The Jets have very little time to mourn Sunday’s last-minute loss, as they must quickly turn their attention to a familiar antagonist.
Gang Green must now have amnesia and forget about its costly miscues in its season-opening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals – not to mention the fact cornerback Darrelle Revis was undressed by A.J. Green – because Thursday night’s opponent, the Buffalo Bills, won’t be showing any sympathy.
In fact, if old friend turned foe Rex Ryan has anything to do with it, he’d like nothing else than to bury the Jets (0-1) early in the season and get his own Bills (0-1) into the win column.
Todd Bowles’s crew heads to the NFL’s furthest northeast territory for a mid-week affair that seems totally unfair for the road team. The Jets have had only two days to prepare for the Bills. And even though they’re divisional rivals and are quite familiar with each other, the deck is still stacked against Gang Green. This was thought to be easiest of the games for the Jets, who face a daunting six-game start to the season that, besides the opener, also includes the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, and Baltimore Ravens. All were playoff teams from a season ago, which means this Thursday night already essentially counts as a must-win affair.
The Bills don’t possess the dynamic offensive arsenal that the Bengals own, but there are enough playmakers to give any team fits. The Jets will need to shore up the lapses in judgment and execution if they’re to steal a win on short notice.
Even someone like Revis, a surefire future Hall of Famer, wasn’t immune to mistakes. The 54-yard touchdown that he allowed to Green might’ve looked like busted coverage by a missing safety over the top, but there were plenty of other times where Revis looked like just another guy.
Bowles refused to orally dissect the film with the media, and was even more steadfast in his refusal to look back. He noted he only has the Bills on his mind and wanted to leave the past where it is.
“We worked things out and we moved on to Buffalo,” said Bowles when asked about any corrections being made. “We talked about it and we corrected them … we play two games in four days. We don’t have time to sit there and go back, so everybody has moved on.”
The staid coach definitely didn’t want to discuss Revis – or any other particular player for that matter, as he only wanted to field Bills-related queries.
“We moved on to Buffalo, so I don’t have time to go over [the Bengals game],” he said. “We went over it in the coaching staff meetings and we went over every player. … I’ve moved on. They’ve moved on.”
That type of blankness will actually serve the Jets well, since they don’t need any more distractions in their short week of preparations. The alert level is high for Gang Green – regardless if just two games into the season seems like excessive dread.
Bowles knows how important it is to get off to a quick start, because the factors are already piling up against him and his team. The Jets can’t afford to start the season with two-straight AFC losses, especially with the New England Patriots showing the league that they can be just fine in spurts without either quarterback Tom Brady or tight end Rob Gronkowski – meaning the AFC East may not be as wide-open as originally hoped.
The Buffalo game could provide New York with instant resolve.
“There’s a sense of urgency. We don’t want to go 0-2 for sure and no matter who we play this week — a division rival or not — there’s going to be a sense of urgency. And hopefully it’s like that every week. That’s what we try to do,” Bowles admitted. “To get ready for the second game right after [the opener] and move on, that’s a big challenge. But everybody goes through it, so they [Buffalo] have the same problem we have.”
Gang Green notes:
- Linebackers Bruce Carter and David Harris still continue to nurse their respective shoulder injuries. Defensive end Mo Wilkerson is dealing with a toe malady. Wideout Quincy Enunwa and tight end Kellen Davis each have sore ribs.
- Bills wideout Sammy Watkins is playing with pain in his surgically repaired foot. He had X-rays on it and was sent to a foot specialist soon after their tilt in Baltimore. The electric receiver said he’ll play against the Jets and was told his availability each week basically comes down to personal pain management.