Bye Week: Jets Have Homework

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[New York Sports]

Last week's 56-35 victory over the Arizona Cardinals was a clear indicator that they had a very good game offensively, even a great game. Yet the total number of points doesn’t add up to other areas of their game.

“We’ve got a chance here with bye week to really go back and look at the things we’ve done over the course of the first quarter of the season and make some progress in all three areas,” said head coach Eric Mangini, referring to offense, defense and special teams. “We need to continue to improve on third down.  [There were] positive things in the running game, but that needs to be more consistent.  We had a penalty on the goal line which negated a touchdown.  We were able to overcome that, but that won't be the case every week.”

The Jets defensively forced seven turnovers, five sacks and intercepted quarterback, Kurt Warner three times. However, the score at half time was 34–0 so what happened to the Jets in the second half.

“I don't want to take anything away from Kurt Warner or the excellent receivers they have, but you have to be able to execute a lot more effectively than we did. It's little things, and little things can become big things,” said Mangini.

With 1:54 left in the fourth quarter and the Jets scored their final touchdown, instead of kicking the field goal the Jets opted for the two-point conversion which was successful. The reason being, it gave the Jets a 21 point lead obviously to avert disaster if the Cardinals happen to score three times within the time allotted.

“When I was playing in Arizona I had seen them do it before,” said defensive tackle Kris Jenkins to win games within the final minutes. “We were down a couple of times and he would come out in the no-huddle and drive it down the field. It’s one of those things that’s tough for a defense. We really played the whole second half in a two minute drill which is not what you want to do.”

The Arizona Cardinals are 2-2 and in first place in the National Conference West division. They are not a team to be taken lightly. In fact, if it wasn’t for the turnovers the game would have been a lot closer.

“I think it’s good that we had an opportunity to put a game like that together, but I think what we need to not only look at the positives, but look at some things that we can do to get better and not rest our hat on having that one performance,” said wide receiver Laveranues Coles. "Because it is a long season. It’s only one game. You don’t want to get too excited about it, but it is a positive stepping stone.”

Although, it’s a positive stepping stone – still there’s problem that the Jets have to work out to become a play-off contender this season.

“On special teams, I really liked the coverage units. I thought they did a nice job,” said head coach Mangini” I thought there was a little bit of a drop in the kickoff coverage late in the game. Those will be areas that we work on, as well.”

One good thing for the Jets is that special team coach Mike Westhoff is back after taking time out to heal from an operation. He’s considered a guru in that position and each year has proven it, so there’s no doubt that he will find someone on the bench or practice squad to step up their game. But for the Jets this season, they have shown brilliance and ineptitude this season, however, they must take one game at a time to prove themselves and their fate.

“We'll look at what we've done through the first quarter of the season, evaluate those things, make sure that we can improve on the things we haven't done well and make sure we can reinforce the things that we do like, and possibly expand those packages,” said head coach Mangini.

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