The Jets are about to embark on a key road trip and its importance is not lost on the team. The players I’ve spoken with are all very aware of what this week means and for what to prepare. A five-hour flight is no fun for any team. Players’ body clocks are shifted, energy is low, and the team’s timing is off.
All of these things affected the Jets on their last trip to Oakland. The result was a loss to one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Now, that one surprised the Jets, but this trip can’t.
After what happened Sunday against the Broncos, the Jets are in a tenuous position now. In that game their weakness against the spread offenses was exposed and every team in the NFL knows it … if it wasn’t apparent already. Even though the Jets have Pro Bowl talent at safety and corner, changes will have to be made on the defensive side to adjust for that hole in the defense.
Life is good in the NFL after wins and sometimes mistakes are less noticeable, but now that a method of breaking their stout "D" has been discovered, the Jets must find new ways to attack. The ball-control method seems to be the best. Continue to run the ball and get first downs with screens and low-risk passes. Keep the chains moving. Work the clock.
It’s not sexy, but it wins games. You’ll take that, won’t you? Do you realize coming into the Denver game the Jets led the NFL in drives of 10 plays or more? They were also No. 1 in most drives lasting more than five minutes. That was because they focused on getting first downs and not trying to force a long pass or get too cute with a reverse … in below-freezing temps … with a slick ball … in the freezing rain.
Of course you do realize Cotchery takes that reverse to the house if the exchange is clean.
At any rate, the true test of a team’s will is how it responds to an adverse situation. The Jets got a break with the Patriots losing to the Steelers because that keeps the Pats off their backs. Think of how much more pressure is on the Jets this week if the Pats had beaten the Steelers. That would’ve put the Pats in a tie for the division lead and right back in the thick of it. As it stands, the Jets still control their own destiny and still have a shot at the second seed and a bye week.
First things first — the players have to remember what got them to the top of the AFC East.
Executing a ball-control offense with an effective rushing attack combined with quick-hitting passes to slow down the pass rush. It keeps the Jets’ defense fresh, and at their best they can neutralize any offense by making them one-dimensional and forcing third-and-long situations.
Time to tighten things up.
We’ve seen great seasons slip away. The Jets only have one shot with this team intact and can’t afford to let this golden opportunity pass them by.
Tags: Denver Broncos, Jerricho Cotchery, San Francisco 49ers
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