crazy how things work out,” Pace said.


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/jets/excitable_coach_wants_shoe_on_the_3Dv5XRUaNMhaizdAYoH8XO#ixzz1A4LrHDqY

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