During training camp, coach Rex Ryan and the Jets spoke often about how they wanted to take the next step after two consecutive fruitless appearances in the AFC title game. They wanted to win their division and get at least one home game in the playoffs.
Of course, to get home games, a team has to win some road games. The Jets' 30-21 loss Sunday at AFC East co-leader New England completed a three-game road swing in which the Jets went 0-for-3. It was surprising, considering they won back-to-back road games in the playoffs each of the past two years.
"I never thought I'd be here losing three straight, but that's where we're at right now," Ryan said. "We've earned it."
When asked Sunday about those August aspirations of home playoff games, quarterback Mark Sanchez said, "Forget about the postseason right now. It's not like we're out of this. But we need to just win, get back to our winning ways. Forget where we're going to be seeded and all that. Just win."
The Jets will try to do that Oct. 17 against a team that has had their proverbial number lately. Miami has beaten the Jets in New Jersey three straight times, including an upset win last December when the Jets were reeling from a 42-point loss to the Patriots six days before.
"We're used to winning"
- M. Sanchez
QB Mark Sanchez looks on trailing the Patiriots.
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
"We're used to winning," Sanchez said, "and we haven't been on a three-game skid like this in a while, since my rookie year, I'm guessing."
He was correct. The Jets lost three straight twice in 2009 yet made the playoffs.
"This is a little different territory," Sanchez said, "so we're going to see what a lot of guys are made of on this team, and it's my job to get guys ready to play this next week against Miami."
"There's no panic," running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. "I actually thought we played pretty good."
The Jets did seem encouraged by the performance in New England, which was better than the ones they mustered in double-digit road losses to Oakland and Baltimore. Sanchez was sacked only twice and had much more time to throw than he did the previous week. Shonn Greene rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries as the running game got healthier with the return to action of center Nick Mangold.
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