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Rex mum about Pats, but Braylon sounds off

Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards makes a catch

Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards makes a catch while being defended by Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett during the second quarter, Saturday. (Jan. 8, 2011) Credit: AP

Rex Ryan wasn't quite ready to go there just yet.

"Nah, right now, I'm just going to focus on the Colts," a glowing Ryan said late Saturday night in the aftermath of the Jets' 17-16 wild-card victory at Indianapolis, surprisingly refusing to talk about his sixth-seeded team's date with the top-seeded Patriots at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. "I think we've earned about 12 hours of enjoying this victory."

Braylon Edwards couldn't wait, though.

The wide receiver got pretty chatty as the Jets' locker room emptied out. He didn't hold back when asked about the Patriots, who clobbered the Jets, 45-3, on Dec. 6 in what was supposed to be a showdown for AFC East supremacy between two 9-2 teams but turned into a shakedown.

"I give them all the credit in the world," said Edwards, who had two receptions for 27 yards on the Jets' final drive against the Colts, including an 18-yarder to the 14 to set up Nick Folk's 32-yard field goal as time expired. "They played well. But with that said, we allowed them to do it.

"We played their game. They got up on us and went to cover-2 zone. Who the hell has three quarters worth of cover-2 play? So if we take advantage of them early on and their man-to-man coverage or their cover-3, now they're forced to play our game. Now, we fight."

The Jets basically begged for another crack at New England after that thrashing, hoping they'd see Tom Brady and their archrivals in the postseason. So they're about to get that shot they've longed for during these last five weeks.

"We knew we'd get back at them. We just knew," Edwards said. "In the back of our minds, we always felt as though we would get back to them and it would be about us."

Days after the stinging defeat, Edwards said he thought the Patriots ran up the score on purpose. So is it time to avenge what he thought was a dastardly deed?

"It's not even about revenge," Edwards said. "That's regular season. Who cares? Yeah, we got embarrassed, but that's the regular season. This is the playoffs. We're fighting for something so much different than 'Oh, we got embarrassed the first game and the bounce-back.'

"If we beat them by one point, it's a win. They can have the 42-point win. We just want a one-point win."

Santonio Holmes knows it's going to have to be a collective effort to win in Foxborough.

"We've got to get in the lab," he said, "and what I mean by getting in the lab is coaches have to take their time to just put us in great situations to win a ballgame. We've got our safety back in Smitty [Eric Smith], and I think it's going to make a hell of a difference on defense."

So would dialing up some of the coverages they utilized against Peyton Manning. The Jets mixed things up, refusing to go with their exotic blitzes and electing to play a lot of straight-up man coverage, although they also threw in some loaded zone looks.

They didn't bring that much pressure and still found a way to get it done defensively, which could serve as a big lift for the Jets with Brady waiting to carve them up.

"Tremendous confidence boost," defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said, "and I think it kind of opens up our inventory now as far as preparation. Are we going to be more four-down [linemen], more three-down because we are going against a similar-style quarterback? We have some decisions to make plan-wise how we approach it, and I think it'll have an effect on how they prepare as well."

Let the chess game - and preparation - begin.

"Our whole thing is we want to build on what we did, and we are going to go against another future Hall of Fame quarterback, a guy that's been in this position time in and time out in his career," Antonio Cromartie said. "So our thing is to make sure we go out and do the things that we need to do throughout the week and make sure we execute them on Sunday."

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