BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady has had his share of frustrating evenings against Rex Ryan and the New York Jets, even admitting to having some severe dislike for the franchise.

Back in 2010, Brady made headlines for saying “I hate the Jets.” But while the Patriots quarterback may not like them on or off the field, he certainly respects the team.

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The Patriots are 4-2 and atop the AFC East heading into Thursday night’s game, as they’ve figured out most of their issues over the last couple of weeks to propel them to wins over the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills. The Jets on the other hand are in a bit of a tailspin, losers of five straight, with a head coach and quarterback both on the proverbial hot seat.

But even though Ryan is coaching for a job, Tom Brady still knows he’s in for a difficult night on Thursday going up against Ryan’s system.

“He tests every part of you game. I do have a lot of respect for that from a coaching standpoint, that he challenges you and when he feels like he has you on something he sticks with it,” Brady said Wednesday. “We’ve had our share of good games and he’s had his share of good games. It makes for a great matchup. They’re a great rivalry and we’ve had a lot of meaningful games against them. Ever since I got here it’s always a lot of fun playing the Jets, so this week will be no different.”

Brady On Rex Ryan, Jets Defense: 

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Brady is 18-5 in his career against the Jets in the regular season, throwing 32 touchdowns to 11 interceptions in those games. He is 7-3 against the Ryan-led Jets in the regular season, and knows that in order to improve on that record, the Patriots will have to keep making the strides they’ve made over the last two weeks.

“We have to keep making improvements. This defense tests a lot of things and really puts a lot of pressure on you up front and in coverages. They do it all,” Brady said of a New York D that is in the middle of the pack against the pass, but just one back of the league lead with 19 sacks. “There is a lot to prepare for, and to do it in three days is a lot. But they’re dealing with the same stuff. We’ve had a couple of good days, need a couple more good days, and then let it rip Thursday night.”

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The short week doesn’t bother Brady and his teammates too much, because there really isn’t anything they can do about it. They’ made the most of what little time they had to prepare on the field (Tuesday was the team’s only practice of the week), and have placed an emphasis on balancing the rest of the time for studying up on New York’s complex system, and resting their bodies.

“There is a ton of information, especially with this team. They have every blitz in the book, every coverage, scheme and front,” said Brady. “You just have to do your best to prepare for as much as you can. You have to balance your rest with your preparation, but it’s all football.”

Preparing for a Rex Ryan defense is hard enough, but the Patriots also have to factor in the loss of running back Stevan Ridley, who is reportedly done for the season after tearing his ACL and MCL Sunday in Buffalo. But Brady said the team hasn’t had much time to dwell on the loss of Ridley and defensive captain Jerod Mayo (also reportedly done for the season), with all of their attention focused on Thursday night.

“There hasn’t been much time to deal with all of that because it’s a short week. Yesterday just flew by because you’re trying to get so much done and catch up,” he said. “It’s unfortunate to see them go down because they mean so much to what we do. But it’s our job to carry on, and we’ve done that in the past and we’ll do it again.

“We have to keep fighting on,” said Brady.

Brady is a perfect 6-0 on Thursday Night Football, with two of those wins coming against the Jets.

“I hope we get to 7-0 by Friday morning,” he said with a smile.

Catch Patriots-Jets on Thursday Night Football on WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins on 98.5FM at 5:30pm with three full hours of postgame coverage following the game. WBZ-TV begins coverage on Wednesday night with Patriots All Access at 7pm,  a special Patriots GameDay on Thursday at 7pm, and Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38 following the game.

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