Sportress of Blogitude

Rex Ryan concedes division crown to Patriots, denies doing so

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Rex Ryan is a straight-shooter of the highest order, but his recent comments probably will catch a lot of people off-guard. The Buffalo Bills head coach essentially conceded the AFC East division title to the undefeated New England Patriots ahead of the teams’ showdown on Monday night. But almost in the same breath, the outspoken, often-overconfident coach denied ever doing such a thing.

“Right now we’re second in the division,” Ryan said, via Pro Football Talk. “We’re gonna do whatever we can. Does that give us the opportunity to win the division? No. They’re gonna win the division. I don’t see them losing four games. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see it happening.”

Ryan was then asked point blank if he was giving up all hope of the 5-4 Bills challenging the 9-0 Patriots for the division title.

“No, I’m just telling you the facts,” he said. “The only thing I’m focusing on is beating them right now, on Monday night. And we ain’t conceding that, I promise you.”

Ryan is correct on several fronts. In fact, he’s practically right in essentially everything he said. There’s little chance — barring an injury to Tom Brady or some other unforeseen, catastrophic setback — of the Patriots losing four of it’s final seven games. And even then, the Bills would have to win almost all their remaining games as well.

Further, Ryan is perfectly accurate that he is simply stating the facts as he sees them. And just because he more or less conceded the division title to the Patriots — despite his protestations — that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to do everything possible to get his squad prepared for an upset victory on Monday night.

Then again, given Ryan’s propensity for utilizing his blustery bravado as a means to motivate his players — not to mention engaging in psychological warfare to glean a competitive advantage — perhaps this is a case of Ryan just “playing ‘possum,” in a manner of speaking.