The sun was out Monday, but the morning brought cold air and chilly wind gusts to Florham Park, NJ. Autumn is here and the Jets find themselves in a totally different position this football season. A year after surprising the football world with a 4-1 start, the Jets fell to 1-4 with a 31-13 loss the Steelers.
"It sucks being 1-4. Make no mistake about it or no excuse," said head coach Todd Bowles Sunday in Pittsburgh. "We have to stay the course and find a way to finish second halves of games. We're in the games for three quarters or three and a half quarters. We fall apart at the end. We have to do a better job coaching. We have to do a better job executing on both sides of the ball."
During the team's current three-game losing streak, the Green & White have been outscored 31-7 in the final quarter. Their lone score came on a 42-yard fumble return from rookie WR Charone Peake against the Seahawks.
"I take all the blame. I'm the head coach. We'll go where I go. We're 1-4," Bowles said. "That falls on me. As I lead, they follow. I need to do a better job of leading these guys and getting them prepared. We have to move from there. You can put it all on me. It's a combination of the coaches needing to do a better job and the players needing to do a better job of executing."
Star WR Brandon Marshall was ready to move on moments after the Jets' fourth defeat.
"I'm already over this loss. We are going to turn this around — I promise you that," he said in the visiting locker room. "Whoo! Starting right now. I promise you that."
Each week here on NewYorkJets.com, we highlight one player — win or lose — from each positional group who rose to the occasion.
Defense: Darryl RobertsThe speedy defensive back, who was claimed off waivers from New England on Sep. 4, made his Jets' debut Sunday. With Darrelle Revis inactive due to a hamstring injury, it was Roberts and not rookie CB Juston Burris who got extended action on the outside in sub packages. Bowles said Roberts had a better week of practice and had been coming along for a while. Blessed with sub 4.4 speed, Roberts finished with a pair of tackles and 2 PDs. He also showed some spunk, helping the officials with their incompletion calls. Unfortunately Roberts landed hard on his shoulder in the second half while breaking up a Ben Roethlisberger end zone pass intended for Sammie Coates. Roberts will get an MRI this week.
Offense: Brandon MarshallMatched up early with Steelers CB Ross Cockrell, Marshall had six receptions for 86 yards in the first half with 1 TD. It marked the seventh time in Marshall's career that he posted five of more catches, 85 or more receiving yards and one or more touchdowns in the first half of a game. But the offense stalled in the second half as Marshall was limited to a pair of receptions for 28 yards. Frequently his harshest critic, Marshall lamented a first half drop on a third-and-9 play that would have kept a drive alive.
"When you come into the Steel City and you're playing against these guys you've got to be cleaner. That's one play, but then you go back to our first or second third down and Fitz throws a beautiful ball and I dropped it," he said. "That can't happen. I'll take full responsibility for that. This game comes down to two or three plays, two or three moments."
Special Teams: Rontez MilesSpeaking of moments, this Pittsburgh native made an excellent read in his return to the Steel City. The Steelers dialed up a little trickeration on a fake field goal attempt in the second stanza, but Miles was having none of it and he drilled Jordan Berry behind the line of scrimmage.
"Coach Boyer was preaching about the fake all week. He even called safe on it," Miles said.
The active Miles scored some bonus points for a season-high six defensive stops as well.