In just two weeks of regular season action, the 2006 New York Jets have shown the league they are an improved football team. In week one, we saw Chad Pennington and the offense reemerge as a solidified force. In week two, we saw the team rally together and nearly stage a dramatic comeback against a very good team. What is to be seen in the coming days is how well this group of athletes can bounce back after their first loss.
The week three preparation has already commenced. The Buffalo Bills, coached by their first-year skipper Dick Jauron, will serve as the measuring stick for the Jets rebound. Buffalo is coming off of a motivating win over divisional rival Miami on the road, placing the Bills in a share for second place with the Jets in the AFC East.
Regardless of the fact that the Jets are coming off of their first loss of the young season, Mangini and the rest of his determined masterminds are approaching the week as they did the last.
Following a win or loss, it has become clear to Mangini's squad that the road to Sunday may not always be driven at the same speed, but it will always be the same route and that is fighting the human nature of emotion and focusing on what lies ahead. Some of the only changes may be distinguishing the differences in opponents' strengths and weaknesses and applying them to his schematics.
"When you win, you want to gloss over things. When you lose, you want to press things," Mangini said on Monday afternoon. "That's what consistently happens. The important thing is what we take away from this, how that information we take away and the questions we make are going to apply to this week's preparation."
The Jets will have to repeat their indomitable excitement for a Bills game on the road as it was for a Patriots game in their home opener. Typically, when the Jets battle the Patriots, the atmosphere seems a bit more compelling due to their recent success over the Green and White, AFC, and NFL as a whole. But you can rest assure the Jets have already moved on.
"We'll really start more preparation on Buffalo here shortly," Mangini said. "With the work that I've done, I think that they've done a good job with the pressure they've been able to apply on quarterbacks. I know that Dick Jauron has done an excellent job. I think Buffalo is always a difficult place to play."
Ralph Wilson Stadium will be a hostile environment, as the week three contest happens to be the Bills home opener. The Bills could very easily be 2-0 if it weren't for a second half comeback by the Pats in a week one contest at New England. Buffalo jumped out to an early 17-7 lead, but the defending AFC East Champs came through with a dramatic 19-17 victory.
The Bills won Sunday in Miami with a relentless defense attack, racking up seven sacks of quarterback Daunte Culpepper and holding the Dolphins scoreless into the game's final two minutes. On offense, the Bills have played mostly conservatively ball with youngster J.P. Losman at the controls. Needless to say, it doesn't matter who the Jets are playing or where, as long as they follow their core Jets values from week-to-week.
"What we're looking for is consistency in preparation from week-to-week, from day-to-day, from meeting-to-meeting," said Mangini. "It's really not a secret in terms of what we need to do. We need to follow what we've been talking about from day one, and that's core Jets values: doing your job first and trusting that the other guy is going to do his. It's communication, and it's focus."
After his first home game as a head coach, Mangini wanted to credit the home fans who stuck around for the dramatic comeback. "Another thing I appreciated is the way the fans hung in there with us, as well. I thought that their energy there in the second half was outstanding," he said. "We were in a hole, and they stayed to the end, and we were able to feed off that. That's how Jets fans are, and I just want to let them know how much we appreciate that as a group and their support."… Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery admits to staying up Sunday night when he got home to watch his highlight reel catch. Today, it was shown to the team repeatedly as well and Cotchery caught a lot of well-appreciated compliments. "It feels good to get that from the team," he said of the praise. "I've seen it so many times last night and I've seen it a lot of times today that I don't want to see it no more."…