|Jets struggling, but still control destiny|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 08 December 2008 13:58|
``It was one of the longest,'' linebacker David Bowens said Monday of the team's trip from San Francisco following a 24-14 loss. ``It was disappointing. It was an opportunity we felt, again like when we went out to Oakland, that we missed.''
So much for all the Subway Super Bowl talk from two weeks ago.
The Jets (8-5) are tied atop the AFC East with Miami and New England and are no lock to even make the playoffs after dropping two straight following a five-game winning streak that had some fans dreaming of a New York-New York title game in Tampa.
ake care of that and then the game after that, I don't even know who we play.''
Well, the Jets take on a struggling Bills team Sunday and follow that with another long flight to Seattle in Week 16. While New York has left on Friday before its West Coast trips to San Diego, Oakland and San Francisco, coach Eric Mangini might change things by leaving on Saturday instead.
``It's definitely being talked about,'' he said. ``I don't see the value in doing it the other way.''
At this point, the Jets will do whatever they can to change their fortunes. With their struggles the last two weeks, it's hard to believe this is the same team that beat New England and then-undefeated Tennessee in back-to-back games on the road.
``They have fallen and they can't get up,'' former Pro Bowl cornerback Deion Sanders said on the NFL Network's ``GameDay Final'' on Sunday.
As quickly as people jumped on New York's bandwagon, they have leaped off even faster. Still, the Jets are comforted by the fact they hold tiebreakers over both Miami and New England.
``If we win out, we're in and that's the bottom line,'' right tackle Damien Woody said. ``We've just got to do our part. We can't focus on what Miami does or what New England does. If we don't do our part, then it doesn't even matter after that. All that's important right now is Buffalo.''
weekends spent watching the playoffs instead of playing in them.
``I'm sitting in my house in Miami, having a barbecue with all my buddies and just saying, 'That could be us,''' Bowens said. ``Right now, we have the option of being at home barbecuing or being in those playoff games. That's the comfortable feeling in that, knowing that we control it.''
San Francisco was certainly in control Sunday, holding the Jets to a season-low 182 yards with a defense missing star cornerback Nate Clements. New York also held the ball for just over 20 minutes and was called for a season-high eight penalties. Unheralded Shaun Hill outplayed Brett Favre as the 49ers' offensive line gave him plenty of time to throw against the Jets' fading pass rush.
``It's pretty easy to see why we had the result we had,'' Mangini said.
The Jets' defense was aggressive early and caused five fumbles, but recovered only one - with 49ers offensive lineman Joe Staley falling on top of another in the end zone for the game's first score. San Francisco was effective on third down all game, converting eight of 15 opportunities, while New York was a dismal 1-for-10.
al drops, such as Dustin Keller's mishap on third-and-2 on the Jets' opening drive.
``Each guy has to do their job and I think we've kind of gone away from that more than we were in those five weeks we were winning,'' Keller said.
The turning point may have been early in the fourth quarter when Leon Washington's 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was called back by a questionable holding call.
``I mean, they called it,'' Mangini said, still clearly bothered. ``I can't do anything about it. ... It's called and that was their decision.''
To a man, the Jets refused to point fingers at anyone but themselves for the loss, including Mangini.
``I'm not by any stretch of the imagination not taking accountability for where we are,'' Mangini said. ``We need to do a better job as a coaching staff. Obviously, we need to improve the things that we're doing in terms of how we're attacking, how we're defending, how we're conveying that information.
``But, it's also a collective effort. ... Every single person needs to improve.''