In the Jets' Weeks 6 and 7 wins over the Packers and Broncos, QB Zach Wilson was held to 110 yards and 121 yards through the air. But the Green & White won the two games by a combined 24 points and Green Bay has the NFL's No. 1-ranked pass defense (168.9 yds/g) and Denver is No. 2 (173.1 yds/g).
"These last two weeks, I don't think we should discredit the fact that we played two really, really good pass defenses in Green Bay and Denver, especially Denver," head coach Robert Saleh told reporters Monday. " ut both of those units play a really, really good style of football in terms of pass defense and they make it miserable. We're not the first or the last team that's going to go through that ringer that is the Denver Broncos defense — they're pretty freaking good. Still have a lot of faith in our offense, still have a lot of faith in the pass game. Showed it in the fourth quarter at Pittsburgh, showed it against Miami. I know the touchdowns don't show up there, but two of those passes got tackled at the 1."
Wilson is 4-0 as a starter this season and the offense has gone three straight games without a turnover. He has connected on 57.4% of his passes for 693 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT while being sacked 8 times.
"Zach's a ton better than he was a year ago and he's going to continue to get better," Saleh said. "There are just small little details that we're always going to strive for and there are four or five passes where we're always going to want those back, but I'm not sounding the alarm on the pass game yet."
Riding elite efforts from their defense and special teams, the Jets rushed 33 times against the Packers for 179 yards (5.4 yds/carry) and 2 TDs. During Sunday's 16-9 win over the Broncos, the Jets rushed 24 times for 155 yards (6.5 yds/carry) and 1 TD. Breece Hall, who will miss the rest of the year with an ACL tear sustained against the Broncos, was responsible for those two long pass receptions against the Dolphins and rushed for 116 yards against the Pack and 72 yards in Denver. But the Jets have great confidence in Michael Carter, and they feel they can beat teams in multiple ways.
"Personally, from an o-line perspective, this is the formula that I like to do," C Connor McGovern said. "It makes my job a lot easier when you can kind of grind one out, ground and pound and go that way. If I had to pick, I'd pick this formula. And testament to our defense as well, they've been playing out of their minds, allowing us to use that formula to our advantage."
The Jets defense currently ranks 6th in yards per play (4.90), 3rd in rush yards per attempt (3.86) and tied for third with 8 INTs.
"This team is a really, really stout defense, kind of ground and pound and try to, as Saleh says, deliver some body blows," McGovern said. "And then come the third and fourth quarter, you kind of capitalize on that wear and tear. This team has the ability to do whatever it takes to win."
Elijah Moore Update
While veteran WR Corey Davis is day-to-day with a knee injury, Jets HC Robert Saleh Elijah Moore was at the facility Monday and will be active against the Patriots.
"I just don't think this is the time to alienate Elijah," HC Robert Saleh said. "He doesn't need to be alienated from this organization, we love him, we think the world of him, we know what he can do from a football standpoint and how much he can help us, and we just want to help him."
Moore expressed his frustration last week over a lack of targes and reportedly asked for a trade before being sent home Thursday when emotions boiled over. He did not make the trip to Denver and worked out throughout the weekend in Florham Park.
A Faith and Opportunity
With RB Breece Hall (knee) and OL Alijah Vera-Tucker (torn triceps) for the season, the Jets will take a next-man-up approach with Michael Carter, Ty Johnson and Zonovan "Bam" Knight in the backfield and Cedric Ogbuehi at RT.
"We've got all the faith in the world in those guys that they can go in and step in and do the job," HC Robert Saleh said. "Michael Carter has proven it. Ogbuehi has a ton of talent and he's done it in the past and Ty Johnson has a ton of talent. Bam's going to get an opportunity to step up.
"Nobody in our locker room will look each other and say we just got worse because we have to go with this guy. I promise you the person who is stepping up isn't thinking that and I promise you we're not thinking that either. It's a great opportunity for somebody else to step up and put their name out in the open and all that stuff. I'm more hurt for Breece and AVT because of the seasons they've been having and it sucks for them because of what they've been doing and the direction they're going."
See the best images from the road victory in Denver.
Mosley Confirms the INT
The Jets have already eclipsed last year's interception total as S Lamarcus Joyner pushed the number to eight with his third-quarter theft of Brett Rypien Sunday. But veteran LB C.J. Mosley feels like that total should be nine as his INT in the final seconds Sunday was overturned by replay officials.
"One hundred percent still a catch," Mosley said of the grab he made after a D.J. Reed deflection. "I gave the football to my parents after the game, so it's a catch in my book."
The Gold Standard
For the second consecutive week, the Jets will line up against an opponent in the Patriots who are coming off a short week. The Pats are 3-3 and can move a game behind the Jets for second place in the AFCE with a win tonight over the Chicago Bears.
"It's another division opponent," Robert Saleh said. "They've been the gold standard of the AFC East for a very, very long time and they're not going anywhere as long as Coach Belichick is there. They're not going to disappear. People were trying to write them off before the season and you forget they've been coaching these schemes so long that is very easy for them to coach all the details on it and get the players to understand it, so they can play at very, very efficient level. Credit to them and the conviction they have. But it's another championship opportunity versus a championship team and we just have find ways to get better every day and when Sunday rolls around, we'll see what happens."