After the madness of Sunday night's thrilling come-from-behind 27-24 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, the Jets discussed their performance Monday afternoon. Pleased with the outcome, but disappointed with the execution, "relief" is the best way to describe the mood in the locker room.
Down by 14 in the fourth quarter, the Jets mounted a furious rally to erase the deficit. QB Mark Sanchez threw a career-high 44 passes, completing 26 passes for 335 yards, 1 yard less than his career high.
The pass-heavy attack was a departure from a typical Rex Ryan offensive approach, and the coach gave a reason for his change in philosophy.
"You've got to give Dallas credit, both schematically and in the personnel," Ryan said. "Going into the game, we thought we were going to run the ball more than we did. Give credit to my brother [defensive coordinator Rob] and Dallas. They took that away from us."
The Jets ran the ball only 16 times for 45 yards, the lowest total for the Jets since Ryan took over as head coach in 2009.
"Our running game wasn't where it should have been last night," said RT Wayne Hunter. "That's definitely going to take some work this week."
Hunter was especially busy Sunday night as he often had to deal with Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware, who was wreaking havoc all over the field.
"It's good to start off with a guy like Ware," said Hunter. "It can't get any worse than that. He's got arms as long as Brick's [LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson's] on a 6'4" frame, and he knows how to use them. He mixes everything up and doesn't give you one look all the time."
Ware finished the game with four tackles, including two sacks. On the occasions when he didn't find the backfield, Dallas was dialing up some other scheme that forced the Jets to adjust on the fly.
"They were pressuring a lot, filling in all the gaps, bringing a lot of secondary pressure," Hunter said. "They really disguised it as well as Rex does. Give a lot of credit to those guys. They came ready to play."
Shonn Greene had 10 of the Jets' 16 carries for 26 yards. It was a frustrating night for the third-year back, but he was not about to accept the difficulties as indicative of a greater offensive problem.
"There are going to be games like yesterday where we have to throw the ball," said Greene. "And there are going to be days we're going to have to depend on the run. It goes back and forth."
In order for the Jets to bounce back and improve their running game in Week 2 against the Jaguars, adjustments must be made. Today was the first step in addressing those concerns.
"It's a copycat league," said Greene. "Once one team sees another team give you some trouble with some things, they're going to try to do the same."
Although the tough sledding was frustrating for the offense, Ryan commended his troops for not getting discouraged.
"We don't lack courage, fight, that temperament, and the belief that momentum is coming our way. We refused to let go of that rope."
Pouha's New Threads
In a friendly weekend wager, the team's USC alumni laid pride on the line with DT Sione Pouha, an alumnus of Utah. The Trojans and Utes faced off on Saturday, with USC winning, 23-14. Before the game was played, Pouha entered into a bet with Sanchez, RB Joe McKnight and WR Patrick Turner, which would result in the loser wearing the colors of the victorious squad.
"It's all in the name of fun, and it's how we keep it joyous here in the locker room," said Pouha.
Today, Pouha wore a gray T-shirt emblazoned with the USC logo. Apparently the gag didn't end there, as the shirt was several sizes too small for Pouha's 325-pound frame.