There’s something funny about Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan.

Unfortunately for the franchise, there hasn’t been a lot to smile or laugh about since he took over as head coach in 2015. The Bills are one game under .500 (9-10) during his brief tenure and opened this season with losses to the Ravens and Jets. Ryan and company already find themselves two games out of first place in the AFC East as they head to Foxborough this Sunday.

But is it the New England Patriots that are really on the mind of the celebrated defensive whiz? Yes, we are aware of the fact that Ryan has made it his business to praise the NFL’s reigning dynasty during his head coaching career. It began in 2009 with the New York Jets, and it lasted for his six seasons with the Green and White. The entertaining sideline leader picked up where he left off when he joined the Bills in 2015. By the way, there’s no truth to a potential rumor that if things don’t work out in Orchard Park that Ryan would love to coach the Miami Dolphins.

Let’s throw out some numbers. Including a stunning win in the 2010 AFC Divisional Playoffs when he was leading the Jets, the eight-year head coach still owns just a 4-11 record vs. the Patriots (4-9 with the Jets, 0-2 with the Bills).

It’s also interesting to note that in his first two seasons with New York, Ryan owned a 3-2 record against the team from Foxborough. But it has pretty much all downhill since as the Pats have handed the boisterous sideline leader nine losses in the last 10 meetings.

But what’s fascinating is that you seemingly hear Ryan speak more of Belichick than the Patriots themselves.

From the fabled “I never came here to kiss Bill Belichick’s, you know, rings,” back in 2009 with the Jets (courtesy of Joe Zedalis of Yahoo! Sports) to his self-evaluation following last season’s 40-32 home loss to New England on the second Sunday of the season.

“I have to get better. Belichick outcoached me, no question about it. That’s how it ended up,” said Ryan after that game (via Gregg Rosenthal of “Can’t give up 500 yards and turn it over three times. We did a horses (bleep) job, and it’s my responsibility.”

So is Rex Ryan, looking to lead a Buffalo franchise to the playoffs for the first time since 1999, more interested in leading the Bills or beating the Bill? Including his 4-2 postseason record with New York, he owns a 60-62 overall record as an NFL head coach. That’s 4-11 vs. Belichick and 56-51 against the rest of the NFL.

It will be interesting to see what happens on Sunday in New England. Perhaps even more intriguing will be Rex’s comments postgame if his team manages to beat Beli…uh, the Patriots.

Russell S. Baxter is the NFL lead columnist for and the founder of Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

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