The overarching theme that Jim Nantz and Talk About Phil Simms will emphasize tonight when the Buffalo Bills visit the New York Jets will be Rex Ryan returning to his old franchise. It’s extremely rare for a coach to be fired and immediately rehired, let alone in the same division (the only other coach that currently has this situation, Mike Mularkey, spent one season in Jacksonville and is currently the interim head man in Tennessee), and we all know that Rex will have the Bills fired up.
But before we assign the emotional values to this game, let’s acknowledge one thing: regardless of the winner in the game, it will not happen because they wanted it more, or that they wanted to win/stick it for/to the new/old coach.
Emotion is absolutely part of the game, but it cannot and will not lead you through for 3+ hours of activity. When Mario Williams sacks Ryan Fitzpatrick with 9:43 left in the 2nd quarter, it isn’t because an image of Rex slapping his helmet and screaming “Fuck yeah!” was motivating him. It’s because he probably made a bull rush move and overpowered James Carpenter.
Counter to that, when Chan Gailey dials up a screen for Fitz to toss to Chris Ivory 3:28 into the second half, it will not be because of some deep-seeded disgust for Eric Wood’s inability to pull correctly when he ran it in 2011. It’s because he needs 5 yards.
Storylines and narratives are fun for fans and give broadcasters something to fill in with when there is some downtime during the game. Rex back at Metlife is the easiest one of all, and was a no-brainer for the schedulers to make as the Thursday Night Football game for both teams. But don’t fall victim to the easy schlock presented to you. Understand that players make plays because they are good and coaches draw up successful plays because, they too, are good.
The red jerseys are terrible.