Dear Rex Ryan,
I'm writing this because I'm concerned about you, and because I care for your well being. It's coming from a place of compassion and respect and because I just can't stand seeing you hurt any longer.
You need to stop caring so much about the Patriots.
It started when you joined the Jets and declared that you wouldn't kiss Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's rings; it was a degree of braggadocio that made you an instant fan favorite in New York and gave hope to the league that the Patriots reign atop the AFC East would soon be over.
You backed it up when you defeated the Patriots 16-9 in the Jets first home victory over the Patriots since 2000. You endeared yourself to the league when you made the AFC Championship for your first two seasons with the Jets, including a devastating upset over the top seeded Patriots in 2010 (handing the Patriots two of their three losses on the year).
But then the wheels fell off. Your Jets managed to beat the Patriots just once over the next four seasons, even though almost every game was close, and that one victory hinged upon a only-called-once-ever-penalty on an overtime field goal.
Your offense crumbled to pieces, with the passing attack falling from 21st, to 30th, 31st, and 32nd. Your hallmark defenses lost their shine and after leading the #1 defense in 2009, and #6 defense in 2010, they fell to 20th, 20th, 19th, and 24th. Your takeaways, the lifeblood of any aggressive defense, fell from 5th in 2011 to 32nd this past season.
It was as if the only team you could get your team ready to play were the New England Patriots. It was as if you decided to ignore the other games and opted to only game plan against Belichick. You led the Jets to a 4-21 record against teams with winning records starting in 2011, with your five closest games all coming against the Patriots with a differential of three points or fewer.
It became an obsession of yours to fight the Patriots, to take them down, to let that be your legacy with the Jets; the coach who could stand toe-to-toe with Belichick as equals. Instead, you went down as the coach who talked the talk, and that's about it.
So as you went to the Bills, and let's be serious, the fact that you would still get to play the Patriots twice per season was the biggest draw to not move to Atlanta, you decided to play the same game as before.
"I’ll be honest," you said at your opening press conferent. "I think it’s still the Patriots I want the most." Not the Jets, who failed to provide you with a quality partner in the front office. Not the team that fired you for the inability to win or develop offensive players. But the Patriots. It's still always about the Patriots.
You've joined a team that has two victories over the Patriots in the past decade, and one of those was this past Week 17 when all of the New England starters didn't play. You've joined a franchise that you want to turn into "a bully."
You even challenged the Patriots to bring back two of their all time greats in guard John Hannah and tight end Russ Francis, and said that you would be ready to play.
With all of the talent on the Bills defense, you very well may create a bully on the field- but you had that with the Jets and were unable to sustain that success beyond two seasons as the incumbent players aged and the well of talent ran dry.
You've made a career out of your bluster and of your desire to combat the Patriots. Your coaching decisions show a lack of understanding beyond the scope of the defensive side of the ball. You bring an air of defiance that loses credibility in the face of adversity.
Your players love you. Your fans don't blame you for the product the Jets had on the field. You have the potential to win and do great things in Buffalo. As Father Time catches up with Tom Brady, you'll probably even win a game or two against the Patriots you care about so much.
You just have to realize that there are fourteen other games on the schedule.
-Literally Everyone in the Entire World