It's far from the Harbaugh Bowl drama of the last Super Bowl, but the Ryan twins square off again Sunday in New Jersey.
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan is 4-0 in matchups with Rob, the New Orleans Saints' defensive coordinator. That includes 2-0 with Rex in his current position, and Rob as DC of the Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys.
This year, Rob took over a sorry Saints defense that in 2012 was the worst statistically in NFL history, allowing a record 7,042 yards. Except for one last-gasp, game-deciding Tom Brady touchdown pass, New Orleans has been near-perfect under the long-haired, stouter Ryan.
Rex, the brother with the trimmed hair and svelte after lap-band surgery, likes to verbally jab his fraternal twin, and did so again this week. But Rob might finally have the last laugh after this one.
GAME OF THE WEEK
New Orleans (6-1) at N.Y. Jets (4-4) -- Not a lot of attractive matchups in Week 9. Winner: Saints. After being torn up by Andy Dalton and Marvin Jones, the Jets defense tries to bounce back against Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham. Good luck with that. Fantasy Football: Saints' Lance Moore (hand) looks ready to roll again.
GAME OF THE WEAK
Baltimore (3-4) at Cleveland (3-5) -- This game gets the nod over Eagles-Raiders because this one is an AFC North rivalry. Winner: Ravens. FF: RB Ray Rice managed just 36yards against Cleveland in the Ravens' 14-6 victory in Week 2.
Tennessee (3-4) at St. Louis (3-5) -- Rams coach Jeff Fisher faces his former team, three years removed. Winner: Rams. They ran the ball well against Seattle and might've learned something. FF: Rams RB Zac Stacy (ankle) returned to practice Thursday.
Kansas City (8-0) at Buffalo (3-5) -- Chiefs can go into bye week unbeaten. Winner: Chiefs. Bills QB Thad
Lewis (rib) is hurting and E.J. Manuel (knee) is still mending. FF: Status of Jamaal Charles (knee bruise) needs monitoring.
Atlanta (2-5) at Carolina (4-3) -- The Falcons have won five of the past six encounters, but that was when they were good. Winner: Panthers. It's payback time for Cam Newton against a team that's missing too many key defenders. FF: Falcons WR Drew Davis a good bye-week filler.
Minnesota (1-6) at Dallas (4-4) -- At least the Vikings are consistent; they're 29th in total offense, 30th in total defense. Winner: Cowboys. With Dallas smarting from the last-second Detroit giveaway, this won't be pretty. FF: Dallas' DeMarco Murray returns with a vengeance.
San Diego (4-3) at Washington (2-5) -- Chargers are 2-2 on the road and are coming off a bye but face a desperate team. Winner: Washington. It leads the series, 6-3, but has dropped the past three to San Diego, and is due. FF: Ryan Matthews goes for third 100-yard game in a row.
Philadelphia (3-5) at Oakland (3-4) -- Terrelle Pryor beat a more successful Chip Kelly team in the Rose Bowl. Winner: Raiders. The only Eagles' positive is they're 3-1 on the road. FF: Eagles QB Nick Foles, coming back off a concussion, draws an improving Raiders front seven.
Tampa Bay (0-7) at Seattle (7-1) -- NFC's worst visits NFC's best. Winner: Seahawks. It's a shame Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson and LB Lavonte David have to endure this luge ride to oblivion. FF: Tampa Bay's Doug Martin (shoulder) likely to miss his second in a row.
Pittsburgh (2-5) at New England (6-2) -- Patriots are 4-0 at home, Steelers are 1-3 on road. Winner: Patriots. The Patriots defense has lost key personnel and the offense not clicking to Brady standards; they're still 6-2. FF: WR Aaron Dobson is becoming a more reliable Brady target.
Indianapolis (5-2) at Houston (2-5) -- Missing Reggie Wayne hurts Indianapolis' long-range potential. Winner: Colts. Andrew Luck has beaten the Broncos, Seahawks and 49ers, so why not a team quarterbacked by Case Keenum? FF: The Colts are 29th against the run and Arian Foster should have a strong day.
Chicago (4-3) at Green Bay (5-2) -- The Packers have won the past five meetings and 8 of 10 with Aaron Rodgers. Winner: Packers. Rodgers' two Bears losses are on Mondays; that will change. FF: Green Bay RB Eddie Lacy might tear up vulnerable Bears.
Bloom 2013 record: 74-38
Byes: Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, N.Y. Giants, San Francisco.
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