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Jets taking low-key approach to division showdown

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) _ Jets guard Pete Kendall has a unique appreciation for the record streak the New England Patriots are on.

In his last three seasons with Arizona, Kendall and the Cardinals won 16 games combined. The Patriots have won 20 straight heading into their game Sunday against New York.

I don't think there are enough superlatives for me to describe a 20-game winning streak,'' said Kendall, a Massachusetts native who will be facing the Patriots on Sunday for the first time in his NFL career.It's incredible. For me, my best record in a season is 9-7. It's a remarkable run they're on.''

That was about the most scandalous thing the unbeaten Jets said Wednesday when asked about their biggest test this season. Everyone is taking the company line, refusing to acknowledge the magnitude of the game. When coach Herman Edwards addressed his players, he told them to ignore all the hype and concentrate on making it to 6-0.

Of course everyone wants to say it's the Patriots and they have this and they have that,'' receiver Santana Moss said.Herm let us know don't worry about that. We can't control what they're doing. As long as we go out there and take the game like any other game, that's what we have to go into the game thinking.''

Those distractions might be hard to ignore. This is the first time a pair of unbeaten teams with at least five wins have faced off since 1973, when Minnesota and the Los Angeles Rams were both 6-0 going into a game on Oct. 28, 1973.

The matchup is the biggest this weekend, but the Jets don't want to give the Patriots any fodder for their bulletin boards. Seahawks wide receiver Darrell Jackson did that last week before traveling to New England, saying:

We'd like to be 4-1 and end that streak that those guys have been hoopin-hollerin' about,'' Jackson said.I know we can beat them. They're beatable and that's enough for me ... I don't really think they're that good.''

The Patriots took umbrage with the comments, then promptly beat Seattle 30-20.

Though the Jets are not talking trash, they realize how important it would be to end the streak, not just to grab the early division lead but for their confidence.

It gives you another level of confidence,'' running back Curtis Martin said.It makes you understand what you're capable of, and going up against New England is playing the best.''

The Jets have won five of the last six games in Foxboro, Mass., and were the last team to beat New England at home, 30-17 on Dec. 22, 2002. At the time, the Jets were on a roll and the victory helped propel them into the playoffs, while the Patriots missed the chance to defend their Super Bowl title.

That was a nasty game, too,'' Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said.We got our butt kicked. I tried to forget that. They beat us pretty good.''

New York is looking forward to the challenge of playing the best team in the NFL. But the Jets are not making too much of what will happen if they win.

Chad Pennington called the matchup just another game. Edwards has repeated that mantra all week.

It's the sixth game of the regular season,'' Pennington said.If it's the 15th game of the regular season and we have to win to get in the playoffs then I'll tell you something different, but right now it's the sixth game.''

Between 5-0 teams.

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