Surprise! Ryan thinks Jets are going to beat Pats

Surprise! Ryan thinks Jets are going to beat Pats

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The bluster is back after one big win for the New York Jets.

Rex Ryan has never been shy to say what's on his mind - especially when it comes to the AFC East-rival New England Patriots. The Jets coach was at it again Monday after being mostly low-key through the first few weeks of the season.

``I want them to know, and they know, that I think we're going to beat them,'' Ryan said. ``I don't buy into all that other stuff. Look, I recognize they're a great football team and (Bill) Belichick's a great coach. I've never once said he wasn't, OK, but we're not going to back down or concede anything.''

Hey, that sounds like the ``old'' Rex Ryan, doesn't it? You know, the one that used to guarantee Super Bowl appearances and rile up opponents.

Well, wait - there's more.

``They're going to get our best shot,'' Ryan said of the Patriots. ``We know we're going to get theirs. It doesn't matter who says what, because we're going to be ourselves. We're coming up there to take our swing. We'll see if we land that punch to win the game.''

It sure didn't take long for Ryan and the Jets to move on from a 35-9 win over Indianapolis and focus on their showdown Sunday at New England against the Patriots. Both teams are 3-3, as well as Miami and Buffalo, leaving the AFC East wide open.

After struggling in two straight losses that left many wondering if the Jets' season was about to spiral out of control, they bounced back in a big way. Shonn Greene ran for a career-high 161 yards and three touchdowns as the Jets rolled up 252 yards on the ground against the Colts. Mark Sanchez was efficient, throwing for 82 yards but hitting on passes he had been missing on badly the previous few weeks. Even Tim Tebow got in on the fun, completing a pass on a fake punt and running for a first down at quarterback.

``It was big, especially having some losses like we did,'' said tight end Dustin Keller, who had one catch in his first game back from a hamstring injury since the season opener. ``This is a big win for us. Everybody kept calling it a `must-have.' I don't know about all that, but we're very happy we did and it's going to give us a little momentum going into this next game.''

The maligned defense, which came in ranked 28th in the league, forced rookie quarterback Andrew Luck into three turnovers and the Colts could muster very little on offense.

``We played well,'' said defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, who had seven tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a pass defensed. ``We wanted to stop the run and get after Luck and get some pressure. We hit home, got a couple of sacks.''

The Jets will need a similar performance on Sunday against the Patriots, who have the top-ranked offense in the NFL with a balanced approach with Tom Brady throwing the ball and a running game that shares carries between Stevan Ridley, Brandon Bolden and Danny Woodhead.

``We just have to play physical up front like we did,'' Wilkerson said, ``and we won't have any problem with New England running the ball.''

The Patriots have long been the team that has stood in the Jets' way in the AFC East, and Ryan acknowledged that he has shaped New York's roster with New England in mind. Drafting cornerback Kyle Wilson in the first round in 2010 and bringing in veteran safeties such as LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell solidified the secondary, but also gave the Jets a better shot at defending against the Patriots' dynamic duo of tight ends in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

``I've never stopped not thinking about them,'' Ryan said. ``That's the team you have to beat to win our division. You always think about them.''

New York has finished second to New England in the AFC East three straight years, and Ryan is 3-4 against them - including a playoff win. The Patriots are coming off a stunning 24-23 loss at Seattle, so the Jets know they're preparing to go up against an angry New England team.

``I've got news for everybody: We always get their best,'' Ryan said. ``They always get ours. We'll see if our best is better than their best on that particular day.''

Last week, it was all doom and gloom. The talk centered on Sanchez's struggles and when Tebow was going to step in and take over as quarterback. An impressive victory has likely quashed all that for at least another week. It's all about the Patriots now - just as it always has been for the Jets.

On Sunday, Ryan said he didn't ``feel like tugging on Superman's cape today, but maybe tomorrow.''

Sure enough, he tugged away on Monday.

``Are they more vulnerable? I don't know,'' Ryan said. ``They've lost three games. That's probably more than they normally lose in a season, but we need to worry about ourselves more than anybody else.''


NOTES: RB Bilal Powell has a dislocated right shoulder, but he and the Jets were still awaiting results from an MRI exam to determine how many weeks he might be sidelined. He was injured after a 4-yard run in the third quarter against Indianapolis. ... RB-KR Joe McKnight has sprained left ankle, but Ryan had no updates on the results of the MRI exam to determine McKnight's availability for Sunday.


