"For some reason that game even brings on more meaning," Ryan said. "I want to beat them. You want to beat everybody, but absolutely we were 0-2 against Miami last year. They took two from us."
The Jets made it to the playoffs despite failing to beat the Dolphins, who didn't reach the postseason a year after winning the AFC East title. The Dolphins won 31-27 at home in Week 5, a Monday night game that featured five lead changes in the fourth quarter, and 30-25 at the Meadowlands in Week 8 behind a pair of Ted Ginn kickoff returns for touchdowns and a Jason Taylor defensive touchdown.
The victories have given Dolfans something to jab the Jets faithful about for eight months.
Dolfans made sure to taunt Ryan directly when he attended a mixed martial arts event in South Florida a week before the Super Bowl, eliciting a one-finger salute from Ryan that ended up in the papers.
And maybe there's another reason Ryan is extra motivated to beat the Dolphins.
Ryan is a twin. He knows what a sibling rivalry is all about, having competed with Rob Ryan, the Cleveland Browns' defensive coordinator, virtually from the nursery.
When he looks at the Dolphins, he sees a mirror image of the Jets.
"They're well-coached," Rex Ryan said of the Dolphins, who interviewed him for their head-coaching vacancy in 2008. "I like the way they play. They've got two big backs that run at you downhill.
"We're similar teams. We're built on defense and being able to run the football, and we've both got young quarterbacks. It's definitely a challenge when you're up against them."
The Jets will play the Dolphins in Week 3 at Sun Life Stadium and Week 14 at the new Meadowlands stadium.