The Jets couldn’t ask for a better opponent right now than the Cardinals. After starting the season with four straight wins, the Cardinals are losers of seven straight games.
To put it in perspective, the Arizona Diamondbacks won their second-to-last game of the baseball season on Oct. 2, two days after the last Cardinals win.
But head coach Rex Ryan points to the Cardinals’ Week 2 win at New England as proof Sunday’s opponent isn’t as bad as its record indicates.
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“I think after starting the way we did, expectations were raised, so it always makes it difficult when you’ve had a stretch like we’ve had,” Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “Our players have continued to work hard, but it’s not easy. This is a difficult business and when you don’t win games, it is tough.”
Including this Sunday’s opponent, not one of the Jets’ remaining five games is against a team currently with more than four wins. While their own record isn’t anything sterling, it does give hope that they can get on a roll and perhaps squeak into the playoffs as the final wild card.
“We feel we’re a better football team than our record indicates, and I’m sure they do as well, and they should feel that way,” Ryan said. “Both teams are hungry for a win. There are some similarities.”
Both teams pride themselves on defense although the Cardinals and the Jets are putting extra influence on that side of the ball to win games. During their recent seven-game skid, the Cardinals have scored a combined 89 points. No matter how good a defense is, it is near impossible to win games when an offense is averaging under 13 points per game.
“We’re playing a team that is a lot like us. They’ve had moments where they’ve looked very good and other moments where they haven’t. They’ve had their mistakes,” Whisenhunt said. “Regardless of what’s going on with the other team, you have to make sure that you’re preparing your team and you’re trying to get ready. The guys want to get a win. That’s what this business is all about.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.