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Todd Bowles, Jets not looking past Patriots

The Jets aren't looking past the Patriots this week

On Sunday, Todd Bowles wasn't watching football. Well, not live football. 

With the Jets having played Saturday, Bowles drove over to the team's practice facility in Florham Park and watched film yesterday. As the first-year coach put it, "he had work." 

It didn't matter that the Steelers and Broncos were playing, nor that a victory for Denver would put the Jets playoff destiny in their own hands. After all, watching those games, or giving attention to their outcome, would go directly against what the coach has been preaching all along: Control what you can control. 

"All I can worry about is us. I can’t control what Pittsburgh or Denver does," Bowles said. "We just have to get ready for New England this week and how ever it plays out, it plays out, but we have to try to win our last two games."

This coming Sunday, Bowles' Jets will face the Patriots for the second and final time this season. With a victory, the Jets playoff hopes remain alive. But in order to make the postseason, even if the team were to win out and finish the year 11-5, the Jets are going to need a little help.

New York is presently competing with the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers for one of the AFC's two wild-card spots. In order for the Jets to make the postseason, one of those three teams will have to lose one of their two final games, coupled with New York winning out. 

But that situation isn't on anyone's mind, at least none associated with the Jets. 

"I don’t know, you have to win the last two games and just hope for the best," Bowles said. "That’s all you can do. We don’t know what our chances are. We don’t control our own destiny, we can just control the two the teams we play against, so we’re just going to try to win those two games and make positive steps going forward.

"If the football gods deem that we are worthy, and somehow we win these last two games, maybe we will, maybe we won’t (get into the playoffs), but you can’t worry about it because you can’t control it."

And that means ensuring the team stays solely focused on the Patriots. 

The last time New York met New England, the Jets kept things close before Tom Brady pulled away. The quarterback threw two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and finished with 355 total passing yards in a New England 30-23 victory. 

As the Jets get set for this second matchup, Bowles says he doesn't feel any more prepared to face Brady and New England than he did before. 

"I mean, they’re not much different," Bowles said. "They’re winning and they’re beating everybody, they’re finding different ways to do it. They’re a well-coached team, a lot of good athletes, they’re the same team that they’ve always been. They do what they do and they do it well

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Other Jets news...

  • Bowles said Jets starting linebacker David Harris has a back contusion and is day-to-day. He had X-rays, but they came back negative. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson is not in the concussion protocol, cornerback Dee Milliner has a strained hamstring and is day-to-day. Tight end Kellen Davis injured his back, but is expected to be fine. 
  • Bowles was asked if he thought this is the biggest game of his coaching career. He said he didn't. Why? "Hopefully I have a long career and have bigger ones to over so, I don't worry about that."
  • Late in the fourth quarter of Saturday's victory over the Cowboys, it appeared as if quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had fumbled. The play was reviewed, and it was determined he was down by contact. The call was slightly controversial, but Bowles agreed with it standing. "I thought it was the right call. His knee was down and the ball came out right after that."

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Connor Hughes is the New York Jets beat writer for The Journal Inquirer and Scout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@Connor_J_Hughes), or via email (connor_j_hughes@yahoo.com)


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