Although the Jets are on the brink of frittering away a playoff spot, players said Monday all is not lost.
"The team will respond well," fullback Tony Richardson said one day after the Jets suffered a damaging 13-3 defeat at Seattle. "Players are disappointed. We had a chance to let it soak in (Monday), but once we get back to work (Tuesday), we have to put that behind us. The bottom line is, you can look at all the scenarios, but if we don't take care of our business this weekend, then none of that stuff really matters. I like the attitude of the team. I like the work ethic of the team. I know the guys will respond extremely well."
The Jets (9-6) now need help to reach the playoffs, even if they beat Miami (10-5) on Sunday. If the Dolphins lose to the Jets, either New England or Baltimore would have to lose for the Jets to qualify for the playoffs. With a win, New York would capture the AFC East if New England (10-5) loses at Buffalo (7-8), or the Jets would qualify as a wild card if Baltimore (10-5) loses to visiting Jacksonville (5-10).
"You don't feel powerless," Richardson said. "You just understand that you don't control your own destiny, but the power that you do have is the fact that you get a chance to come back to work again and finish what we started. That's all you really want. At the end of the day, we started a run in training camp for a 16-game season out of 17 weeks, and we want to finish what we started. We want to finish it on a positive note. One way to do that is to get a victory. Granted, we can get a victory and things still may not go our way, but at least we finished what we started."
Of course, nobody expected after the Jets beat New England and Tennessee on the road that there was even a chance their season would end before the New Year. The defense held a players' only meeting three days before the Buffalo win, and it was suggested to Richardson maybe the entire team should do so.
"Those things don't really solve much," he said. "You can talk about this and that, but the bottom line is we know how we got ourselves in this situation and we know what we have to do this week. We have to find a way to win the game. You can get in there and talk and rah-rah, but I've been around a lot of teams and a lot of players' meetings. It's really an opportunity for guys to express themselves.
"The bottom line is we know we have to take advantage of this week and get into the film study. Guys were doing that (Monday). And get into (Miami), which we know extremely well because we've already played them this year. ... We have to get back on the practice field and correct our mistakes and continue to keep shoring up our game plan."