NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Forget all the scaredy-cat talk.
Sure, Jets coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano went conservative with a chance to go up by a touchdown late against the Patriots on Sunday. And yeah, in hindsight it hurt them.
It’s another notch in the ‘L’ column, and a stinging one at that. There are no moral victories for losing a winnable game against a division rival. But another AFC East opponent awaits — the Miami Dolphins, rested off the bye week.
“We understand right now that we’re definitely not going to play the role of the defeated team,” linebacker Aaron Maybin told the New York Post. “We know that we’re very much in the thick of things and we understand that if we turn it on right now, by the end of the season we’ll be exactly where we expected to be.”
When asked if the Jets thought of themselves as a playoff team, Maybin responded “Definitely.”
Ryan and the Jets will have to prove it to their fans, who got all over the coach for the team’s approach on offense and defense against New England. Ryan went on the defensive Monday, attacking any “ridiculous” notion that his team played scared.
“We’re just not there yet,” said Ryan. “We have to keep going, keep getting a little better. We have to win these types of games.”
The Jets managed to take just that type of game in Miami earlier this season, an ugly but hard-fought 23-20 win in overtime. They’ll meet again Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
The Dolphins had an extra week to plan their revenge, while the Jets lost an afternoon bemoaning missed opportunities — and defending their play calling — against the Patriots.
“We’re not in the business of moral victories,” said guard Matt Slauson. “We have to get real ones.”
A “real one” would put the Jets back at 4-4, not great but good enough to keep them in the thick of things in the AFC East.
“We win this game and we’ll be right back where we were before this past game,” said running back Shonn Greene. “That’s how messed up our division is. We could still be sitting pretty.”
Ryan is ready to set aside the team’s missed opportunities in New England. With the division up for grabs, it’s on to the next one.
“We’ve got to do something this week, you know, that we haven’t done since I’ve been here and that’s sweep Miami,” said Ryan. “So that’s got to be it. That’s the only thing that’s got to be on our mind.”
Will we see more aggressiveness from Ryan and Sparano on Sunday? If so, will it work? Be heard in the comments below!