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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
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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.

Rob Ninkovich

Rob Ninkovich

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

“It’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. “We 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 “Jets 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.

“I feel like anytime we play the Jets, I just really like getting after them,” said Ninkovich. “It’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.

“Chandler, 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. “Obviously 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.

“I 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. “We 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 weei.com/patriots.

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