In the face of ever-diminishing playoff odds and recurring problems on both sides of the ball, the Jets, somehow, are remaining positive.
The mindset starts with locker-room leaders like Brandon Marshall, who after Sunday’s 31-13 loss to the Steelers said the Jets are in a “perfect position” despite falling to 1-4 on the season.
A day removed from Gang Green’s third straight loss, Marshall provided some more detail about his thought process.
“Our number one job is to win ballgames, and we’re not doing that. But I will say this: Teams that go through situations like this, and you can see this in the past, if they get out on the other side, they’re the strongest teams and they are teams that wreak havoc in the end, because they’re battle-tested. So that’s the positive about where we’re at right now,” Marshall said in a conference call Monday afternoon. “This first part of the season’s been really tough. It’s challenging our relationships. It’s challenging our schemes. It’s challenging the guys that we have in each and every position. So if we continue to stand firm and we start putting some wins together, it’s always a positive and it will always make your team that much stronger when you through runs like this.”
Fans, however, do not share Marshall’s overly optimistic approach. And the numbers paint a bleak picture for the Jets when it comes to playoff contention: Only 6% of teams that started 1-4 reached the postseason in the NFL’s current format.
“We expect to be killed out in the streets and killed in the media because our record shows that we’re not a really good team,” Marshall said. “This is surprising not only to our organization, but this is surprising to you guys and our fans.”
“We just have to stick together and grow through this,” Marshall continued. “Failure speeds up the growth process. So that’s what I’m excited about. We’ve had a lot of failure these first five games, and we’re growing rapidly. So we have no choice. That’s the awesome thing about failure.”
Marshall said not all of the Jets’ players have his same positive mindset. But he doesn’t view that as an issue.
“We don’t need all. We just need the right guys to feel that way. You need your leaders to have this type of energy, this type of outlook. That’s all you need,” Marshall said. “Everyone’s not a leader, and there are certain guys on the team and in organizations that people look up to. And when those guys have their heads down, then that’s a trickle-down effect and everyone else in the building’s going to have their heads down.
Todd Bowles faces scrutiny for the Jets’ 1-4 start.
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
“Everyone reacts differently. There are some guys that still are sad over the loss. Some guys are pissed off. Some guys may even be ready to give up. But we have the right guys with this type of energy, this type of outlook. It will get turned around.”
A lot of the blame for the Jets’ putrid start has landed on coach Todd Bowles, who made a poor decision in the fourth quarter Sunday that virtually sealed his team’s fate.
Facing a fourth-and-two from his own 46-yard line with 7:36 remaining in regulation and Steelers ahead 24-13, Bowles decided to punt. Ben Roethlisberger then engineered 12-play, 79-yard touchdown drive that lasted close to six minutes and slammed the door on a possible Jets comeback.
Bowles said after the game he stood by his choice to punt. He doubled down on that Monday.
“No,” Bowles said when asked if his thoughts on the play had changed after thinking about it for the day. “It’s the same.”
Despite several teams firing coordinators across the league in the early stages of the season – the Bills parted ways with OC Greg Roman after Week 2 and the Ravens axed OC Marc Trestman on Monday – Bowles said he hasn’t considered any alterations to his staff.
“I wouldn’t go by teams in the league from what they do,” Bowles said. “For us, I think we have a good plan in place. We’ve got a good staff in place. I think our players, for the most part, are playing tough, hard football right now. It’s just a matter of making some critical changes in the second half as far as us making plays. So I don’t feel there’s a need to change right now.”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News