What is the most important play of a game to first-year Jets head coach Eric Mangini? Here's a hint: It's not a big strip-sack for a touchdown, a pounding run into the end zone, or even a completion downfield.
"The next play is always the most important play," Mangini said on Monday.
That "next play" Mangini is referring to isn't any particular play, but it does explain a mentality. If there was one obvious example of this from Sunday's win when the Jets personnel proved their faith into the coach's credence, it was late in the game as the Bills attempted to mount a miraculous comeback.
"They hit the touchdown and the game goes on," Mangini said. "The important thing is going in, correcting it and moving on to the next series. There's nothing we can do about that at that point except make sure it doesn't happen again and move on. It's just so important to not get too caught up in those things and move on to the next play."
The Jets attitude is fix what needs fixing and move ahead. Whereas yesterday they proved their ability to bounce back both mentally and physically after an emotional loss to New England, this week, the Jets will briefly work on the necessary corrections and soon move onto preparations for an undefeated Indianapolis team.
"This is the same feeling we had when we beat Tennessee. Everybody was on us and then the next game we didn't play so well," said guard Brandon Moore, the team's offensive player of the week. "We have to go out and prove it all again next week, that's the thing about it. We got to continue to get it done."
This is a team who plays with belief and confidence. On Sunday, they survived an early Buffalo storm and then slowly took away the game from the Bills.
"It's indicative of our whole staff. Our head coach, that's the mentality he brought to us from the beginning," said safety Kerry Rhodes, the Jets defensive player of the week. "He just gave us the confidence that we're never out of a situation. We believe in him and we took to that advice, and we have been able to work and get some wins in."
Even though both New York wins came with a little added pressure via late game charges by each home team, Mangini still feels that the victories were well constructed and display the character of his team. Finishing goes along way in the win column and beyond.
"I think the important thing is finding a way to win and finding a way to finish the game. It's something we stress all the time," said Mangini.
"Each set of circumstances has been so different, and the adversity that we face in each game is a little bit different," he added. "Being able to respond to that adversity, being able to adjust to the different situations and ultimately finish the game is the most important thing. Finish is a core Jets value and something we stress day in and day out."