After a tough 31-28 loss to the Dolphins Sunday in which the Green & White relinquished a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Jets insist they will stick together. Second-year defensive lineman Leonard Williams said the team's theme this season has been unity and they're abiding by a 24-hour rule no matter the result on game day.
"Guys are just a lot closer," Williams said of this year's locker room. "That's something we broke down. Steve McLendon broke the huddle after the game when we were all mad in the locker room. He brought everyone up and said we win together and we lose together. That's one thing we have to do, we have to stick together and stay a family. That's one thing that I can tell you this team is, a family."
Adding to the Arsenal
Against a stingy Dolphins defense, the Jets' 28 points were a season high and the offense was effective with the screen game. Running backs Bilal Powell and Matt Forte combined for 91 yards on seven receptions and TE Eric Tomlinson had a 26-yard catch-and-run on a screen that put the Green & White in the red zone. On the next play, Robby Anderson gave the Jets the lead on an 18-yard touchdown catch. Seven different players recorded at least one reception as quarterback Josh McCown threw for 209 yards and three touchdowns while completing 63% of his passes (17-of-27).
"That's part of what we're building and part of how we're finding ourselves," McCown said. "We're learning so much about ourselves as an offense every time we go out there. We're adding pieces to our arsenal as far as how we can go about moving the football. We get the screen game going and moving the football around with different guys.
"Those are encouraging and things we can build on. I truly believe there's so much more for us. All of us to a man believe we can be so much better and so we're starting to see some of that coming together, but it's a consistency that we've got to continue to chase and all be more consistent and all of us play at a high level."
Head coach Todd Bowles continued to stress the reduction of penalties. While the team has run gassers in practice as punishment for flags, the team committed a season-high 12 penalties in Week 7, eight of which came in the second half. On the Jets' final possession with 17 seconds remaining, Anderson was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after tossing his helmet to the ground. Bowles said the second-year receiver's actions came from a result of frustration and they're on the same page after talking together.
"We don't condone anything like that and we don't tolerate anything like that," Bowles said. "It won't happen again."
McCown's late interception that resulted in Cody Parkey's 39-yard game winning field goal had some people asking why the Jets were attempting to move the ball downfield on their own 15-yard line with 47 seconds remaining. Bowles said he wouldn't play it any safer had he been given the opportunity.
"It would be no different if we ran the ball and somebody fumbled" he said. "If you get a turnover, you get a turnover. With 50 seconds left and you need three points and you have three timeouts in a tie ballgame, you go for the win. McCown didn't see the guy, he made a mistake. He'll learn from it and we'll get better from it as a team. I don't feel any regrets about calling the plays."
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