FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- ESPN's Week 2 power rankings will be released Tuesday, and there might be some interested folks around the New York Jets.
Maybe you heard, the Jets were ranked 32nd last week, which chafed players and team officials. Head coach Rex Ryan used the perceived slight as a motivational ploy, displaying the rankings on a big screen at the team meeting on the eve of the season-opening win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hey, whatever works. Maybe Ryan should send a "thank you" to the editors in Bristol, Conn.
"We never ranked ourselves 32nd," Ryan said Monday. "We’re a confident football team and we know that the preparation, work ... we feel good about us. Outside (opinion) is what it is."
"Maybe we’ll be 31st this week," he said. "We'll see."
We know this much: They'll be ranked lower than the New England Patriots (1-0), whom they face Thursday night in Foxborough, Mass. Some might call this a house-money game for the Jets (1-0), a heavy underdog, but it's a terrific opportunity to bring credibility to their season. Imagine what a victory would do for their program.
"I hope we get to find out," Ryan said.
News of the day: On Monday, Ryan confirmed the obvious, saying rookie Geno Smith will start at quarterback against the Patriots -- a dog-bites-man announcement if there ever was one. Mark Sanchez (shoulder) is out indefinitely, headed for a second opinion. ... Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley has a concussion, which means you can forget about him playing on a short week. Without Kerley, the Jets don't have a natural slot receiver or a surehanded punt returner.