After Chan Gailey's offense struggled to find rhythm in losses to the Bills and the Texans, the Jets offensive coordinator simplified the attack. And the Green & White have responded, averaging 30 points a game during their three-game win streak.
"I think that we felt like we had maybe gone a little bit too far in some areas and we needed to scale back and get back to what we kind of where we started, sort of back to basics with things," Gailey told the media today. "I was trying to create too many things, rather than let's do what we do best and try to out-execute people."
But Gailey didn't make the call on Ryan Fitzpatrick's 69-yard scoring pass to Brandon Marshall in the 30-8 victory over the Titans. While Gailey was looking down at his call sheet late in the 2nd quarter, Fitzpatrick hurried to the line and took a snap from center Nick Mangold. He quickly threw to Marshall and it was a dash to pay dirt.
"You can't practice that stuff. You talk about it from time to time, but it just doesn't happen," Gailey said. "And all of the sudden it did and they knew what to do. I think it took three veteran guys: the center, the quarterback and the receiver to make it happen."
Against the Titans, Chris Ivory produced his third 100-yard rushing effort of the season. Ivory, who has 25 receptions, is 86 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard campaign on the ground.
"He plays extremely hard every week. He's become a pass threat for us, which is great," Gailey said. "And he's run the ball extremely, extremely hard. So he's given us what we need in our offense right now. He is somebody they can't say, 'OK, we just have to defend the pass. That's the best thing right now is they know he'll go out and run 100 on them in a heartbeat and that's good."
The Jets' No. 1 ranked rush defense is preparing for a Cowboys' rush attack that is T9 in terms of yards per carry (4.4).
"They're making a great emphasis to get their running game started," said defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers. "When we look at them and we start breaking them down, they use a lot of big groupings – 13 personnel, 22 personnel. They are pretty hard-headed about running the ball. They have the explosive players in Dez and then they have Witten. What we see is they are making a wholehearted effort to establish the running game."
Safety Calvin Pryor could be a factor Saturday against the run and also helping cover a future Hall of Fame TE in Jason Witten.
"We ask him to do a lot," Rodgers said. "We get him involved in the run game, we blitz him, we match him on certain tight ends. We ask him to do a lot and he's met every expectation."
Kicker Randy Bullock, who has made 9 of 10 field goal attempts and added 15 touchbacks since taking over for Nick Folk, missed a 53-yarder vs. the Titans.
"Kind of for everybody, that 35-yard-line is the line of demarcation where you get to there and the accuracy falls off a little bit," said special teams coordinator Bobby April. "And then certainly the further back you go, it falls back. But he's more than capable of hitting that."
Top punt return man Jeremy Kerley, who has been slowed by a calf contusion, did not practice Wednesday. April remains hopeful that Kerley, a TCU product, will play in his home state.
"Well if he can't go, we'll put Decker back there and Eric will take that spot. We worked him in there yesterday a little bit," Gailey said. "It's kind of iffy if Jeremy will go or not, but I'm pretty optimistic he will. He seemed pretty good today, so we'll see what happens."