Count Connor McGovern as one of the players who's noticed that this current band of Jets, despite being winless through three-quarters of the season and coming off Sunday's particularly difficult home loss to the Raiders, hasn't seen quit in his teammates.
"We had a fantastic practice today. Everyone was flying around, the energy was really high," the Jets center told reporters. "The way we practice doesn't reflect our record by any means. I've been on teams with better records that didn't practice this hard and with this much enthusiasm and energy.
"And I think that's why we've gotten better every game this year, we're improving, we're one play away every time right now, the last couple of weeks."
Practices can be a piece of cake when there are tangible signs of things coming together during games. In McGovern's and the offensive line's case, it's the Jets running game. Even without ageless bellcow back Frank Gore for all but the first two plays, the running of Ty Johnson and Josh Adams was uplifting.
The two young journeymen were either breaking tackles or running through large holes in the Raiders' front for seven 10-yard gains on the day. Their alternating shifts in the backfield helped Sam Darnold and the offense get over a midgame funk and drive 96 yards, 85 on the ground, and then 44 yards after a takeaway, to the two touchdowns that put the Jets up, 28-24, as the teams headed toward their fateful endgame.
Head Coach Adam Gase, another proponent of his team's upbeat approach to each week's practices, also was a fan of the meshing of Johnson and Adams with an O-line that had three of its studs in tackles Mekhi Becton, George Fant and McGovern in the pivot leading the way. Pat Elflein again started at LG for Alex Lewis and Josh Andrews took over at RG for the toe-jammed Greg Van Roten following the Jets' game-opening TD drive.
"I think the O-line did a hell of a job of getting guys covered up," Gase said. "I think the way our run game was set up, I mean, they had some legit, big holes to run through. They did a good job of hitting them, they did a good job of protecting the football. It was good to see those guys step in there and get the number of carries they did and do as well as they did."
Johnson got the lion's share of the work with 39 offensive snaps and 24 touches. With 22 carries for 104 yards, he became the Jets' first 100-yard rusher since Isaiah Crowell against Denver in 2018, and he added 2 receptions for 13 yards. Adams pulled his weight with 19 snaps and 8 carries for 74 yards, a 9.3-yard average that is the best by a Jet with 8 or more carries since Crowell's monster 14.6 average against the Broncos.
"Josh was pulling double duty because he was trying to still help on special teams," Gase said. "Losing Ashtyn [Davis] and losing Bennett Jackson, it was hard for us to get those guys completely off all the special teams stuff. So they battled, and they basically did everything that they could possibly do to help us."
Gore is still in the concussion protocol, but he was limited at Wednesday's practice, which the coach noted is "a good first step." Whether the Jets end up with two or three backs at Seattle on Sunday, Gase said, "We'll have a plan ready to go and figure that out. I anticipate all three guys playing."
And McGovern anticipates all his teammates will be able to stow any remaining bitter feelings about the last-second loss to the Raiders and make a strong run at the Seahawks.
"The way we practice, the energy around here, the want-to, the passion, all those buzzwords, is really high," the Jets' center said. "It was a great day today and everyone's looking forward to this weekend."
See the Top Photos from the Practice Indoors at 1 Jets Drive