- Associated Press - Thursday, December 9, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Mike Pettine heard all the words used to describe the New York Jets‘ defense performance at New England.

Embarrassing. Humiliating. Inexplicable.

The first-year defensive coordinator agrees with them all.

“We’re very eager to make amends,” Pettine said Thursday.

Tom Brady and the Patriots rolled up more than 400 yards against the Jets and scored at will in a 45-3 rout Monday night vs. a unit coach Rex Ryan still believes can be the best in the league.

“I’m not used to it, so I don’t really know how to act,” Ryan said. “The only thing I know we’re going to do is roll our sleeves up, go and come out fighting.”

That all starts Sunday when the Jets (9-3) take on the Miami Dolphins (6-6) at the Meadowlands, a game in which New York could clinch a playoff spot with a win and combinations of losses or ties by other AFC teams.

“After a game like that, you can’t wait to get back out there,” defensive end Mike DeVito said. “A win in the next game, and everybody will forget about the week before.”

Maybe not entirely. After all, this was supposed to be a defense that was even better than last year, when the Jets were ranked No. 1 overall but had lapses at the end of a few games. Instead, New York has been solid at times and suspect at others.

“We’re never going to be satisfied with where we’re at, especially with Rex holding that high standard for us,” DeVito said. “I don’t even know if that point is attainable for us. I mean, we were No. 1 in the league last year and we felt like we had a lot further to go.”

One thing’s for sure: This defense still has a ways to go. Sure, the Jets are ranked eighth overall, but they know better.

“The best thing for us is it was a short week,” Pettine said. “When you have as many things go wrong and play as poorly as we did _ we played poorly and coached poorly _ it’s the one good thing about the NFL. Unless it’s the last game of the year, there is next week.”

Pettine acknowledged that the loss of safety Jim Leonhard, who called the signals in the secondary, for the year to a broken shin affected the defense. But it wasn’t the only reason for the meltdown at Foxborough, Mass.

“We got overwhelmed,” Pettine said. “That’s a disappointing thing. All of us picked a bad time to put our worst effort forth, especially on that stage.”

The Jets failed to get much pressure on Brady, despite having two of the NFL’s active career sacks leaders in Jason Taylor and Trevor Pryce. Ryan wants Taylor, who said he was on the field for about 15 plays, more involved in the defense.

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