You might think the Jets would be dragging a little, coming off of a difficult home loss to the Bills, falling back into the playoff-hopefuls pack at 5-4, and gearing up for a suddenly tough road encounter with the Texans.
But wideout Brandon Marshall said Wednesday, "I feel like there's a start of a crescendo going on in our locker room." And some defensive players agreed today that there's no reason to be hanging heads with everything still in front of the team.
"Do we wish we had more wins? Yes," LB David Harris said. "But we still have a shot of reaching our goals. We've just got to take it one game at a time. In this locker room, guys are going to keep playing and fighting, and hopefully it will all work out."
LB Calvin Pace was asked if the Jets can do enough to be a playoff team. He replied, no frills attached:
"One, we don't have a choice. Two, we have the talent. "And we've got enough veteran guys on this team that have done it."
If the offense follows the lead of Marshall and others, it will rise up and score a few times against a rejuvenated Texans defense that hasn't yielded a touchdown in the last 10 quarters.
The Jets defense, meanwhile, has a few good trends coming together. The run D remains No. 1 in the NFL in yards allowed/game and it'll be going up against a Houston run offense that, with Alfred Blue at tailback for the IR-ed Arian Foster, is stalled at No. 28.
Then the Jets' pass rush appears to be picking up speed with 10 sacks in the last two games. With four more sacks Sunday, they'll tie for the team's most sacks in three consecutive games since 2000.
And from the sound of it, they'll be trying to sack T.J. Yates. Brian Hoyer (concussion) didn't practice for a second straight day and unofficial reports out of Houston are that Hoyer will sit this one out.
Doesn't matter to the Jets.
"The D-line's playing extremely well, the back end's giving the guys up front time to get there," Harris said. "It's a good marriage."
And Muhammad Wilkerson, coming off one of his best games of the season with two deft sacks of Tyrod Taylor, tied the pass rush improvement up in a nice defensive bow:
"When the quarterback goes back to throw the ball, we've got to make sure we get after him. That's pretty much it."
For those monitoring the Jets' sack totals, they may notice some differences from the night of the Bills game. That's because the Elias Sports Bureau has revised the first-quarter sack of Taylor by Harris into a sack shared by Harris and Sheldon Richardson.
"Ah, who cares?" Harris said. "It's out of my hands, so I'm not going to worry about it. Sheldon works hard."
Harris doesn't get bunches of sacks but he still gets his share from his MLB post. The half sack still gives him 2.5 for the season and 32.5 for his regular-season career. Richardson's also at 2.5 for the season and 14 for his career.