In the aftermath of the Jets' 34-17 loss at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, the team regrouped to watch video and begin to correct the number of mistakes that plagued them. It was a disappointing performance by the offensive line, and one that was addressed Monday afternoon in the Jets' meeting rooms and locker room.
"We had some mistakes and played an awful game," said LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson. "But at the same rate, we know what we're capable of. We know a lot of the things that happened in that game were self-inflicted, and if we just execute our assignments and focus a little bit more, I think we'll have a lot of success in the future."
Ferguson's tune is a familiar one, nearly echoing the words of the defense after the loss to the Raiders in which Oakland ran for 234 yards. In Baltimore, the Jets' D responded in a big way, holding the Ravens to an average of 2.8 yards per carry and QB Joe Flacco to a completion percentage a shade over 32 percent.
Acknowledging the shortcomings of his unit, Ferguson has no doubts that the offensive line will rebound in a big way.
"We've been playing together for a while, and we're the type of group that sticks together," he said. "We have tough skin. Let's work together. Let's make improvements."
QB Mark Sanchez found himself on the ground more often than in any other week this season, as Baltimore recorded two sacks and an additional 10 hits on the Jets' quarterback. Immediately after the loss, head coach Rex Ryan said that Sanchez "struggled mightily" over the course of the game. Monday he had a slightly different message.
"I think it was the pressure," said Ryan. "He struggled mightily statistically when you look at those stats, but it wasn't just him. It was the pressure."
That same pressure disrupted any attempt the Jets made to run the ball against the mammoth defensive front of the Ravens. Constantly in the backfield, the Ravens held the Jets to 38 rushing yards on 19 attempts. Ryan and his coaching staff do not take pride in the lopsided run-to-pass ratio.
"We expected to throw the ball more this year, there's no doubt," said Ryan. "But we still have to find a way to run the ball more effectively. We have a tremendous center [in Nick Mangold], one of the best left tackles in football [Ferguson], the best right guard in the league in my opinion [Brandon Moore], a massive right tackle with athleticism [Wayne Hunter], and a huge left guard [Matt Slauson]. We have to be able to run the football more than 38 yards."
Mangold has missed the last two games due to a high ankle sprain, and his status for Sunday's divisional tussle with New England is uncertain. Ryan said he hopes his center will be able to go Sunday. "He'll probably be limited" at Wednesday's practice, the coach said, adding, "He's getting better."
However, Ferguson was not about to use Mangold's absence as an excuse.
"Sometimes when there are new pieces, things happen," he said. "You have to be realistic about that, but at the same rate, there's no reason we can't expect a high level of performance and execution. It's up to us to hold ourselves to a high standard, and go out there and do the things we already know we are capable of."