Unless it involves a naked Ken Jeong flying out of the trunk of a car, a hangover is never a good thing. For the Jets on Sunday afternoon, there was no hangover at all in a 32-3 dismantling of visiting Jacksonville.
Following last week’s dramatic 27-24 win over Dallas, it would have been easy for the Jets to look past this week’s opponent. But any emotional high that came from the Week 1 win was easily swept away in the emphatic display on Sunday.
“There’s no such thing as a trap game when you didn’t perform well the
week before. We’re trying to come out there and correct some issues we
had last week,” safety Jim Leonhard said. “We came out on top early and
jumped on them.”
The game wasn’t pretty — there were plenty of mistakes — but these are the kind of games that the Jets must win if they’re going to knock New England off their perch atop the AFC East. Sunday’s win was as much about the Jaguars being an awful team as it was about the Jets showing flashes of elite play. Quarterback Luke McCown— he of the 1.8 quarterback rating and four interceptions — certainly rendered the Jaguars offense useless, but the Jets always seemed ready to make them pay.
One week after letting the Cowboys dominate them for three quarters, the Jets came out strong, rolling to a 9-0 lead within the game’s first five minutes and a 15-3 lead by halftime.
In making Jacksonville look incredibly plebian, the Jets took it upon
themselves to improve on last week’s less than stellar start. There was
the 2.8 yards per carry against Dallas, the multiple poor penalties,
the big plays conceded in the first half and the fact that the Dallas
offense outgained them — all of which spurred the Jets on against Jacksonville.
“What happened last Sunday doesn’t matter, it’s about what we do and how we play,” nose tackle Mike DeVito said. “This is the third year with these guys, third year with this defense. We feel we can do something special this year. We have to stay focused and we knew we had to get better.”
Rather than look ahead a week and past an opponent picked to finish near the bottom of the AFC, the Jets made it their goal to get better.
“Every week, we know this is the NFL and any team can beat you at any time. After the Dallas game, as an offense, we knew we could play better; we could improve on things,” running back Shonn Greene said. “For us, to play at the standard we want to play at, we had to improve. I think we did for the most part. We had some penalties and we had some mistakes, but we did some things better.”
There’s still plenty for the Jets to work on if they want to make just their second Super Bowl in franchise history.
“It’s a long season, you can’t get too up; you can’t get too down. Even when you beat a very good Dallas team, you have to come back and play the next week. We all have a goal in mind,” wide receiver Derrick Mason. “We understand this; we know it’s going to be tough. We’re not going to have a big win one week and then drop down to our opponent’s level the next week. Where we want to go, what we want to do — it’s doesn’t matter if we’re playing Dallas or Baltimore or whoever, we need to go out there and play.”
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