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No Consolation, but the Running Game Rocked


If there was a silver lining to the Jets' overtime loss to the Raiders on Sunday, it was their success moving the ball on the ground. They totaled 242 yards on 33 attempts, the first time they ran for at least 200 yards since going for 221 yards against Detroit in 2006.

"It hurts to lose like this," said RB Thomas Jones, who rushed for 159 yards on 24 carries. "It hurts to lose, period, but in a game like this where you go into overtime and you go back and forth, back and forth, and you're playing as hard as you can and you just don't get the breaks, it hurts. It's a tough loss, but we've got to move on."

Brad Smith and Leon Washington complemented Jones nicely, adding another 78 rush-yards and the Jets' only touchdown.

Washington attributed the loss to too many missed opportunities.

"The sad thing about it is it's a lot of things that we can control," he said. "Like turning the ball over, not fielding the ball cleanly, giving them the ball in their own territory, stuff like that. Self-inflicted wounds and a lot of penalties.

"We fought hard. You can't confuse effort with results and we didn't come out with a win, so it's tough."

Following the game, Jones was asked if he had any feelings on the Jets beginning the game with an empty backfield, four wide receivers and a tight end.

"No, I'm just on the team," he said. "I'm a guy on the offense. I'm here to help the team win and contribute to the team, to the offense. Whatever personnel grouping they put out there is the personnel grouping that's out there. And whenever I go in the game I'm ready to play."

The Jets' rushing attack was dominant, but wasn't enough to overcome three turnovers to the Raiders' none.

"It's something we've been working on the last couple of weeks. We wanted to get the running game going," said Washington. "It's kind of crazy how you get the running game going but the passing game doesn't look that good, so you have to have that balanced attack along with special teams."

Washington, who regularly contributes to the special teams' success, lost a muffed first-quarter punt return that led to an Oakland field goal.

"That's one thing I'm most upset about, because special teams is something that we do real well, and that could have been the edge for us today when we didn't do so well on offense," he said.

Jones has been commended for being one of the team's most vocal leaders and he didn't give any excuses for the loss yesterday.

"Brett is a great quarterback," he said. "He made some great plays today, made some great throws. He's only one of 11 guys out there, so it's not all on him. Everybody has to do their job for us to be successful on the play. I know he gave 100 percent and we just didn't pull it off.

"We ran the ball well but we didn't make enough plays to win the game, and that's the bottom line."

Washington denied the suggestion that the tough loss would have a psychological impact on the team.

"It kind of reminds me of Mangini's first year, where we would go win two games and we were like 2-and-2, 3-and-3, 4-and-4 and eventually turned it around," he said.

"It's kind of looking like that, but at the same time, we've got to get this thing rolling and pick it up right away."

"We have a lot more football left," said Jones. "We're going to watch the film, see what we did wrong, correct the mistakes and move forward."

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