No question: Time for the Jets to put up or shut up
MARCUS HENRY Special to the AmNews | 11/2/2012, 2:49 p.m.
The question is simple, but the answer is complicated. In a sport where practically every game means life or death, how does a team come back from consecutive debilitating losses?
The Jets, who fell to 3-5 and will limp into the bye week after a 30-9 thrashing by the Dolphins on Sunday, need to answer that question. Football isn't baseball or basketball, where a team can suffer a six- or seven-game losing streak and still keep a strong hold on a playoff berth. The Jets can't afford many more losses, and it's up to the veterans on the roster to keep things in perspective.
"We just have to go out there and show those younger guys how to work after one of these [losses] and get yourself back into playoff contention," said tight end Dustin Keller, who had seven catches for 67 yards on Sunday.
Veteran linebacker David Harris appears to be ready to try anything to get the ship righted. "We're 3-5. We're going to have to refocus," said Harris. "It's the bye week. We have to do something. We are behind the eight ball."
That was the sentiment coming from just about every player in the Jets' locker room. The good news is, this isn't the first time the Jets have found themselves in a precarious position at the midway point in the season.
In 2009, the Jets were 4-6 heading into week 12, but they won five of their last six games to finish 9-7. The Jets made a run to the AFC conference championship game that season.
But can this Jets team do the same thing? Mark Sanchez is getting booed on a regular basis. It's tough to rack up wins when there is no faith in the quarterback.
Keller admitted the anti-Sanchez vibes gets to him at times.
"I felt like, at times, that people weren't standing behind Mark," said Keller. "But we're going to get this thing turned around. He knows that. We as teammates have his back. We believe in him."
How long will that belief last?