The Jets finished 6-2 on the road this season
The Jets arrived back in New York early Tuesday morning following the team's dramatic 13-10 win over the Dolphins. Players had some time off to get well-deserved rest, but the coaching staff returned to Weeb Ewbank Hall by mid-morning and began preparations for the Oakland Raiders. The 9-6 Jets, who now control their playoff destiny, have a chance to pop the corks on New Year's Eve.
"I am definitely proud of things we have done and progress we have made, but to me this is an ongoing process," said head coach Eric Mangini on Tuesday. "We have another opportunity this week to make progress, to go out and execute. Consistency is a goal and finishing is a core Jets value. This is part of finishing; this is part of finishing the regular season and that is going to be a big focus of ours this week."
With Monday's victory, the Jets completed their regular season road record at 6-2. They would like to get to .500 at home in '06 and that would mean a trip to the postseason. The Jets are 3-4 at home thus far this season, but this should be a charged-up crowd with a festive atmosphere.
"I think the atmosphere at the Stadium is always great," Mangini said of the Meadowlands. "I appreciate that excitement; I enjoy hearing the cheers when they get them going – it's great. Our guys feed off that; everybody feeds off that. I think the energy is great, and our job is to go in and do what we need to do against Oakland and give them something to cheer loudly about."
Despite the playoff ramifications, the Jets aren't about to look ahead now. It's week seventeen and the focus is squarely on the 2-13 Raiders.
"We don't look ahead," said middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma. "We want to use it as a motivating factor. Win and we're in – it's as simple as that."
"This is definitely an exciting time of year for us, but our approach is going to be consistent just like it was prior to Miami," Mangini said. "We need to take care of what's in front of us and what's in front of us is the Oakland Raiders. That is all our focus has to be on. Anything else after that point we'll address when and if it happens. But the key thing for us is to take the same consistent approach that we had in Week Six, Week One, and Week Twelve. It carries over and that's how we have been able to make progress, that's how we've been able to be successful and that's not going to change."
Mangini was again pleased with his team's response to adversity in their win over the Dolphins, but by no means did the Green & White play a perfect game. They lost the turnover battle, allowed 124 yards rushing, and didn't convert touchdowns inside the red zone.
"Just like any week – whether you win or lose – there are a lot of things we need to clean up," he said. "We'll address that tomorrow in addition to the Oakland installation and make sure we learn from the mistakes we made this past week and continue to make progress."
As per usual, Mangini announced the Players of the Week. The four players taking home honors were: Offense - Leon Washington (134 yards of offense including the critical 64-yard screen reception in the fourth quarter), Defense - Jonathan Vilma (Miami native had nine tackles), Special Teams - Mike Nugent (hit the game-winner from 30 yards and now has connected on 21 of 24 this season), and Practice - Matt McChesney. "He is a high-tempo, high motor, aggressive guy who is a tempo-setter at practice," Mangini said of McChesney. "He has worked very hard over quite a few weeks and this was his week to get that award. I thought he did a great job."... Cornerback Andre Dyson was banged up in the fourth quarter of Monday's game. "We are monitoring it here today, and I'll be able to give you more information tomorrow," Mangini said.