The One Thing The New York Jets Refuse To Discuss

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The One Thing The New York Jets Refuse To Discuss

Post by admin » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:21 am

In the glow of the aftermath of a dominating 34-3 victory against the over-500 Oakland Raiders, the New York Jets were more than happy to talk about their current three-game winning streak. But if you were expecting to hear the “P” word, as in playoffs, you came to the wrong place.

Even second-year quarterback Sam Darnold, who first had broached that word after a win over the New York Giants two weeks previously, chose not to go there this time even though he was asked about it.

“We’ve just got to stay consistent with how we come to work and if we do that, I think anything’s possible,” Darnold said after the game.

OK, so maybe he hinted at the playoffs, but still, it was nowhere near what he said on Nov. 10 after his team’s 34-27 win over the Giants.

“I mean, if we get on a roll here and we win out, we've got a chance at the playoffs," Darnold said there.

But he wasn’t going there on a Monday conference call with the media.

“We always try to look at everything one week at a time,” the young quarterback said. “That's really our mindset and I don't think it's going to change.”

As dull as it is, that is the viewpoint coaches want their players to have. And of course, the refusal to talk about playoffs specifically doesn’t mean the Jets’ players aren’t thinking about the possibility. It’s just that they have crawled back into contention in the mediocre AFC with that cliched but legitimate approach of taking it one game at a time, and the Jets see no reason to change that now.

Especially with a game next Sunday at winless but still very competitive Cincinnati.

“I think we just need to focus on this week. We have a long ways to go,” coach Adam Gase said Monday, adding that if one thinks too far ahead, “That’s when the wrong thing happens.”

Such as a loss, that is.

“Who cares about future thoughts,” linebacker Brandon Copeland said after the game. “It’s about going 1-0 (next Sunday). The only way you reach big goals is by setting short goals.

Interestingly, the most lopsided of the three victories (in each of which the Jets scored 34 points), came against the team that had more wins than the Jets’ last two victims combined. Oakland entered MetLife Stadium Sunday at 6-4 and in sole possession of the second AFC wild-card spot. By the end of the day, the Raiders were in a four-way tie for that spot, with Cleveland (5-6) one game behind. The Jets are tied with Jacksonville and the Chargers at 4-7.

OK, so that logjam means that although the Jets have a mathematical chance at the post-season, it still isn’t all that realistic because of the amount of teams they would have to vault over. Even running the table, beginning with beating Cincinnati this week, would not guarantee the Jets anything, considering all the teams ahead of them in the pecking order.

Still, New York’s recent level of performance should be celebrated, at least for now. The team did not splinter into factions at 1-7, and whatever one thinks of Adam Gase as a head coach, he certainly deserves part of the credit for that, as do the leaders in the locker room.

Gase also has stepped up his game as a play-caller during the winning streak, with a case in point being the flea-flicker pass play he called in the third quarter which resulted in a 30-yard pass from Sam Darnold to Robby Anderson, setting up a 1-yard touchdown pass from Darnold to Anderson for a 27-3 lead.

Gase had chastised himself earlier in the season for not doing enough to give Darnold good first reads on passing plays, but he has done that with regularity during the winning streaks. Credit Gase for excellent play design and Darnold’s receivers for running the routes skillfully.

A case in point was Braxton Berrios’ 69-yard reception on the Jets’ first series of the second half. Berrios and fellow wideouts Demaryius Thomas and Jamison Crowder lined up bunched on the right side. The play appeared to be a bubble screen to Crowder, with Berrios there to block while Thomas ran a deep out pattern. Instead, Darnold briefly looked toward Crowder while Berrios got open on a quick slant. Darnold hit him in stride and Berrios took it all the way to the Oakland 1 to set up a TD.

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