The New York Jets are starting to make believers out of everyone -- even Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
“I think they got a good chance [to beat the Steelers on Sunday],” Rice -- who was sitting courtside at the Prudential Center, watching the New Jersey Nets take on the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night -- told ESPN NewYork.com
“Our teams are similar and they possess the same problems for the Steelers that we possess. I think Rex [Ryan] is going to come up with a great game plan -- and if they execute it, I think they have a chance.”
At the beginning of the playoffs, Rice had a different prediction of which two teams were going to meet in the AFC Championship game. Unfortunately, though, his prediction was wrong.
“I thought it was gonna be us and the Jets in the AFC Championship,” said Rice, whose team blew a 21-7 lead and ended up being eliminated by the Steelers, 31-24, in the divisional round. “When we played them our first game of the year, I said we’d probably meet them again down the road in the playoffs.
“They’re my favorite to win it.”
Ryan was the Ravens' defensive coordinator during Rice’s rookie season in 2008.
“I know Rex -- and I know his guys,” Rice, who rushed for 1,220 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season, said. “And I know what Rex is saying to his guys. And obviously he’s public about it. They walk the walk and they talk it. They talk it and they walk it.
“He brings the best out of his guys. And that’s what you want out of a coach. He’s just good with his program. They loved him in Baltimore and I’m sure they love him up here.”
The New Rochelle, N.Y. native, who starred at Rutgers University before being drafted by the Ravens in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft, said he was at the game because he is friends with Jazz swingman C.J. Miles.
“We have the same marketing company,” Rice said.