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New York Jets can look to 2009 team for motivation

Darlington: Jets dial it down

Jeff Darlington says Mark Sanchez and the Jets finally quelled the drama surrounding Gang Green with Sunday's win. **More ...**

The New York Jets now are 4-6 after beating the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. This is the same record they had through 10 games in 2009.

In that season -- Rex Ryan's maiden voyage as head coach -- the Jets scrambled to a 9-7 finish, then made an underdog run to the AFC Championship Game. The Jets can use that team as a motivator today, but Ryan should know better than anyone that the '09 run was a confluence of luck and circumstance.

The Jets can't expect those breaks this time around. That said, it stands as proof that stranger things have happened.

"Look, I think what we did in '09 was try to get better each day, whether it was on the practice field or whatever, and that was in all phases," Ryan said Monday, via The Star-Ledger. "I thought we got better as the season went on, and I think that's clearly what we have to do now.

"If the players can draw from it, that's great. But again, we have a ton of work in front of us in a short amount of time preparing for, clearly, the best offensive team in the NFL."

That team Ryan refers to is the New England Patriots, fresh off a 59-point explosion against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The Patriots are imposing, but the Jets were perhaps one Stephen Hill drop away from beating them in Foxborough last month.

Ryan said Monday the Jets are trying to "to punch our way out." Finishing the job against the Patriots will go a long way toward that goal.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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