The New York Jets receivers know what lies in front of them.
With their top wide receiver, Santonio Holmes, set to miss the remainder of 2012 with a Lisfranc left foot injury, tight end Dustin Keller having not played since the opener against Buffalo, and rookie WR Stephen Hill still recovering from a hamstring injury, things couldn't figure to be much worse at the position for Jets Nation.
However, despite the obstacles this receiving unit will have to overcome, Chaz Schilens isn't altering his approach heading into Monday night's game against the undefeated Houston Texans.
"I'm just treating it just like last week for me," the veteran Jets wide receiver said this afternoon. "I'm getting ready for the game, and I can't really say much, to be honest. Just another week."
Schilens acknowledges the team will have its share of doubters moving forward, but believes the biggest key to staying on track and not losing confidence is execution.
"I think practice helps out with that, just going out there and executing stuff properly," he said. "You know, we don't get many shots in practice to do a lot of plays. So when we call some in practice, we've got to get it right so it can translate over to the games, so Mark [Sanchez] sees it and everyone feels comfortable with it. So far it's been good, but we can always do better and certainly execute better in the game."
While the Jets were defeated, 34-0, on Sunday by the San Francisco 49ers, Schilens put together his best game so far with the Green & White, the 6"4', 225-pounder producing three catches for 45 yards.
When asked about facing a Houston defense that ranks third in the NFL in total yards allowed, Schilens said: "They're good. They've got a great front four. They've got great linebackers. Johnathan Joseph is great. They've got a lot of talent and they play together good as a team. So we've just got to make sure we execute what we're doing and just play our game.
"I think this week the focus has really been about improving our mistakes and improving what we can do as an offense. I think if we eliminate our mistakes, we'll be fine."
Schilens stated that the receivers have been spending extended time with Sanchez this week as well. By attending additional meetings and participating in more route-running drills, Schilens hopes the results will translate over into the Jets' upcoming games.
"We've worked extra," he said. "We worked extra yesterday and stayed after today to work extra. We work in between drills extra. So we're working. It's just about the execution at this point, and making the plays in the game."
No. 85 also feels his quarterback has been the center of some unfair criticism as of late. On Sunday against San Francisco, Sanchez finished 13-of-29 passing for 103 yards with one interception and one lost fumble. Looking on the bright side, however, during his four-year career, Sanchez holds a 2-0 record against Houston.
"Me, I don't do my job right all the time," Schilens said. "Other guys don't do their jobs right all the time. I've messed up out there. I've messed up and put Mark in bad situations, and other guys have, too. It's a team game, so you see Mark out there with a bad completion percentage, that's only half of the story at most. So all I can do is try to do my job better and try to help Mark out. That's the position I'm in and I've just got to play better."
The other healthy Jets WRs couldn't agree more, in the opinion of Sanchez.
"I know Chaz Schilens, Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates, all of those guys, they're not shying away," the QB said at his news conference this afternoon. "They're not backing down from any kind of challenge. It's a good test for all of us, myself included. We have to elevate our play and make each other better, be accountable to each other and be sharp."