Jets Looking For Answers After Loss To Bills

The New York Jets are spiraling downward to the basement of the AFC East. After losing to the Patriots in the season opener, Baltimore in week 2 and again to the Bills on Sunday, questions are everywhere for New York. From their coaching strategy to their quarterback, the Jets are looking for answers after watching rookie QB Trent Edwards lead the Bills to an improbable victory.

After the Jets dropped to 1-3 with a 17-14 loss to Buffalo, coach Eric Mangini reminded his players that there are no easy answers.

"I told them that the answers are not outside the room," he said. "They're inside the room."

Obviously, this isn't baseball, where the Jets can make a blockbuster trade before the deadline and mortgage the future by dealing away some minor leaguers.

Mangini's mantra didn't change after the loss.

"Our focus is just going to be on the next game," he said, referring to the Jets' "visit" Sunday to play the Giants at Giants Stadium. "That's the only thing we can control. We can't look at it in terms of 1-3 or whatever the situation is."

"It's not the end of the world," linebacker Jonathan Vilma said when asked about how damaging it is to start off 1-3, "but it's very tough. ... With New England in our division, it's going to be tough to come back."

"You certainly don't imagine yourself starting off like this," quarterback Chad Pennington said, "but this is the position we're in and the answer lies within our own locker room."

As Mangini noted, the Jets need to improve collectively. They managed only 346 yards of offense against a banged-up and battered Bills defense, and Thomas Jones was limited to 35 yards on 12 carries. So even though the Giants' defense has had plenty of problems so far in 2007, it might not necessarily be the panacea that cures the Jets' offensive struggles. And the Giants are coming off a double-digit sack game against Philadelphia.

The Jets' defense did have season highs in sacks (two) and takeaways (two) against the Bills, but still couldn't prevent rookie Trent Edwards from looking like a poised, confident veteran throughout much of his first NFL start.

Edwards went 22-for-28 for 234 yards and one touchdown with one interception.

"We knew he was a talented quarterback," defensive end Shaun Ellis said. "We just didn't think he would do this to us, but he did."

Edwards, whose senior season at Stanford ended in the seventh game because of a foot injury, hadn't won as a starter since beating the University of Arizona on Nov. 12, 2005, but he directed the Bills to 304 yards of offense, their highest total of the season.

"We will get this turned around," said Ellis, one of the Jets' two defensive captains. "It's still a long season and we've got opportunities that are coming up that we have to take advantage of."
"It's not a comfortable position to be in," linebacker Victor Hobson admitted. "We would like to be 4-0, but at the same time, it's not the end of our season. We have a lot of games left."
And a lot of things to correct.


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