The culture of a team is so important. The NY Jets “culture” has been, for sure the past few years, of getting up and playing with emotion against top flight teams and rivals, and then coming out flat after being told how great they are, or that this was a “regular” game. It takes a while to break that culture.
Coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan came in this year, brought in lots of new faces, and are trying to change that culture. A new QB, one that all fans know is not the long term answer, is a fine Game Manager that knows Chan Gailey’s system. But falling behind 24-0 and trying to come back by throwing 58 times is not his strength. The Jets played 2 solid games, and most impressive were the forcing of turnovers, lack of dumb or crucial penalties or Jets turnovers. After each game, Coach Bowles said it was good but we were not where we want to be. He didn’t go crazy with joy over the victories but just knows the Jets need to learn to take each game one at a time, and come ready to play.
The Jets didn’t come ready to play yesterday in the first half on offense or defense. There were so many missed tackles on defense, missed tackles on the TD punt return by Sproles, and the offense had six 3-and-outs. The OL opened no holes and without Ivory, the Jets have solid tough runners but no shifty, elusive, breakaway ones to make a big play. That will come in another draft.
The second half was a different story and made me feel encouraged. No question great adjustments were made at halftime as the defense held the Eagles scoreless and David Harris forced a huge turnover. Calvin Pryor is playing so physically. The offense had opportunities to score, moved the ball, but interceptions (not all Fitzpatrick’s fault) killed us.
The team showed no quit! It was great to see Jeremy Kerley back, Quincey Enunwa finally found his groove, and the speed of rookie in his first game of Devin Smith is exciting. Brandon Marshall messed on the short arms for the interception but he owned it and does so much all game. It hurt with Willie Colon getting hurt but the Jets need to have the OL protect Ryan Fitzpatrick and be more physical on run blocking.
Now on to London. It’s so sad the Jets aren’t playing the rival Dolphins in Miami where there are so many NY Jets fans. Let’s hope they now realize, with the new Jet “culture” being developed, that focus, intensity, emotion, and “starting fast” are important every game, regardless of the opponents record.