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Rob Ninkovich on M&M: Jets ‘always talking a little bit too much before the game’

09.16.13 at 12:33 pm ET

Defensive end Rob Ninkovich appeared on Mut & Merloni on Monday to discuss the Patriots’€™ dominant defensive performance in their 13-10 win over the Jets on Thursday.

Ninkovich contributed to New England’€™s win at Gillette Stadium by recording six tackles, including two tackles for a loss and one quarterback hit.

‘€œIt’€™s one of those things where, you’€™re playing the Jets, you’€™ve been rivals for years and years and years and since I got here it’€™s always been a tough game,’€ said Ninkovich. ‘€œWe know them, they know us, so it’€™s just a great game to watch and a game to play in.’€

Ninkovich earned the nickname the ‘€œJets Killer’€ — a nickname bestowed upon him by Bill Belichick — because of his work against New York in the past few years.

Last year, he secured a 29-26 Patriots home victory on Oct. 21 by sacking Mark Sanchez, forcing a fumble and then recovering it in overtime.

On Oct. 9, 2011, Ninkovich recorded six tackles and half a sack in New England’€™s 30-21 win over New York. Then, he picked off Sanchez twice, returning one of his interceptions for a touchdown, in a 37-16 road triumph over Gang Green on Nov. 13.

‘€œI feel like anytime we play the Jets, I just really like getting after them,’€ said Ninkovich. ‘€œIt’€™s always a fun game. They’€™re always talking a little bit too much before the game anyway.’€

On Thursday, the defense carried the team, as that unit snagged three interceptions, recovered one fumble and added four sacks. Two of those sacks came from second-year defensive end Chandler Jones, upon whom Ninkovich heaped praise for his flexibility.

‘€œChandler, obviously when he’€™s inside, those guards just start sweating, because it’€™s not easy for a tackle to block Chandler, then you put him on a guard who’€™s not used to somebody who can move and has those ‘Go-Go-Gadget’ arms from about five feet away,’€ said Ninkovich. ‘€œObviously you have to have change up in this league so people don’€™t see you’€™re running the same thing over and over again.’€

The Patriots practiced with their Week 3 opponent, Tampa Bay, before meeting the Bucaneers in a preseason game. Ninkovich said those experiences should help New England in preparation for Sunday’€™s game.

‘€œI would say a little bit, yeah, you practice against the guys and you know the personnel a little bit more if you’€™d never practiced against them or played them in the preseason,’€ said Ninkovich. ‘€œWe don’€™t see the Bucs often, so it helps to know their personnel.’€

To hear the  interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

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