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Jets’ defensive line looking to up sack numbers in battle vs. Giants

Sharing a city and a stadium naturally cultivates a unique relationship.

The Jets-Giants rivalry is not like Jets-Patriots or Giants-Cowboys, the New York teams facing off sparingly and with stakes that might seem larger to fans than players.

Jets defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers is thinking bigger than the odd, perhaps fraternal dynamics.

“Big brother, little brother, whatever that is,” Franklin-Myers said after practice Wednesday. “At the end of the day, I just want to be the winner. I don’t give a f–k about no big brother, little brother, small, medium, large. I don’t care about none of that s–t. I want to win.”

Who are the big brothers?

“We’ll see Sunday,” said Franklin-Myers, whose position group could establish the kind of dominance that big brothers are known for.

When the Jets and Giants battle at Metlife Stadium on Sunday, it will pit one of the league’s best defensive lines against an offensive line that has been among the league’s worst.

If the Jets want to assert themselves, the simplest route might be repeatedly smacking Daniel Jones or Tyrod Taylor into the turf.

The Jets’ defense was built to reach quarterbacks — but has not actually capitalized enough on the hassling thus far.

No defense has more frequently hurried an opposing quarterback than the Jets (14.2 percent of drop backs), and the group has been the third-best in pressures (28.5 percent).

And yet, the Jets have sacked the opposing quarterback just 13 times, tied for fifth-lowest in the NFL.

“I just got to get the dude down,” said Franklin-Myers, who is tied for fifth in the NFL with seven knockdowns of the quarterback and has logged 16 pressures, but has only been credited for one sack. “I’ve had too many incidents where I just couldn’t get them down or didn’t get them down. Which is unacceptable.

“We all are of the same mindset. We understand that we got to get him down. Pressures are good, you want to get the quarterbacks off the spot, but kind of this day and age … quarterbacks would rather run and escape the pocket. Pressure isn’t what it used to be.”

The quarterbacks the Jets have seen — including Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson and most recently Jalen Hurts — have proven elusive, and both Jones and Taylor also are mobile enough to duck pressure and escape.

But both have had to escape plenty already.

The Giants have allowed the second-most sacks in football (37) with an offensive line that has threatened to derail their season.

The unit may be improving — left tackle Andrew Thomas and center John Michael Schmitz were limited participants in practice Wednesday and at least have a shot to see action Sunday — but even at fuller strength, the Jets’ defensive line would prove a stiff challenge for the Giants.

If the Jets’ defensive linemen are looking at a makeshift opposing unit and envisioning a loud breakthrough, they are not saying so publicly.

“Everybody gets paid to be here,” said defensive end Bryce Huff, who name-dropped Thomas and Evan Neal as first-round talents on the Giants’ line. “I’m going to treat this the same way I treat every week.”

Just about every week, the Jets do not need to use extra defenders to nag the quarterback.

They have blitzed 18.3 percent of the time, which is the second-lowest in the game.

Rather than rushing linebackers or defensive backs, the Jets rely upon a deep defensive line that continually rotates players in and out, hoping their fresh legs will beat tired offensive lines.

Eight different Jets have recorded at least half a sack this season.

The group statistically is led by Quinton Jefferson’s three, which belies just how often Jets defenders have been in the opposing backfield.

Maybe against a struggling offensive line, the group can fatten up — and look like big brothers.

“We want pressure on the quarterback. We want hits. We want them to feel us,” Franklin-Myers said. “But it has to be on a sack.”