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Free agent, former Redskins linebacker Junior Galette considering retirement

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Free agent, former Redskins linebacker Junior Galette considering retirement

Free-agent Junior Galette has been offered deals with multiple teams this offseason, but the eight-year veteran linebacker hasn't signed anything because he's considering retirement as well. 

In an Instagram post Sunday, Galette — who has been with the Redskins since 2015 but only played in the 2017 season because of injuries — wrote that he's simply not sure if he wants to continue playing football. 

He said, on Instagram: "The real reason I haven’t signed is because I’ve contemplated retiring. I have 3 Deals Currently on the table and will Plan Accordingly. All my fans i promise this will be my Best I’m not saying nothing else God Bless All I’m BACK".

Galette signed with the Redskins in the 2015 offseason, but he missed both that season and the 2016 one because of multiple Achilles injuries. He played in all 16 Washington games in 2017 and finished the season with 20 total tackles and three sacks. 

Prior to signing with the Redskins, Galette was with the New Orleans Saints for the first five seasons of his career. In 2013 and 2014 — his best seasons, by far, stats wise — he combined for 87 total tackles and 22 sacks, plus two safeties.


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Can slumping Nationals, Gio Gonzalez end losing streak Monday vs. Padres?

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Can slumping Nationals, Gio Gonzalez end losing streak Monday vs. Padres?

When the Washington Nationals visited San Diego on May 7-9, they won the first two games of a three-game series to move within 1 1/2 games of the National League West lead.

At the time, the Nationals were on a bit of a run and the Padres were reeling with a 13-24 record.

Two weeks after that series, the Padres and Nationals meet again in Washington, D.C (7:05 p.m. ET, Monday). And the fortunes of the two teams have changed a bit.

Since winning that series finale at Petco Park to avoid being swept by the Nationals, the Padres have gone 7-4 and are riding a three-game winning streak.

The Nationals have gone 4-4 and just lost a third straight game to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday in Washington to slip four games off the lead in their division.

The Nationals are the home team this time for a three-game series that opens Monday night with a matchup of left-handers -- Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 2.36 ERA) going for Washington with Robbie Erlin (1-2, 3.46) making a spot start for San Diego.

On paper, the pairing clearly favors the hosts.

Erlin, 27, has met the Nationals twice in his career. Both games were at Nationals Park. Erlin is 0-2 in the matchups with a 16.39 ERA.

In Erlin's two previous outings in the nation's capital, Erlin has given up 17 runs, 19 hits and six walks with six strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings. The Nationals have hit .413 against Erlin, who has a 2.68 WHIP against Washington.

This will be only the second start of the season for Erlin, who returned this year after having Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery midway through 2016.

Thirteen of Erlin's 14 appearances this season have been out of the bullpen. His one previous start was April 16 against the Dodgers. He gave up six runs (five earned), seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts in three innings.

Erlin is filling the vacancy created when rookie left-hander Joey Lucchesi went on the disabled list with a slightly strained glute. The Padres are hoping Lucchesi will miss only one start, although it looks like it could now be two or three.

Gonzalez is no stranger to the Padres. He started the May 9 game that the Nationals lost 2-1. Gonzalez allowed one run, five hits and three walks in six innings. Afterward, he said he struggled with his command.

Gonzalez was not involved in that decision. During his career, he has made seven starts against the Padres and has a 3-2 record with a 3.21 ERA, a 1.357 WHIP and a .253 opponents' batting average. Against the Padres, Gonzalez has given up 19 runs (15 earned), 41 hits and 16 walks with 41 strikeouts in 42 innings.

When the Nationals were in San Diego, first baseman-left fielder Matt Adams went 3-for-8 with a double, two homers, six RBIs and three runs scored -- although he got the third game off.

Since leaving San Diego, Adams has hit only .143. Washington's Bryce Harper is hitting .125 in the last eight games with a homer and three RBIs.

Another key player in the first Padres-Nationals series was Howie Kendrick, who was 5-for-12 with a double and two runs scored. But Kendrick has been lost with a ruptured Achilles tendon and on Saturday the Nationals promoted a 19-year-old prospect from Double-A.