(Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brandon Marshall – Neil Miller / Sportsday Wire)
The Jets have won two in a row, with a win over their division-rival Miami Dolphins a week ago and their thrilling comeback victory over the Giants on Sunday afternoon.
Jets Head coach Todd Bowles said of what it was like to see Owner Woody Johnson after his first win ever over the Giants, “That’s why I gave him the game ball. He hadn’t beaten the Giants since he’s been the owner here. I think it was 23 years ago and he’s been the owner 16 years. It was just a great victory, it was a great team victory. Something that brought everybody together and hopefully closer (and) for us to catapult and go forward, you’d like to think. It was a great atmosphere in the locker room.”
Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said of their performance on Sunday in the 23-20 win over the Giants, “I thought we made some nice adjustments. I think Bilal (Powell) did a great job of stepping up and making some great plays for us. There was some stuff that we missed, that can get cleaned up. At the end of the game when we had to have it, we were able to score the necessary amount of points. But there’s some stuff in the red zone we’ve got to clean up. We can’t settle for field goals and expect to continue to win games.”
On what worked for the team in the fourth quarter and in overtime, Fitzpatrick said, “Well, I think we started pushing the tempo a little bit and that was helpful for us. The drive that (Eric Decker) got real involved, we were kind of on the ball and going. They had a hard time coming up with answers for that just with the way that we were going faster and pushing the tempo. We just had guys make plays. Brandon (Marshall) stepped up and made a ton of plays. I thought the guys up front as the game went on played better and better. We just had guys step up to make the plays when we needed them most.”
At 7-5, the Jets are in the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC.
Their final four games are tough, with the only exception being this Sunday against Tennessee (3-9). They then play the Cowboys (4-8) in Dallas on the 19th, host the Patriots (10-2) on the 27th, and finish with a game in Buffalo against Rex Ryan and the Bills (6-6) on January 3.
Bowles said of his message is to the team as they enter the fourth quarter of the season, “Just the same thing, we have to finish. We have to play with more poise in the beginning of the game. The message is the same every week. We know what kind of situation we’re in right now. We have four weeks left. We have to take them one game at a time and we can’t look ahead or look around or look behind us. We just have to stay on course and do the things we need to do to get better and win.”
On if the next step is for the team to stack wins going forward, Bowles said, “Yes, you have to stack them. It’s December. You can’t afford to slip. We just have to take it one game at a time and focus on Tennessee and get ready for them.”
Bowles said of looking at the playoff picture, “You know where you’re at. If you don’t win your games, you’re not going to be there long. We control our own destiny. We understand that we have to win out to try to get in there. We’re just going to take it as that. We can’t look at anybody else.”
Fitzpatrick said of it being too soon to begin thinking about the playoffs, “Yeah, we just keep the same mantra. Keep the same focus in terms of just putting everything we have into the next opponent. We’ll put everything we have into the next opponent and hopefully we’ll win another one this weekend.”
Fitzpatrick said of looking at the performances of other teams that played on Sunday, “Yeah, that’s obviously something you look at just to see how everybody else is doing. At this point we’ve got ourselves in a situation where we’ve got to continue to win.”
Fitzpatrick said of this two-game winning streak feeling different than two weeks prior, “Well we’ve got to go back to work now. We’ve got to win the next one. What we’ve talked about the last few weeks, as we continue to win games, the next one becomes that much more important. Now it’s nice, the feeling in the locker room was awesome. It was a great team win yesterday. Today starts our shift. We’re shifting our focus to Tennessee and just figuring out the best way that we can get prepared for them. They were able to do some great things, so we’re going to have to be ready for them.”
On what he is doing different personally these last two games, Fitzpatrick said, “I don’t know, each game is different, each week is different, so it’s hard to kind of put my finger on one thing. I’ve just tried to stay consistent in terms of the way that I prepare and approach every game, but I think the chemistry with some of the guys that last few games has been good and just have to continue to work on that in practice and continue to show it in the games, but I think we’ve been on the same page for the last few games.”
On if there was a different atmosphere surrounding the team after this win, Fitzpatrick said, “Yeah, I mean it was an emotional win for us, so it was a great feeling in the locker room, everybody was jumping around, excited. I promise Coach Bowles is not jumping around and excited in the building today. He’s focused on the next game and figuring out what we can do to beat Tennessee. It’s a great feeling, but it’s also a feeling that can go away quickly depending on how we play. We’ve just got to continue to prepare like we’ve been preparing, practicing and go out there and try to win.”
Bowles said of having an emotional reaction to the win because the team showed him what he’s been waiting to see, “Yes, I’ve been looking for that. I’m happy that they got to see it themselves more than I got to see it. They need to believe it themselves and I think they got a chance to see it and put in the work and finish a ball game out. To come back the way we did and for those guys to finish out the way they did, I was happy for them.”
Fitzpatrick said of the Jets considering the use of an up-tempo offense in non-pressure situations, “Yeah, we’ve done it a little bit. I think we’ve been fairly successful, especially at the end of the half in terms of up-tempo stuff, with that, you just have to be able to get first downs. In terms of sustaining drives and all of that, we’ve the done the up-tempo a little bit and have not been able to sustain drives and then you’re just putting your defense in a bad situation where they aren’t getting much time to take a breather on the bench. It’s something we always have, it’s something we can always go to, but not necessarily something that we want to live in.”