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Ryan: Jets 'responded the way I thought we would'

NEW YORK -- Mark Sanchez and Mark Brunell took playful jabs at each other. There was laughter in a few areas of the New York Jets' locker room at MetLife Stadium. Lots of relieved smiles, too.

The bickering, frustration and increasing threat of the season slipping away were pushed aside by the Jets with a 24-6 victory over the winless Miami Dolphins on Monday night.

"The season's far from over," coach Rex Ryan said Tuesday. "We really responded the way I thought we would."

Was it pretty? Nope. Convincing? Hardly. But they rebounded from a tension-filled week by defeating a team it needed to beat. For a night, at least, everything was back to being OK for Ryan's feuding Jets.

"This was key for us," said Darrelle Revis, whose 100-yard interception return in the first quarter set the tone for the Jets. "Losing, especially in this business, it's tough."

The Jets (3-3) ended a three-game skid against a much-lesser opponent and were able to put the ugliness of the previous week behind them. But Ryan and his players know one thing: They've got plenty of work to do before anyone can truly say they've turned the season around.

"This is a resilient team," Ryan said. "Obviously, our expectations are set extremely high and we've been disappointed by the three-game losing streak, but the season's far from over."

Darlington: Win doesn't prove much reporter Jeff Darlington warns New York fans not to read too much into the Jets' win Monday night over the hapless Dolphins. **More ...**

No doubt, but things were starting to turn ugly for the Jets last week, when they traded wide receiver Derrick Mason to Houston for what the team said was a lack of production. And then came wide receiver Santonio Holmes calling out the offensive line for the second time this season for failing to give Sanchez enough time to throw the ball deep. A few days later, an agitated Brandon Moore said the comments could have "a fracturing effect" and were not befitting of a team captain, which Holmes is.

Ryan spoke to both players a few days before the game, and then made Holmes and Moore captains for the coin toss. Ryan called the move "just a coincidence" -- but was kidding, of course -- and both called each other "a good teammate" after the game without saying much about what happened. It was clear, though, that there's still some tension, even if the Jets believe they're one big happy family.

"We have a lot more pride in this team," Sanchez said after the game. "We love this team, we love playing a lot more than that stuff, so we're not worried about it."

Notes: Ryan expects CB Antonio Cromartie (groin), C Nick Mangold (right ankle) and DB Donald Strickland (concussion) to play against the Chargers. ... DT Kenrick Ellis, the team's third-round pick, had three tackles in his NFL debut. ... LB Aaron Maybin, who forced two fumbles against Miami, is tied with Detroit's Kyle Vanden Bosch for the NFL lead with three.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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