Rex Ryan: Tom Brady is more than just a machine

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots drops Tom Brady of the New England Patriots drops back to pass against the Buffalo Bills. (Nov. 11, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Is it possible that Tom Brady is getting better?

Rex Ryan could only mutter a "phew!" when asked Tuesday about the Patriots' quarterback, whom the Jets will face Thursday night at MetLife Stadium.

In the last four games, Brady, 35, has thrown 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. For the season, his totals are 21 TDs and three INTs.

"When you look at him, you could almost say he's like a machine back there," Ryan said. "The thing about him -- he's a machine, yet he's passionate and a fiery leader and all that type of stuff. You wish he was just a machine, but his competitive side elevates his team, as well. That's because you're getting those once-in-a-generation type quarterbacks. He's just a special guy."

The Patriots hung 59 points on the Colts on Sunday. They will be without tight end Rob Gronkowski (broken forearm) for four to six weeks, but are hoping to get Aaron Hernandez (ankle) back.

New England leads the NFL in points per game with 35.8.

"When you look at them offensively -- doesn't get sacked, they don't turn the ball over, they lead the league in points, rushing's in the top five [fifth]," Ryan said.

Of the Patriots' running game, defensive end Mike DeVito said: "That's definitely something that they've been doing better this year. We've seen it from the beginning. They're more two-dimensional now with their running attack."

The Jets lost their first meeting with New England this season, 29-26 in overtime on Oct. 21. Brady was 26-for-42 for 259 yards with two TDs and no INTs.

"We made it kind of easy on him at the end of the game, I think," safety Yeremiah Bell said. "We blew some assignments, kind of gave up some big plays there. Going back and looking at it now, we've just got to make sure we all do our jobs and that we're in the right place where we're supposed to be."

The victory against the Jets started a four-game winning streak for the Patriots (7-3), who began the season 1-2. Boston-accented consternation was heard all over New England, but the Patriots have turned it around and hold a three-game lead over the three other AFC East teams.

"We're just executing," Brady said. "Offensive football is about 11 guys being on the same page, so we're trying to get everyone on the same page. This is an important week for that."

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