On the first day of training camp last summer, before the Jets had played a single games, LB C.J. Mosley told reporters that the playoffs were a realistic goal and that it should be everybody's expectation. Now, with a 6-3 record and this coming Sunday off, and the in the playoff conversation, Mosley is confident in his prediction.
"I feel the exact same," Mosley said of the Green & White, who are one of five AFC team with six victories. "That was just a byproduct of everyone being together during OTAs, minicamp, just the whole offseason program. That was really just speaking from the heart and honestly just believing what we can accomplish and setting our goals to a very high standard."
Mosley, 30, leads the Jets defense with 88 tackles. He also has 1 sack, 3 tackles for loss, 4 passes defensed, and 1 fumble recovery. Even though he's the veteran leader on the team, he credits the young players maturity and football knowledge.
"We know we can play with anybody just based off of our confidence, based off of our skill level, and really based off our ability to understand the game," Mosley said. "I feel like we're a young group, but we're very wise in a lot of areas and it makes up for a lot of things. A lot of players have seen a lot of ball on this team and on this defense, and I think that shows a lot when we're on the field -- being able to handle situations, being able to get out the field on sudden changes, things like that. All around we got pieces to the puzzle and every piece is in the right spot, so when we can do that week in and week out, we give ourselves a fighting chance every day."
The Jets defense ranks seventh overall, fifth in yards per play, and tied for sixth with 14 takeaways. DL Quinnen Williams was AFC Defensive Player of the Month in October, while CB Sauce Gardner (No. 1) and CB DJ Reed (No. 5) both rank in the top 5 among cornerbacks who have taken at least 80% of snaps this season, according to Pro Football Focus. Mosley knew this level of performance from the defense was realistic because of the way the team practiced in the offseason.
"We saw signs of it during training camp, OTAs, and I would really say just because everybody kind of really understood the defense a lot more, just being in the system a full year, working out the kinks, understanding the personnel, and the ways we are going to get attacked," Mosley said. "The way we're playing now, everybody just going out there, having fun, running and hitting, everybody is just doing it every single play and having fun, and playing for each other."
As the bye weekend approaches, Mosley knows there is plenty of football left to be played. Eight games remain after this Sunday, half of which are against offenses that rank in the top 10 overall. But no matter who the Jets play, Mosley knows all that matters is the belief inside 1 Jets Drive.
"It doesn't really matter who believes us outside of the building, we believe in each other," he said. "When we step on the field, we know once we get on the field, we can run with anybody if we're doing our jobs, and that's what we've been proving."