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Rex Ryan's resilient Jets beat Saints behind D, Ivory

Say hello to the Jekyll-and-Hyde Jets.

Two weeks after knocking off the New England Patriots, and one week after they were embarrassed by the Cincinnati Bengals, New York returned to form on Sunday to stun the New Orleans Saints.

It wasn't perfect, but New York's 26-20 win was as gritty a performance as we've seen from Rex Ryan's squad all year.

Gang Green's defense might lack a pure edge rusher, but the combination of Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Quinton Coples caused endless headaches for Drew Brees.

Uncharacteristically flustered out of the gate, the Saints quarterback was forced to burn all three of his timeouts before the end of the first quarter in an attempt to solve a New York defense that piled up two sacks, two interceptions and six hits on the quarterback.

When this D is rolling, the Jets can hang with anyone. We learned that Sunday, and here's what else we learned:

1. Hero of the game? How about Chris Ivory's house-on-fire act against his former employer. Ivory rumbled for 139 yards and was the most physical back on the field. He ran for 7.7 yards a clip and took off on a 52-yard dart that changed the tone of the game before the half.

2. The Saints could have used Ivory's talents in the fourth quarter when New Orleans -- trailing 26-17 -- dialed up a gadget run for reserve tight end Josh Hill on fourth-and-1 from New York's 36. No dice. Coples was all over it, blowing up Hill for an 8-yard loss.

3. Darren Sproles exiting early with a head injury stripped Brees of his most dynamic back in an offense that was also missing receiver Marques Colston. Jimmy Graham picked up the slack, making mincemeat of safety Jaiquawn Jarrett on a first-half 51-yard touchdown and finishing with 116 yards and a pair of scores. The Jets used multiple combinations of defensive backs in an attempt to slow down Graham, but nothing worked.

On NFL Network
NFL Replay
will re-air the New York Jets' 26-20 win over the New Orleans Saints from Week 9 on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. ET.

» NFL Network schedule

4. New York's front office has taken plenty of heat, but the Josh Cribbs pickup has been a nice surprise. He can run a mean Wildcat and even connected on a pass to Zach Sudfeld, the first-ever winner of the annual Zach Sudfeld August All-Star Award. Sudsy was a summertime hype job, but he caught a pair of key targets Sunday in a passing game otherwise devoid of playmakers.

5. The season could have gone wrong for Rex Ryan today, but instead, his Jets are the surprise of the season. They're in the conversation for a postseason berth and can point to this performance as their most legitimate win of the year. Meanwhile, New Orleans (6-2) has just one more win than the 5-3 Carolina Panthers.

We preview every Week 9 game in the latest "Around The League Podcast".

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