FLORHAM PARK, NJ - The Jets feel like they are a much better team from when they last saw the Patriots. It's not that they feel like they have become more talented or have gotten better individually but they have improved because of the way that they have grown together to form a team.
They are more familiar with each other, with their coaches and what the coaches expect of them. They have learned how to communicate better, have learned what each player does best and how to trust each player to stick with the assignments the coaches give. They've learned how to trust each other and because of all of this newfound wisdom they have been able to play together more as a team instead of as individuals or specific units.
"I don't know if we're different or better," Todd Bowles said. "We've grown and they're playing together more and they trust each other a little more and we have better chemistry. That comes with the season going forward. You just want to get better each week. So from that point, we've gotten a little better."
They had some bumps in the road after the Patriots game, that loss was the first of four losses in a five-game span, but they have found their comfort zone over the past month with a four-game winning-streak. They've simplified the offense and settled into a dominate rhythm on defense and they've even managed to pull off two different come from behind victories. And because of all that the players feel they are a better team than the one that lost in New England.
"Yeah, I think we're better. I think that Giants game was a big test for us," Brandon Marshall said. "We needed to face that adversity and we did well. We stuck together and we go to Dallas, the same type of environment and we came through. We stuck together, that's all it's about. There's going to be adversity throughout the game (and) you have to make adjustments."
The players have grown more comfortable with each other and their roles but Bowles has also grown more as a head coach. As a first year coach he is still learning on the job and the players are learning with him. They know they let a few games, that they should have won, get away from them but they've taken the Jay-Z route of learning from losses, "But I will not lose, for even in defeat/ there's a valuable lesson learned, so it evens up for me."
"I'd like to think we've learned from our mistakes and we've gotten more poised. We've played together more now. We're playing more as a team. We've grown as a team," Bowles said. "Being a first-year team, you don't know when it's going to start clicking and you've got to go through some growing pains before you start to play together. We went through some growing pains and thankfully it's starting to click."
The adversity, the learning from mistakes is what fills this team with confidence. You can feel the energy and confidence growing with each win and whether they can beat the Patriots or not is a question for Sunday but if you're wondering if they have confidence that they can beat the Patriots, the answer is an unequivocal yes.
"Oh no doubt about it. I think the guys got to know each other more, (we're) playing good team-chemistry football. We're playing at a very high level, with a purpose," Calvin Pryor said. "When we played them last time we felt like we could play with them but ain't feel like we could dominate and win that game. You know, I'm thinking its a different mindset now that we have."
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)