Updated, 5:45 p.m. ET
For some games, there are no silver linings. It’s all just dark clouds.
Hopefully for the day only, though. Now is there a chance that the Jets’ 34-0 loss to the 49ers on Sunday is a harbinger for the season?
Well, there is a chance. But the Jets are hardly throwing in the towel. Today and tomorrow are off days for the players, yet many will be at the Atlantic Health Training Center searching for mirrors and solutions. And the coaches are closeted here over the next two days doing the same from their end of the operation.
“I think it was pretty evident after the game,” head coach Rex Ryan said at today’s midday news conference of these coaches-only sessions. “Once you win, sometimes it’s harder to look, sometimes you don’t take as close a look at yourself as you need to. After you get beat like this, it’s not hard to. It’s something I just felt we needed to do.
“We have to come up with solutions. If we keep repeating the same things, how can we expect the results to change? That’s the challenge to the coaching staff. We’ve got to put our guys in the best positions to be successful and move forward.”
What gives Rex and the players confidence that they can right the ship?
“Because you have to,” guard Brandon Moore said on a conference call with reporters today. “There’s no other option.”
I think it was Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy who put it elegantly in an interview that aired Saturday on Sirius/XM NFL Radio. With the Packers coming off a difficult setback of their own (the last-second defeat at Seattle, which admittedly was not a 34-point home loss), McCarthy was asked about the mindset of his team.
“We welcome the opportunity to show how much we appreciate this game and how well we respond to adversity,” he said, or words to that effect.
There’s another reason not to raise the white flag for the Jets, even with the undefeated Texans riding into town for a primetime showdown with the Jets a week from tonight. History says things will get a lot closer in a week’s time.
Since 2000, for example, 25 teams lost home games by 34 or more points, by an average score of 42-6. Ooof. Their composite record in their next weeks’ games: 10-15 and an average score of 22-18, still in favor of the opponents but a lot
The success stories: The 2011 Tim Tebow Broncos lost at home to Detroit, 45-10 in Week 8, then went to Oakland and pillaged the Raiders, 38-24. The 2007 non-Tebow Broncos lost at Mile High to San Diego, 41-3, in Week 5, then hosted Pittsburgh and prevailed, 31-28. The ’05 Browns were smelted by the Steelers at home, 41-0, in Week 16, the finished up by beating Ryan’s former team, the Ravens, 20-16.
The Jets’ record in similar situations — 34-point home loss — showed no wins in five tries but with improved play the following week and the weeks after that. In 2002 they were crushed at home by the Patriots, 44-7, but overcame their 1-4 start to finish 9-7 and in the playoffs.
Open it up to performance after difficult defeats on the road and we have the ’06 playoff team that lost at Jacksonville, 41-0, and Rex’s ’10 model, which suffered their post-Jim Leonhard-injury letdown in the 45-3 rout at New England, then won four of their next six, including two road playoff games.
Of course, history reveals failures to bounce back from such adversity as well. It’s up to Ryan, his coaches and his players to show what it’s going to be in 2012.
“We have to challenge ourselves, and that’s what I think our team will do,” he said. “That’s why I needed the time away for the players. We can focus on the game, obviously, and focus on the solutions. By Wednesday we have to have some solutions ready to go.”
Holmes: Good News, No Break
Ryan said WR Santonio Holmes had X-rays on his left foot, injured early in the fourth quarter Sunday, and the results were negative, no break. He understands it’s not an Achilles injury but had no other details while the team doctors and trainers wait for the MRI results to return. How soon could Tone return? “Obviously, it looks doubtful for this week,” the coach said. “Further than that, I’m not sure.”
He didn’t rule out signing a wideout or a player at another position but said he and GM Mike Tannenbaum “will certainly look at those possibilities” that give the Jets the best chance to be successful.
One of those possibilities is CB Aaron Berry. The Jets hadn’t announced this addition but Ryan confirmed that Berry is coming aboard.
“We feel Aaron has a chance to be successful on and off the field here, and if we didn’t believe that, we wouldn’t bring him here,” Ryan said. “As a player, he has the physical skillset we look for in our corners, and No. 1 is man cover skills. He has that.”
But the 5’11”, 180-pound third-year man out of Pitt also comes with baggage, two arrests in a month that led the Lions to cut him July 23 and the NFL to suspend him for three games for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy.
“Everybody’s made mistakes in our lives. I’ve always talked about it, and certainly I’ve made more than my share,” the coach said. “But we do background checks, Matt Cavanaugh was on the staff at Pitt when he was there. We feel good about Aaron.”
Rex had no timetable for how quickly Berry can get up to speed, but one result of the signing is that “We can put Joe McKnight back full-time at running back.” McKnight was pressed into potential emergency duty as a cornerback and who knows, may still pop up there down the road. He was in on two first-quarter plays against the Niners, blitzing from the slot both times.
McKnight also got in two kickoff returns vs. SF for 73 yards and the NFL’s defending KOR leader moved up to 10th in the current rankings with a 27.1-yard average on 10 returns.
Update: The Jets announced the signing of Berry, while TE Dedrick Epps was waived/injured. Berry will wear uniform No. 22.
Inside the Jets
Tonight’s guests on the weekly “Inside the Jets” show on ESPN 98.7 FM will be LB Aaron Maybin and DT Kenrick Ellis. As usual, the show will air from 7-8 p.m. ET and will be hosted by voice of the Jets Bob Wischusen from The Grasshopper Off the Green in Morristown, N.J.
Tags: Aaron Berry, Aaron Maybin, Brandon Moore, joe McKnight, Kenrick Ellis, Rex Ryan, San Francisco 49ers, Santonio Holmes
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