Well, that didn't take long. After only two seasons, Rex Ryan is the winningest playoff coach in New York Jets history. And Mark Sanchez has the most postseason victories of any Jet quarterback (unless you want to count the Super Bowl III win as more than one). Ryan and Sanchez are 4-1, and counting.
Starting back at the beginning, Weeb Ewbank and Joe Namath were 2-1, but one of the two victories, of course, is the most important one in franchise history, and one of the most important ones in league history, as well. Walt Michaels and Richard Todd went 2-2. They lost to Buffalo in 1981, then defeated Cincinnati and the Los Angeles Raiders in 1982 before falling to Miami in the AFC Championship Mud Bowl. In 1985 and '86, Joe Walton went 1-2, along with the combination of quarterbacks Ken O'Brien and Pat Ryan. Bruce Coslet and O'Brien lost to the Houston Oilers in 1991. Bill Parcells and Vinny Testaverde beat Jacksonville but were defeated by Denver in the 1998 AFC Championship Game. Herm Edwards coached in five playoff games, losing to Oakland with Testaverde as his quarterback in 2001. Chad Pennington took over in 2002 and 2004, when he and Edwards went 2-2. In 2006, Pennington teamed up with Eric Mangini to lose to New England.
This coming Sunday, Sanchez will pass Pennington and stand alone at the top, playing in his sixth playoff game, while Ryan will overtake Edwards, with his sixth postseason contest, as well. Let's face it, there's been no Vince Lombardi or Peyton Manning racking up playoff appearances year after year in Gang Green's history, but it's still quite a feat for Sanchez and Ryan.
Now on to the top stories of the week in the world of New York sports.
Two Down, Two to Go: The Jets are beginning to look a lot like the 2007 New York Giants. They're a wild card winner, they're road warriors, going into places no one would think they'd have a chance to win and then pull out one stunning victory after another, and they gave Tom Brady and the Patriots a physical beating that completely took New England out of their game. To a man, the Jets mentioned Dennis Byrd's inspirational speech as having an affect on their play. Who would have guessed that a classy, right-thing-to-do move would have been a difference-maker for the trash-talking, who-cares-what-anybody-else-thinks Jets? The defensive game plan and execution was brilliant, as stopping the Patriots' NFL-best offense was the biggest challenge coming into the game. Sanchez was better and more composed than Brady. The offensive line did their part, as did the running backs and receivers. And Antonio Cromartie filled in admirably for Brad Smith. Most important offensive stat? No turnovers. It was only Nick Folk and Steve Weatherford who were subpar. But the good thing for the duo is, they get another shot at redemption.
No Mo' 'Melo: Mikhail Prokhorov, who was in town for "An Evening of Russian Culture" and also to rescue that Russian from the Sopranos who's been hiding in the Jersey Pine Barrens all these years, dropped a bombshell on Wednesday when he announced that his New Jersey Nets are pulling out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. The talks have dragged on too long for his liking. He insists it's not just a ploy to lower the Nuggets' asking price, but, besides a slew of first-round draft picks, Denver has asked New Jersey to throw in Bruce Springsteen and Frank Sinatra's legacy in the deal. What does this mean for the future of the Nets? Who knows? On the court, they lost to the Lakers, Trailblazers and the Warriors before defeating the Jazz directly after Prokhorov made his declaration. Coincidence? Maybe not.
Maybe Some 'Melo? The surprising New York Knicks have hit their first big road block of the season, with a four-game losing streak. A commitment to defense has been an ongoing struggle for the team, and now their offense comes and goes. In the past, this kind of play was par for the course. At least the team recognizes that a long stretch of losing isn't acceptable, so that's progress in and of itself. But maybe they need help after all. And with the Nets seemingly not interested in Anthony anymore, the Carmelo to the Knicks rumors will be flying around fast and furious. Anthony won't help with their defense, but he can complement Amar'e Stoudemire on the offensive end. They still need a center, though. But baby steps . . .
Frozen Explosion: Each local hockey team's big scorer (well, at least supposed-to-be big scorer) scored big this week. Marian Gaborik went all crazy on the Maple Leafs with four goals (and an assist) on Wednesday, John Tavares notched a hat trick on Saturday and Ilya Kovalchuk banged home two goals last Friday. Every week was supposed to be like this for those guys, wasn't it? Maybe it'll be smooth sailing for the talented trio in the second half of the season. Unfortunately for the New York Rangers, they sandwiched a bunch of losses around that impressive 7-0 win over Toronto, and the injuries keep on piling up, with Brandon Dubinsky and Ruslan Fedotenko now both out for a month or so to go with Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Alex Frolov, Derek Boogaard and Vinny Prospal. The New York Islanders have a two-game losing streak after beating Buffalo on Saturday, but Kyle Okposo made his long-awaited return on Thursday. It's the New Jersey Devils who are the hot hockey team around here. Jacques Lemarie has his squad on a 4-0-1 streak in their last five. If they would have started playing like this a month or so ago, they'd still have a chance.
Meet the New Mets & Yanks: The New York Mets picked up a handful of players off the scrapheap this week. The biggest name was Chris Young, the talented yet oft-injured skyscraper of a pitcher. If he can make it through spring training healthy, he'll jump right into the rotation as the team's fourth starter. But the real question: Can the 6'10" former Princeton basketball player play center for the Knicks? The Amazin's also signed Met killer Willie Harris to a minor league deal. He owes the team big-time after all those diving catches he's made against them over the years. Scott Hairston will most likely join him battling for a backup outfield spot. Left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak inked a minor-league deal. And they also signed 37-year-old catcher Raul Chavez. Meanhwhile, the New York Yankees signed Andruw Jones to be their fourth outfielder. Since he's turned 30, he's been a shadow of his former self, but he'll be a valuable backup for the Bombers filling the Marcus Thames role of last season. The Yankees also introduced Rafael Soriano in a press conference this week. Apparently it was in George Steinbrenner's will that the Yanks sign him, whether Brian Cashman wanted him or not.