Jets Playing With House Money

Florham Park, N.J. -- There’s seemingly no possible room for error when you consider everything that the New York Jets have been through since their opening week win against the Oakland Raiders and en-route to their worst record through five games since 2007. That win now seems forever ago since they’ve lost four straight games, some in excruciating fashion and the last one in not so much,

resulting in blowout form to the Chargers.

Now the narrative is that the Jets, in their return from home from the west coast, will experience a severe form of blitzkrieg by the prolific high-powered Denver Broncos offense at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

“We got to be like that goalie from the Rangers… we have to stand on our head… play our best game and hope he has an off-day because it doesn’t happen often,” said Rex Ryan in his post-practice press conference to reporters.

Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said that the team has to do everything better.

“We’ve got some proud guys and they understand that that’s unacceptable… We were out of the game-plan early on and we got to have more plays,” (referencing only getting off 22 plays in first half of play in San Diego).

“Just naturally in the play of the game run the ball more, he’s (Geno) trying so hard to be perfect, you chase perfection but it’s hard to catch it... we need to turn it loose a little bit more,” Mornhinweg said.

Yes the Jets know what’s in front of them, the two best quarterbacks of this generation – (Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on tap) and an ominous 1-6 start to the season which almost assuredly spells doom for the current Jets as we know them.

To the outside world the Jets are absolutely playing to save Ryan’s job but to the players they see it as playing for a sense of pride as an organization.

“We play for each other and that’s not just for our coach, that’s for every coach that’s in this organization, that’s for everybody that’s a part of this organization (and) that’s for everybody in this locker room,” said Linebacker DeMario Davis.

“We play for each other and that’s what it means to be a family, that’s what it means to be a brotherhood. We’re in a tough spot right now. Our back is against the wall, but we just have got to continue to believe in each other and everybody faces adversity together and we’ll be alright.” Davis continued.

But here’s how they can change the narrative and reverse the obituary that’s being engraved for them.

Get Eric Decker healthy and the damn ball! There’s something to be said for Gang Green’s offense and how its tailed off in recent week coinciding with Decker’s bad hamstring rendering him limited to just a few snaps against Chicago, hobbled (although scoring a TD catch) against Detroit and a game-time decision no-go at San Diego.

In two of the first three weeks of the season, the team went over the 400 total yard benchmark and in the game that they didn’t, Green Bay they went for 390. Since then, they’ve tailed off dramatically hitting a low point in last week‘s action going one for 12 on third downs.

It’s been a frustrating inaugural campaign for Decker and thus reflects the many struggles the Jets offense has faced this season.

“It’s hard when you’re trying to build a relationship and a rapport with a quarterback and you can’t be out there,” said Decker. “You’re just fighting to get back on the field, it’s something that trying to work back, at least through the week, whether it’s limited snaps or not, to get that chemistry built up.”

Control the Time of Possession!

As Rex alluded to in his press conference today, there’s no legitimate way to absolutely say you’re going to shut down Peyton Manning, as it’s not going to happen. The best thing you can do is take the ball out of his hands. How? Simply controlling the time of possession for as long as possible. Getting back to the ground and pound as much as possible to set up the play-action pass game. Opening up the offense more now that Decker is on track to return with Jace Amaro taking on a more expanded role in the passing game should help in that regard. Bottom line is the Jets will have to put up points to compete and with the quick strike style of the defending AFC Champions, field goals nor shutouts will do.

Stop the run!

Okay last week seemed to be a bit of an outlier as Branden Oliver became the first running back to reach the century mark since Oakland’s Marcel Reece did so in week 14 of the 2014 NFL season.

But San Diego came in with the NFL’s 31st ranked rushing attack and did damage setting up holes for Oliver through successfully making the Jets vulnerable with the pass. With Montee Ball out and Ronnie Hillman his replacement, the Broncos will still look to run the ball and avoid being one-dimensional.

Defensive Coordinator Dennis Thurman compared Denver to San Diego’s offense in saying ”It’s not how you run the ball, but how many attempts you’re able to make.” The Broncos no matter how prolific their passing attack is coming into this game won’t abandon challenging the once vaunted rush defense of the Jets and Gang Green must keep its guard up.

Bottom line is at 1-4, the Jets have nothing to lose. They are counted out and they’re expected to be torched on their home-field. “We just know we have to play way better this week than we have at any point this year,” said Ryan.

As far as a home fan base that won’t stomach another uncompetitive outcome?

“We think they’re (Jets fans) going to be energized. We know what we’re up against and we need them. Jet fans are resilient…” Ryan continued.


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