FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Credit the New York Jets with pushing the Patriots to the limit. Also credit them with another loss.
The Jets’ sixth straight defeat after an opening victory came in what was one of their better performances of a dismal season. Coach Rex Ryan isn’t taking much solace from that.
“It’s been a big failure, obviously,” Ryan said of his team’s record. “The season’s not over, but you don’t want to be 1-6. If you had asked me, I was thinking we’d be the other way — we expect to win every game. Obviously, we are not finding ways to win. We have done some good things, haven’t done it for 60 minutes.”
So what’s next?
First off, the Jets traded with Seattle for receiver Percy Harvin, also an outstanding kick returner. Harvin is battling a thigh problem and has been injury prone throughout his career, but could be a significant weapon for New York when healthy.
The Jets have some extra time to prepare for a home game against Buffalo, but they really can’t breathe much easier because the schedule lightens up. Of course, it can’t get much harder than facing Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in succession.
“The big picture is that it has to be each day,” Ryan said. “An old thing I got from Lou Holtz was WIN: What’s Important Now.
“It has to be on the right now. We can’t look down the road. We just have to find a way to get a win. I hope that will springboard to other things.”
Perhaps, but not if they keep making the killer mistakes that doomed them in a 27-25 loss at Foxborough that was a very winnable game.
The Jets blew several coverages in the secondary, twice allowing touchdown passes by Brady — including one on third-and-19. They had some critical penalties, with one holding call negating a touchdown.
They wasted some timeouts, which made their final drive more frantic and led to a 58-yard field goal attempt that was blocked on the last play.
Perhaps worst of all, they moved the ball extremely well in the first half and got four field goals out of it. For those who say it’s important to put points on the board on every possession, it’s even more critical to put touchdowns on the board against a Brady-led opponent.
“We have to get better in the red zone. That is really a thing that is holding us back,” Ryan said.
Just as running back Chris Ivory noted after the game: “I thought we moved the ball really well, we’ve just got to score a little more when we get to the red zone instead of taking threes. That’s the difference for a win for us.”
A win, something the Jets have not experienced since downing Oakland in the season opener.
Yes, they’ve faced nothing but teams with winning or .500 records since their loss to Green Bay in Week 2 — and the Packers currently lead the NFC North. And there was that gantlet of outstanding and near-outstanding quarterbacks.
But Ryan, who ducked any questions about his job security, doesn’t want to hear or deal in excuses.
“We can’t deny where we are at, we’re 1-6,” he said. “The job is every day to get better and I believe our football team is getting better, it just hasn’t been good enough to win yet.
“The focus will shift to Buffalo immediately. You go right back, correct what you can correct off this tape. If something is hurting you, you will see it again (from an opponent). So make sure to get that corrected and move on.
“Focus on one game is exactly what we will do.”
(BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer)