Minus his bluster, Rex Ryan is back at the Meadowlands — as an underdog to his former team.
Ryan’s return to MetLife Stadium has overshadowed the game itself between his Bills and the Jets. New York (No. 9 in AP Pro32) is a 3-point favorite over Buffalo (No. 17) in a game that could have major ramifications for the AFC wild-card race.
So that’s what Ryan is concentrating on, not the reception he gets from the same fans who loved his act for most of his six-year tenure with the Jets.
“You know I know we got a huge game in front of us, and that’s really where my focus is gonna be,” said Ryan, whose Bills are 4-4, one game behind the Jets in the AFC East standings, but barely within sight of unbeaten division leader New England (8-0).
“And I’ve said it all along, like after the game I’ll be able to tell you exactly how I was feeling and things.”
But how big would a win be for him?
“For me personally, again it would be huge for me,” Ryan said. “I think it would be huge for everybody on this team.”
Ryan made former Jets defensive end IK Enemkpali a co-captain on Thursday. Enemkpali was cut by the Jets in August for breaking quarterback Geno Smith’s jaw with a punch.
“I’m a little shocked to be honest with you,” Ryan said of the negative reaction coming from the Big Apple. Ryan always selected his captains based on their ties to the opponent. “This was never a thing of disrespect.”
Maybe not, but the Jets get the last punch in.
KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP:
Bengals were an easy pick and made easy pickings of Browns last week. Now the survivor game leads Pro Picks to PHILADELPHIA.
No. 26 Houston (plus 10) at No. 2 Cincinnati, Monday
The Bengals will lose at some point this season. Not on Monday night.
BEST BET: BENGALS 30-17
No. 22 Dallas (plus 1 1-2) at No. 25 Tampa Bay
How ‘bout them Cowboys, losers of six in a row? We’ll bite for …
UPSET SPECIAL: COWBOYS, 20-19
No. 6 Arizona (plus 3) at No. 8 Seattle
A Cardinals victory would just about sew up NFC West crown. Sorry, can’t see it.
No. 1 New England (minus 7) at No. 11 New York Giants
If this was a Super Bowl matchup, wise choice would be Eli’s Big Blue over Brady’s Big Blue.
No. 32 Detroit (plus 11 1-2) at No. 5 Green Bay
After an ugly two-game road swing, Packers take it out on hapless Lions.
No. 20 Miami (plus 6 1-2) at No. 12 Philadelphia
Speaking of ugly, that’s how Eagles win. Here’s another unsightly one.
No. 3 Carolina (minus 4 1-2) at No. 29 Tennessee
Nothing ugly about Panthers’ perfect record, which moves to 9-0.
No. 7 Minnesota (plus 3) at No. 13 Oakland
Anyone notice Vikings are tied for NFC North lead? It will be short-lived.
No. 19 Kansas City (plus 6) at No. 4 Denver
Chiefs should have beaten Broncos in Week 2. Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve …
No. 30 Cleveland (plus 5) at No. 10 Pittsburgh
Even without Big Ben, Steelers can handle injury-ravaged Browns.
No. 21 Chicago (plus 7) at No. 15 St. Louis
Man, are these Rams inconsistent. This week, they are up.
No. 18 New Orleans (minus 1) at No. 23 Washington
Man, are these Saints inconsistent. But these Redskins can’t cover anyone.
No. 31 Jacksonville (plus 5 1-2) at No. 24 Baltimore
Jaguars play teams tough, then lose. Here we go again.
2015 RECORD: Against spread: Week 5-6, Season (67-55-3). Straight up: Week 6-7, Season (84-48)
Best Bet: 5-4 against spread, 6-3 straight up.
Upset special: 4-5 against spread, 2-7 straight up.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
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