Today: 18.07.2018
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Rex Ryan says Jaguars remind him of his best Jets teams.

PITTSBURGH — Rex Ryan has seen this script before. Heck, he wrote it. As Jets coach in 2009 and 2010, Ryan’s formula for winning four playoff games was to play great defense, run the ball and hope his quarterback does not turn the ball over. Sound familiar, Jacksonville? It is exactly what the Jaguars need...
Time: 02:30     Date: 14.01.2018
Last US Sport News: Rex Ryan says Jaguars remind him of his best Jets teams. NY Post 24 - US News

As Jets coach in 2009 and 2010, Ryan’s formula for winning four playoff games was to play great defense, run the ball and hope his quarterback does not turn the ball over.

Sound familiar, Jacksonville?

It is exactly what the Jaguars need to do if they are going to upset the Steelers on Sunday in the AFC divisional round.

“I think they’re built to steal some games in the playoffs,” Ryan told The Post. “I really do. Just like we did. People say, ‘They came out of nowhere.’ Well, that’s not true. This team is built to win games in January.”

Those Jets teams won games at Cincinnati and San Diego after the ’09 season then pulled off the Manning-Brady exacta the following year, winning road games over the Colts and Patriots.

No one gave those Jets teams much of a chance, just like not many people think the Jaguars can topple the Steelers. But if the Jaguars can play to their strengths and avoid a catastrophe from quarterback Blake Bortles, they could shock everyone.

“You have to do what’s best for your team,” Ryan said. “With Jacksonville, it’s run the ball and play defense. They are very much built like those teams that we had — the ground and pound type team.”

“Offensively, Sanchez, in my opinion, is a better quarterback than Bortles,” Ryan said. “I’ve always thought that and everybody thought I was crazy. Sanchez turned the ball over but [Bortles], you can almost count on it, he’s going to give you opportunities every game. Maybe people will say the same thing about Sanchez, but I thought Mark was a better quarterback.”

Sanchez played his best football in those playoff runs. He threw nine touchdowns and just three interceptions.

“The funny thing was Mark was a better quarterback in the playoffs than the regular season. That’s hard to do,” Ryan said. Can Bortles pull off the same trick?

On defense, the Jets had a swarming attack spearheaded by Bart Scott in the middle and Darrelle Revis locking down wide receivers on the outside. Ryan would empty his bag of tricks to bring pressure on quarterbacks — something he said the Jaguars don’t have to do.

“It’s scary because their defense actually has more talent than what we had with the Jets,” Ryan said. “Now, I’m not saying they’re better because we were probably as good or better, but they have more talent overall.

“Look at their front. A lot of times we had to create a pass rush, you know what I mean? These guys can line up with four guys and get after your ass. We had to bring five a lot of times.”

Leonard Fournette leads the rushing attack for the Jaguars. The rookie had 1,040 yards this year. For the Jets, Thomas Jones carried the load in 2009 and Shonn Greene did in 2010 with LaDainian Tomlinson playing a complementary role.

Ryan said the Jaguars must establish the run game to have a chance in this one.

“What gives your team the best opportunity to win?” Ryan said. “There were times when we played New England where I said, ‘Look guys, for us to win we’ve got to run the ball 50 times,’ and everybody looked at me like I was crazy.”

Ryan proudly cited a game in 2013 when the Jets (with Geno Smith at quarterback) did run the ball 52 times against the Patriots and won.

If you’re looking for a major difference between those playoff Jets and these Jaguars, it may be momentum. The Jets won five of their last six regular-season games in 2009, including the last two to make the playoffs. In 2010, they won two of their last three. The Jaguars lost their final two regular-season games.

Ryan acknowledges the Steelers likely will win this one, but he remembers his teams that used a formula perfectly in 2009 and 2010.

“Their defense and their running game gives them a chance,” Ryan said of the Jaguars.

Jets fans know that is true and maybe Jaguars fans will find out the same thing on Sunday.

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