Brett Favre isn’t reading his press clippings, but he’s not stupid either. After a five-game win streak, the Jets have dropped two in a row and their signal caller knows that things need to change in order to avoid a late-season collapse.
“I don’t know what people are saying,” Favre said at his press conference Wednesday. “Honestly, I don’t know what people are saying, reading, writing, what’s on TV. But it’s pretty simple, it really is.”
Simple? Just poll the locker room and you will find it’s the little things that people are talking about. Little things like converting on third down to keep drives alive—the Jets were 1-for-10 against San Francisco on third downs, penalties—the 49ers had four first downs thanks to Gang Green miscues, and keeping the offense on the field—San Francisco had the ball for nearly 20 minutes more than the Jets last Sunday.
“We just have to get back to doin’ things that we’ve been doin’ well,” Damien Woody said. “The little things, and if we do that our chances of success will go up.”
Kris Jenkins believes his team will be okay, and he knows that it’s an in-house issue that needs to be taken care of.
“It’s a combination of both,” Jenkins said when asked if it’s something he sees throughout the week or if it just shows its face on gamedays. “Sometimes you see the flow of the week during practices but at the same time it doesn’t matter what goes on during the week. It ultimately comes down to ‘get it finished.’”
And that is exactly what the Jets must do with three games remaining—two of which are division opponents at home. This week it’s 6-7 Buffalo, a familiar foe and one that New York already beat, but that couldn’t be anymore meaningless. It’s the NFL, after all.
“The last time we went to Buffalo seven weeks ago it was talked about as a must-win game,” coach Mangini said. “So here we are again. And there’s really a way to approach each game, regardless of significance, time frame, any of that stuff.
“If we do the little things really well and focus on technique and all the things that we have done to put ourselves in position to win a game, we’ll do that again.”
Another win against the Bills would be big for New York, but it would not solidify anything except the Jets being 9-5. Somehow, even after dropping two straight, this team is leading the AFC East due to a tie-breaker with Miami and New England. Jenkins sees this as a function of their good fortune but also as a result of the position they have put themselves in up to this point.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to get enough wins but at the same time it has been earned,” Jenkins said. “I don’t think it’s a panic in the locker room. I don’t think it’s something where everyone is supposed to be running around here, scared that the season is gonna fall apart.”
Brett Favre echoed that statement, and he’s confident in his team’s ability and that they need to simply stay the course.
“To me, the worst thing that can happen for me, for this team, is to all of a sudden hit the panic button, want to change, believe in what maybe people are saying about us, which I’m sure is not good.
“I think we’re a pretty good football team. I think we’ve proven that this year, so I don’t think we need to change anything. Everyone practices, everyone participates, everyone studies, so why change? We’ve just gotta find a way to get it done.”
It shouldn’t be too hard to get it done against Buffalo, a team that has scored a measly six total points between their last two games—a 10-3 loss to San Francisco and a 16-3 loss to the Dolphins. After a 5-1 start, the Bills have yet to beat a team in the division this season. They’ve dropped six out of the last seven and are going to need nothing short of a prayer to make the playoffs.
According to Bills’ quarterback JP Losman, who likely will get the start at Giants Stadium this week, the team’s attitude has been upbeat despite the recent skid.
“Guys were excited today, guys were runnin’ around, flyin’ around. We had a great practice, but then again we had a great practice last week as well,” Losman said. “We’re just gonna try to carry this enthusiasm into the game and see where it takes us.”
With one start under his belt this season, Losman could very well be licking his chops at the thought of going up against the Jets secondary, ranked 31st in the league in pass defense, but he put that to rest.
“Stats are stats, and I’ve never really been into that type of thing,” Losman said. “In this league you’ve gotta be prepared for every week. Every week, every team is very good.”
Bills head coach Dick Jauron was quick to point out how well the Jets defensive backs played against his team in Week 9.
“Certainly they gave us problems,” Jauron said. “Their corners did an excellent job and now they’ve added a very experienced corner [Ty Law] since we last played them. In the safety position they were very active. As it always does, it’ll come down to execution on game day.”
Favre Will Put it All On the Line
After making a “control our own destiny” statement, the seasoned quarterback was asked if this is “‘Favre-time,’ with three games to go and crunch time.”
“What is Favre-time?” Brett responded. “Magic or whatever? We’ll see. My intentions are to go out and win every game. My intentions are to go out and make every play a great play.
“One thing you can bet on is I’ll do whatever I can to help this team win. Whatever that may be; leadership, throwing, handing off, blocking, whatever. That’s one thing that’s a given I can promise you today.”
Losman Not Cheering for Pats
During his conference call with the New York media, JP Losman was asked who he thinks is better between the Dolphins, Patriots, and Jets, an answer he said he couldn’t give.
“No matter what I say, I’m gonna eat my words on that one,” Losman said with a laugh. “All three are very, very good teams and I wish them all luck.
When asked if he’s rooting for the Dolphins, Losman said it’s good to see a new team win.
“The Patriots have had their share of winning over the last few years, they’ve done extremely well, a very, very good team but I hope it’s a new team this year.”
Jauron Nothing but Broad
During his conference call Wednesday, Bills head coach Dick Jauron offered mostly broad statements when questioned by the Jets media.
He had nothing but praise for both Brett Favre and Chad Pennington who he said are “doing a tremendous job with their new teams.”
When asked about respecting the field getting stretched due to Favre’s stronger arm, Jauron wouldn’t make a comparison.
“Every quarterback you play in this league throws it good enough to get it down the field,” he said. “You can’t generally squat on anything in our business ‘cause a guy wouldn’t be in the league if he couldn’t get it over your head.”