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Jets Still Feel Bullish About the Road Ahead

The Dow fell 500 points today, but the Jets aren't about to lose faith in their own stock.

"We're close," said WR Jerricho Cotchery of the offense, but he could have been speaking about the whole team. "That's why guys are not in the dumps right now."

And if anyone needed any affirmation, they could have taken a stroll around the Jets' beautiful Atlantic Health Training Center locker room. After they gathered to watch video of their eighth consecutive home loss to the Patriots, the players offered a bit of perspective.

"There was a chance for us to come out and be 2-0 in the division and we didn't get it done. We're 1-1," said S Kerry Rhodes. "We still have a chance — we have a long season to go. It was a game we felt we could have won and we didn't get it done."

They weren't down today. This is a new team full of veterans new to the Jets-Pats series, including Brett Favre, Alan Faneca, Damien Woody, Tony Richardson, Kris Jenkins and Calvin Pace.

"We have guys that are going to respond," Rhodes said. "It's just one game. It was a tough loss for us at the time, but the guys we have here, we'll bounce back and I don't think it will be a problem at all."

"I think we have quality guys and character," added linebacker Eric Barton. "There are a lot of veterans, a lot of veteran leaders. I think we'll be fine."

An eighth of the way through the 2008 season, the Jets are still a work-in-progress. There are a lot of encouraging signs, though:

*  The rush defense ranks eight in the NFL at 76.5 yards allowed per game.

*  Cornerback Darrelle Revis, who nearly shut out Randy Moss on Sunday, is becoming a star before our eyes.

*  The pass rush has amassed seven sacks in two outings.

*  Thomas Jones is averaging a healthy 4.4 yards per carry.

*  Brett Favre has completed 69 percent of his passes with a 3-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio.

"I feel like this team is capable of winning every game," Favre said Sunday evening. "I think that's the mindset we have to have."

The Jets, who have become a media darling since the acquisition of Favre in August, will stay under the lights in Week 3. They'll get an extra day to prepare for the high-powered San Diego Chargers on Monday night.

"I watched them today. They have a lot of weapons, probably the best skill players that we've faced this far as a whole," Rhodes said of a 'Bolts offense that is averaging 31 points a game. "It's going to be a tough game."

The Chargers, a chic pick for the Super Bowl in many off-season publications, are 0-2 and have lost linebacker Shawne Merriman for the season. But surely this is not an ordinary 0-2 team as the Chargers have lost both their games in the final seconds and in zany fashion.

"I'm sure they're going to be hungry, they're going to have their ears pinned back and they're going to be ready to play," Barton said. "It's Monday night. When you play on Monday night, it doesn't take much to get up for those games."

Thus far, the Chargers have been susceptible on defense. They're yielding 32.5 points and a startling 437 yards per game while the Jets have averaged just 15 points and 274.5 yards.

"You have to score points and we haven't been scoring enough points. Even though we won the first game, we still left a lot of opportunities out there to put points on the boards," Cotchery said. "The more points we score, we'll be able to see some great things from the defense. We've been seeing some very good things the first two games, but that will take the defense up another notch."

After two weeks, the Jets are even. There is a ton of football to be played and the Green & White feel they can become a very good team. They aren't yet a finished product, but there is belief and there is also will.

"We were close but we've been close a lot," Barton said. "It doesn't really matter in this league. You don't get anything accomplished for being close."

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