Florham Park, N.J.– You know that old saying, pressure either busts pipes or makes diamonds?
Well boys and girls, we are about to see if the Jets pipes will burst or if they can respond and turn this apparent disaster into a diamond Super Bowl ring.
With four games left in the season and sitting at 9-3 after a embarrassing 45-3 loss to the Patriots, the fate of this Jets season depends on how the Jets respond to the pressure being applied to them.
This isn’t the first time this Jets team has had to respond to pressure, and each time before they have responded beyond most peoples expectations, but after having struggled to beat mediocre teams such as Cleveland, Houston and Detroit and getting their clocks cleaned in every aspect of the game on Monday night it’s clear that this Jets team has it’s flaws and everyone knows it.
So now the question becomes, will the Jets be able to put this loss behind them and move forward toward their training camp goal?
If you listen to fans and some of the media, somehow the Jets season ended with the way the Jets got manhandled in New England. The Jets players aren’t buying it and they shouldn’t, because they can’t possibly hope to achieve what they don’t believe.
As down as some fans are about this game and the overall status of this Jets team, the players don’t feel sorry for themselves at all, in fact it’s just the opposite. They know how embarrassing that loss was, but they also know they are still 9-3 and tied for the second best record in the NFL.
Santonio Holmes said, “There’s no doubts in the back of our minds or anything, we’re 9-3 right now, half of the teams in the NFL can’t even begin to count to nine victories on their schedule. Can’t worry about that, just keep moving forward.”
“(We’re) 9-3 at this point in time, I haven’t seen it (this success). I haven’t seen it since I’ve been with the Jets. My friends can quit texting me, trying to lift me up. We’re 9-3, quit texting me (joking). I don’t need anything motivational right now. We’re 9-3.” Jerricho Cotchery said, “We’re focused on the Dolphins right now. We moved on from that game. It happened. Keep it in the back of your mind, but it’s time to focus on the Dolphins. (There’s) no time to feel sorry for yourself.”
“Not at all. I think our team is preparing really well. I think last week was just a bump in the road.” Sanchez said, “We’ll respond really well and we’ll know a lot about our team after these next four weeks of playing because we’ll be able to bounce back. This team can handle anything, so we’re ready.”
Center Nick Mangold was asked how he felt the mood of the team was and said, “We’re fighting. I think that obviously Monday night was a tough hit that hurt us all, but the Sun came up Tuesday morning and the guys are cleaning it off their minds, moving on and getting ready and preparing the way that we know how for this Miami game.”
The fans can riot and the media can incite the riots, but it won’t bother the players because their focus is on football and continuing to get better. One area that obviously needs to improve is the play of Sanchez and Holmes is going to make sure Sanchez does everything in his power to improve for this week.
“Hell no, he (Sanchez) better be ready to practice this week. That’s my message to him, that he’s got to be ready to practice this week. I don’t care about last week, last week is over with.” Holmes said, “He played, we played, we lost, who cares? We better be ready to practice this week because the Dolphins are coming to town not the Patriots.”
Sanchez is the first one to agree with Holmes.
“These turnovers need to get cut down. There’s no two ways about it, just better decisions sometimes.” Sanchez said, “Accuracy in this league is really at a premium. Then, we have to convert on third-down. We’re killing ourselves on third-down at times. That’s me throwing the ball better, making the right decision and being more accurate. It’s a combination of things, but we need to play mistake-free, that’s for sure.”
His teammates have seen this story unfold before. Sanchez has showed he can bounce back strong after tough losses and they are counting on him to do it once again. It’s his leadership and work ethic, the mindset that he has and the effort he puts in to improve that have his teammates believing in him so much.
“He has a very good mindset. He works hard. The thing that hurts the most, as a player, (is) when you work hard and you go out there and you don’t see the results that you wanted to see. He’s one of those guys that, when he doesn’t see the results, just works even harder. That’s what you have to do. He’s one of those guys that does that and he’s focused right now.” Cotchery said, “We got beat 45-3. At the end of the day, we got beat 45-3. One guy doesn’t make up for 42 points.”
Of course not all the blame can be so easily pinned on Sanchez, there’s numerous kinks that need to be fixed. Not everything has an easy answer though, so the Jets are going to try shaking things up a bit, trying to jump start a change that way.
Today Rex Ryan informed the media that he felt it was time to switch some things up. There has been a bit of a debate over the past few weeks as to whether or not the Jets should elect to start with the ball if they win the coin-toss instead of deferring to the second-half like they normally do, as a way of trying to fix whatever is causing the Jets to start slow offensively.
Ryan is known for his stubborn ways, but today he finally conceded on this one issue at least.
“I’m not sure, but I give in. We are going to take the ball. If we win the toss, we will take the ball. That’s a definite.” Ryan said, “I’m tired of hearing about it. There is some truth to it on starting fast. Maybe I’m not sending the right message by not taking the ball. We’ll find out if that works and if it does and we get off to a fast start, we’ll do it the next week as well.”
If your wondering if Ryan has ever not deferred the answer is, “No, never.” Ryan said.
“It’s great.” Sanchez said, “It’s a changeup, but we’ll take it.”
“We need to get going as an offense early on in games. The defense, they’ve started fast for a while now. We’ve been inconsistent. I can’t remember the last time we started fast.” Cotchery said, “You have to start fast as an offense. Anytime we do that with the defense that we have, you’re putting a lot of pressure on the opposing team, so I agree with that whole-heartedly.”
The Jets are well prepared for the challenge at hand, they are attacking this from all the right angles, but the results will lie in the execution on Sunday’s and that’s the only way to measure how well the Jets responded to this loss.
Executing a big win over Miami on Sunday would be a perfect to start moving past this last hurdle that they tripped and fell flat on their faces over.
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