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Rex Ryan walking with his luggage to the team bus outside of TCF Bank Stadium Dec. 7, 2014 (photo by Gino Terrell).

Rex Ryan walking with his luggage to the team bus outside of TCF Bank Stadium Dec. 7, 2014 (photo by Gino Terrell).

The football soared in the air along the sideline until Buffalo Bills safety Bacarri Rambo jumped and grasped the ball into his hands to intercept New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to seal a 22-17 Bills win Thursday night, Nov. 12, at MetLife Stadium where head coach Rex Ryan paced the sidelines screaming and eventually hugging Rambo after beating his ex-team for six seasons.

“I kind of look at it this way, it’s like being dumped by some girl you had the hots for,” Ryan said in the postgame press conference. “And you know, ‘hey,’ you move on and every now and again they call back. They can’t get you back.”

The win catapulted the team to a 5-4 record where the Bills controlled their playoff destiny. However, the Bills lost four of the next five games before winning against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday 16-6. The 7-8 Bills face the 10-5 Jets, a team on a 5-game winning streak that needs a win to secure their first playoff appearance since Ryan took the Jets to the AFC Championship game the 2010 season.

“Is there going to be a little more satisfaction [beating the Jets]? I can’t tell you that because there’s a lot of people there that I care about and you want them to do well, but I don’t want them to do well at my expense,” Ryan said in a conference call Thursday, Dec. 31, with the New York Media. “From the competitor side in me, I want to beat them.”

Heading into the game, the New York Jets know they’ll have a competitive match on their hands in Buffalo.

Jets team captain and Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis talked down the significance of playing against his former coach, who was also involved with the decision to trade him in 2013 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Revis was coming off a season ending injury.

“It’s just the next game on the schedule for us,” Revis said. “They beat us earlier in the year on Thursday Night…we know what’s at stake.”

Ryan described what the first Bills vs. Jets game felt like during the Nov. 12 postgame press conference.

“It was a battle from the opening kickoff until the end and I’m proud of them,” Ryan said. “Hell yeah, how do you think it feels? Dang right it feels great [to win]. Absolutely, we beat a heck of a football team. They’re a very talented team.”

The playoff-like atmosphere surrounding that Thursday night game is what Ryan thought the final game on his 2015 season schedule would be surrounding this Sunday’s week 17 matchup against the Jets.

“I truly thought this game was going to set up ‘this one’s in [the playoffs],’” Ryan told reporters Wednesday, Dec. 30. “It is but it’s only one team playing for [the playoffs] unfortunately.”

Current first-year head coach for the New York Jets Todd Bowles could be the fourth consecutive head coach to lead the Jets to the playoffs during their first year at the helm as Ryan, Eric Mangini and Herm Edwards have all done so.

Sheldon Richardson, third-year defensive lineman for the Jets, told the New York Post having to beat the coach that drafted him to make the playoffs for the first time in his career is “bittersweet.”

“I love Rex, but he’s in the way right now and we’ve got to get past him,” Richardson said.

As Ryan’s 7th season as an NFL head coach will come to a close Sunday, Jan. 3, he will be going into the game looking to lead his team to a .500 finish this 2015 season. He holds a career record at 53-58 with a 4-2 postseason record including back-to-back AFC Championship appearances. He still holds the Jets team record for most post season wins by a head coach for the Jets.

Ryan admits his first season as head coach of the Buffalo Bills has not gone the way he and the Bills organization hoped. Ryan guaranteed a playoff appearance during his opening press conference when hired to the Buffalo Bills as he thought the team’s 15-year playoff drought would come to an end this season.

“I feel bad that I didn’t deliver,” Ryan told reporters Wednesday, Dec. 30. “That’s how I look at it and there’s no question about it. I know what I think the future holds for this team. I’m excited about the future but all I want to do is focus on right now, and this future is on Sunday.”

Although the Bills are not playing for a playoff spot, Jets linebacker and seasoned veteran in his 13th season Calvin Pace told the New York Post the game against the Bills will be a “bloodbath.”

“I just knew it was going to come down to this last game…they’re not really playing for a playoff spot, but I know Rex is going to have those guys ready to go, fired up,” Pace said. “We know the type of guy Rex is, the type of competitor Rex is, the motivational guy he is.”