"Nobody studies like [Manning]. I know [Tom] Brady thinks he does and all that stuff," Ryan said. "I think there's probably a little more help from [Bill] Belichick with Brady than there is with Peyton Manning."
Ryan made the impromptu remark in answer to a question about how gifted Manning was in his ability to think on his feet and improvise.
"He's not just a coach on the field," Ryan said. "You give the coaching community too much credit. This guy is one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game, and he's one of the smartest guys. And it's not just a coach dialing up plays. He dials his own plays."
If the Jets are able to beat the Colts this weekend, they would head to New England and play their AFC East rivals for the right to go to the AFC Championship Game. The latest remark is likely to be fuel for a fire that is pretty well self-sustaining at this point.
Before the season formally started, Brady told Boston radio station WEEI that he hated the Jets. He said it after being asked about the HBO series "Hard Knocks," which featured the Jets this summer.
"Honestly, I haven't turned it on. I hate the Jets, so I refuse to support that show," Brady said.
The Jets and Patriots split this season in their two games. Each team won at home, but the Patriots handed the Jets their worst loss of the season, 45-3 on Dec. 6.
Jane McManus is a reporter and columnist for ESPNNewYork.com.