Complete coverage of Gang Green

No Trash Talk Doesn't Mean No Jets Intensity

Sometimes the game's enough all on its own

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images

    After last week's professional wrestling buildup to the game against the Patriots, it's been a bit surprising to see the Jets take such a business-like approach to the AFC Championship Game.

    That hasn't been Rex Ryan's way since he came to New York so even though he respects Mike Tomlin, you'd expect him to launch a few more verbal fireworks in advance of such a big game. Unless he's saving something big for the end of the week, though, we aren't going to get it.

    To Gary Myers of the Daily News, that means there's reason to fear that the Jets are suffering a letdown after their victory against the Patriots.

    Myers suggests that the Jets have already played their Super Bowl and that it will be difficult for them to summon the same kind of intensity for this week's game. Their lack of hate for the Steelers will be their downfall, argues Myers, because they aren't good enough to win without reaching an emotional crescendo. Others have pushed similar ideas, although Myers's effort best crystallizes this school of thought.

    It's not the kind of school you'd want your children attending. All last week we had pundits telling us that all the Jets were doing by talking so much was poking a tiger in a cage. When that cage opened on Sunday, there would be hell to pay because the Jets were letting emotions get in the way of playing a football game. Now those same people are suggesting that the Jets aren't invested enough in this game, whch is a pretty swell way to have your cake and eat it too.

    The entire notion is flawed on its face because it argues that the Jets only won the game because they overwhelmed the Patriots with their attitude. Most people who watched the game know that nothing could be farther from the truth. They beat the Patriots because they outplayed them in every phase of the game and because their coaching staff formulated a game plan that was as close to perfect as you'll ever find. Did they play with emotion and fire? Sure, but so did every team that won last weekend and the Jets are the only ones facing questions about their ability to do it again.

    It is an insult to the professionalism of players on any team to suggest that the chance to win a championship is not enough to get them sufficiently amped up to play in the game we'll see on Sunday. It's also an insult to the abilities of coaches on these teams to suggest that they can't find a way to get their team to operate at a high level without letting loose torrents of invective to the media during the week.

    Neither the Jets nor the Patriots should be worrying about intensity, they should be worrying about cutting off backside pass rushers, maximizing gains on the ground and covering dynamic receivers down the field.

    If all that's true, then what's the point of trash talking? It certainly fills the void of what to write about from Monday through Saturday without stretching to find a point.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

    Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anywhere, anytimeiPhone/iPad App | SMS AlertsTwitter | Facebook | Google+ | Instagram | RSS