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Rex Ryan: 'We'll See if We're Ahead of [the Patriots] Right Now'

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan is never at a loss for words, especially when it comes to the rivalry between the Jets and Patriots. Everyone's aware of his infamous ring quote, "I never came here to kiss Bill Belichick's rings," Ryan said. "I came here to win, let's put it that way.... I'm certainly not intimidated by New England or anybody else."

This is Ryan's third season as coach of the Jets, where he sports a career 3-3 record against the Patriots, including 1-0 in the playoffs. In Ryan's first two seasons as Jets coach, they've made it to the Conference championship game before being eliminated.

The Jets and Patriots will face off this week on Sunday Night Football. Both teams are 5-3, but the Patriots are coming off back-to-back losses, including Tom Brady's first regular season home defeat since 2006. 

The Patriots are 1-0 against the Jets this season, but the Jets are 4-0 at home, where they'll host New England on Sunday Night Football. Below are a few quotes from Rex Ryan's Thursday press conference. 

On if the Patriots are more dangerous because they lost two straight games: 

We don't care what difficulties they're in or anything else. We face the same exact thing heading into their place and hope it's the same result - that we end up finding a way to win. But that's going to happen almost every team. Green Bay, I don't know, they're rolling pretty good. But I think each team will face it at some point. You'll go through kind of dips in the road a little bit.

On if they measure themselves against the Patriots:

Yeah, I think you do because they're the ones that are winning your division. So I think if that really is an ambition of yours to win your division, then, yeah, you want to see where you stack up with them. Obviously that first game, they were better than us. I said it right after we played them, they were the better team then. We'll see who the better team is now. I think we're a better team than we were then. I've said it the whole time. We'll see if we're ahead of them right now.

On if the relationship between the Jets and Patriots now is similar to the relationship between the Ravens and Steelers when he was in Baltimore: 

Yeah, very similar. That was the one. No offense to Cleveland or Cincinnati. We expected to beat those guys every time. You knew it was going to be, and sometimes you won it, but you knew it was going to be a war against Pittsburgh. You knew the same thing that is going to be a huge game against New England. There is no doubt.

On if he still feels that it is him against Bill Belichick when the Jets play the Patriots:

I don't feel that way as much. This one's about how much our team has improved. We're going to judge the winner of this game. If we don't win this game, we're in trouble for the division and we understand that so this one is a big game. We don't deny it. Is it me and all that? As a competitor, you want it that way, but I think this is the whole group of us. This is our football team against theirs. We said after we played them in the playoffs it had nothing to do with me, it was really about our players and our coaches.

Visit Gang Green Nation for complete Jets coverage throughout the season and our team page for schedules, statistics, news and more.