A somber Green & White locker room following today's 23-3 loss to Miami certainly reflected our recent struggles. We've now lost three games in a row, and four losses this season have come by 20 or more points.
Three-quarters of this 2013 season are in the books, and while it's clear that the execution has been spotty from week to week, our preparation has been consistently where it needs to be throughout, leaving many Jets players feeling a blend of both frustration and optimism.
"I don't think we lacked intensity, I don't think we lacked preparation," WR David Nelson said. "I think it was just lack of execution. It was just fundamentals, as far as missed tackles or maybe a couple overthrown balls, maybe a couple missed protections, and we had a couple of drops. I think guys came out here excited to play. We had intensity early on and the defense did a great job in the first half to hold them to six points and it was just we have to execute."
"I think the biggest thing for us is that we just have to do our job," CB Antonio Cromartie said. "We just have to play within our assignment, doing what we have to do, trust that next man is going to be doing their job also. It is just going out there and playing football to the best of our ability. They didn't do anything different from what they did in — the previous weeks."
"I feel we prepared very well this week," T Austin Howard said, echoing the general consensus. "We understood how big of a game this was for us. It's frustrating we couldn't pull it off because we all were very focused on how big this game was and we really needed to get the 'W' today."
Having been inactive for all dozen games this season, third-year veteran T Ben Ijalana offered the perspective of a participant during the week and an observer on gamedays.
If the team lacked talent, the losses would actually be easier to swallow, he said. With five wins on the year and consistency Monday through Friday, though, Ijalana said "the fact that things aren't firing on Sundays is a little disheartening."
"Just based on this week of practice," he added, "how I felt us vibing, the camaraderie and the chemistry — no disrespect to the opponent — I would have guaranteed the 'W'. And a couple of hours after gametime now, it's just like 'What happened?' "
Only time will tell if this truly was a "must-win" game or not. Either way, it's over and done with. All we can do now is embrace another week of preparation, get ready for the Oakland Raiders and, most important of all, execute come Sunday.
"There's definitely a sense of urgency now," T D'Brickashaw Ferguson said. "You recognize there are four games left and we recognize the challenge that's before us, but all we can do is just keep our heads down and grind right now and focus on our work. We can't allow outside influences to affect us right now and we'll just continue to focus on the prize, which is to win a game."