Skip to main content

Rex Ryan rips into ‘overrated’ Jaguars defense, Blake Bortles and AFC South

Jesse Reed
Rex Ryan

In the span of 37 seconds, former NFL head coach Rex Ryan went to town ripping into Jacksonville’s vaunted defense, Blake Bortles and the entire AFC South.

Ryan, who is now an NFL analyst for ESPN, was discussing the Jaguars on ESPN’s “Get Up” Monday morning.

“First off, this defense is — they’re not a fraud, but you’re not exactly the Steel Curtain back in the day. You’ve given up 70 points. So it’s easy. We all point fingers at Blake Bortles — me especially, I can’t stand the way he plays. But, this defense is so overrated it’s not even funny. And you know, Sacksonville. Well we know why they all get their sacks. Because they play the Titans twice, the Colts twice and the Texans twice. That’ll get you 50 sacks right there. None of those teams can protect the quarterback.”

Excuse me for a moment. Talk amongst yourselves. I’m verklempt.

That’s just straight fire. White-hot fire. And honestly, to a certain degree Ryan isn’t wrong about much of this.

Obviously, Blake Bortles has earned the criticism he receives. His continued penchant for throwing the ball away at the worst possible time is so predictable it’s laughable.

As for the AFC South in general, Ryan has another good point, albeit one that’s a bit over the top. The Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans have combined to give up 55 sacks in the first six weeks of the season.

Concerning Jacksonville’s defense, it is pretty crazy how, in the span of two weeks, a defense that’s been considered among the league’s best the past year-plus has suddenly fallen apart at the seams. The Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys combined to score 70 points the past two games, and they racked up 802 yards between them as well.

So, is Jacksonville’s defense overrated? Or are we just looking at a bit of a slump?

We’ll find out soon enough. If a banged-up Deshaun Watson carves this unit up like a Thanksgiving turkey next weekend we’ll have our answer.