The Jets’ upcoming Thursday night game at the Patriots is a blessing for a team not only reeling but also under increased scrutiny.
The team is embroiled in what is now the longest losing streak in head coach Rex Ryan’s six years with the team. And now the Jets have their biggest game of the year with their weekly schedule cut in half.
“It does make a little bit more of an intense week,” tight end Zach Sudfeld said. “Typical week? I will watch 1 1/2 hours of film a day. Now, this week, more like 2 1/2 hours. It means more work, extra time taking care of yourself — things like that. [It] makes for a long few days as you try to get everything in and be prepared as best as you can for the game.”
On a typical Monday, the team will lift and then watch film before they hit the field for corrections in an easy walk-through. The team stuck to their usual schedule this week, including a workout, film time and the walk-through, but with a twist. The walk-through didn’t focus on the game from the previous day as much as looking ahead to Thursday night.
Usually, the players leave on a Monday around 4 p.m., but they left the facility several hours later to accommodate the shortened schedule this week. Many players stuck around to do individual film study on their own.
While the Jets — and most of the league — usually have Tuesday off, instead they had a light practice and went through the usual ice bath and massages as well as classroom time, film study and additional treatments. The players have been told by the coaches to try to keep a usual routine.
Of course, the Jets aren’t alone here as the Patriots also face a similarly shortened schedule ahead of this rivalry game.
“I think that’s one of the big challenges for us as a coaching staff is to try to find the sweet spot,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. “The Jets are, as we know, a big game-plan team. They change things from week to week in all three phases of the game: offense, defense, special teams. They have specific things that they run against a team and then you may not see those things for a while or they may come back at a later point in time. … We have to, somewhere along the line, put our chips on what we’re going to do and we can’t worry about every single thing they’ve ever done or what could happen or we’d be here forever. We have to whittle it down to what we feel like are the most important things and how we’re going to handle it. I’m sure they’ll do that on their end too. That’s just part of the challenge of this game.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.