Rex Ryan's best offseason move was placing his faith in himself during a watershed moment in his professional life.

Although Ryan has been rightfully criticized for curious decisions surrounding his quarterbacks in the past year his defensive acumen is beyond reproach. He is football’s Raymond Babbitt a savant who has built a career flummoxing some of the best offensive minds of this generation.

Ryan has returned to his roots as a stalwart defensive play-caller after a brief hiatus. Now his defense just may save him in a make-or-break season.

The league landscape is littered with overreaction after the first weekend of football. The Jets made a defensive splash by shutting down the Buccaneers in an 18-17 season-opening win on Sunday but Ryan’s unit will have to elevate its play to slow down the high-octane Patriots on Thursday night in Foxborough.

The Jets still aren’t playoff contenders but Ryan’s defense may be good enough to help win enough games to keep him around beyond 2013.
Ryan’s group held Josh Freeman to a 48% completion rate and 67.9 passer rating and Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin to 2.7 yard per carry in Week 1. The confident head coach didn’t indulge in hyperbole when asked Monday if that defensive success was a product of a questionable Tampa Bay offense or simply the Jets’ dominance.