Licking their wounds
By Justin Paley
Jets Staff Writer
December 13th, 2004
The Jets were back at Hofstra today reflecting on their close but no cigar game against the Steelers yesterday and now move to regroup for their game against Seattle on Sunday.

The Jets were back at Hofstra today reflecting on their close but no cigar game against the Steelers yesterday and now move to regroup for their game against Seattle on Sunday.

When the Jets faced Pittsburgh on Sunday they had a chance to prove they belonged in the same class as Pittsburgh.

The Jets hung tough with Pittsburgh and were tied at three through three quarters. But the Jets allowed 14 fourth quarter points and Pittsburgh to improve to 12-1 with a 17-6 victory.

QB Chad Pennington did not have a good performance, finishing 17-of-31 for 189 yards, and threw three interceptions.

“I need to play better,” Pennington said. “What I can do is control that.”

Pennington talked about the missed opportunities against Pittsburgh. “When you have opportunities, you have to capitalize on them,” Pennington said.

“We’ve had three opportunities to play teams that are very good,” Jets head coach Herman Edwards said. “Two of them are the elite teams in the league. We played very well up to fourth quarter. Haven’t made plays necessary to win the games. If you’re going to beat those type of teams and want to become one of those type of teams, you have to do that. We haven’t gotten that done.”

Pennington is his own harshest critic.

“My expectations are high and my goal is to win a championship and be the best QB I can be,” Pennington said. “That’s why I’m so critical because I expect myself to play well.”

RB Lamont Jordan expressed his frustration over how the offense has played.

“Offensively, we have not gotten the job done at all,” Jordan said. “Right now, offensively, we’re struggling. Against good teams, we don’t do anything. That’s just the bottom line. People around here may not like me saying it, but that’s just the truth. I’m a guy who speaks the truth.”

Pennington agrees that the offense has to play much better.

“As an offense, we have to be more consistent,” Pennington said. “We need to find that rhythm and tempo.”

The Jets have averaged 20 points per game and Pennington knows that is not enough.

“We know we’re not scoring enough points. As an offense, step up to plate and make things happen.”

Jordan talked about how important it is for the Jets to win their three remaining games.

“Every game is a must-win from here on out,” Jordan said. “For us to start out 5-0 and if we don’t make the playoffs, that’s just embarrassing. That’s the bottom line. That would just be embarrassing. If we don’t’ make the playoffs, in my opinion, we will be the most underachieving team in the NFL. That’s truly how I feel because we have too many good players, we have come too far and we have worked entirely too hard not to get to the playoffs.”

While the Jets won’t win the AFC East as the Patriots clinched yesterday, they still have a one-game lead in the wildcard race. Pennington recognizes the importance of the three games left.

“We are ahead so we control our own destiny,” Pennington said. “Our playoffs start now.”

“We need to win some games down the stretch,” Edwards said. “If you don’t do that, then you’re just a good team and not one of those elite teams that make the playoffs.”

Edwards talked about the Jets goals.

“We want to get in playoffs and win championships,” Edwards said. “That’s only way you can win a championship, have to win games in the playoffs. Bars been raised. When I first took this job, we talked about that. That won’t ever change.”

MISCELANEOUS TIDBITS: The Jets signed G Jason Nerys to the practice squad and released C Drew Caylor from the practice squad. Nerys was with the Jets in training camp this past summer and was released on September 4 after the final cuts. Caylor signed to the Jets practice squad on October 14.

-The Jets can clinch a playoff berth this week with a win, a Denver loss, a Buffalo loss or tie, and a Jacksonville loss or tie.

-Defensive Coordinator Donnie Henderson talked about the job Bryan Thomas and Trevor Johnson did in place of injured DE John Abraham. “I thought they did decent,” Henderson said. “Bryan played really well. They held their own.”

-The Jets had 12 penalties for 84 yards in the first half but no penalties in the second half. When asked about it today, all Edwards said was: “We committed them so they called them,” Edwards said. “That’s all I say. We did a better job in second half, didn’t have a foul.”

INJURY REPORT: DE John Abraham will miss his second straight game with a knee injury. LB Victor Hobson is questionable with a high ankle sprain. If he cannot play, LB Mark Brown will make his fourth straight start in place of Hobson. Edwards said WR Santana Moss has a bruised elbow and should be fine. DE Shaun Ellis, who left the game limping in the fourth quarter is fine.

The 9-4 Jets return home for their Week 15 match up versus the 7-6 Seattle Seahawks next Sunday. The team has off tomorrow and returns to practice on Wednesday. Check back often to Jets for all the latest team news and reports.