The Jets suffered another tough loss Sunday and any number of culprits could be spotlighted as contributing to another agonizing loss to the Patriots. But head coach Robert Saleh, echoed by his players, was not buying into the theory that a loss of confidence or a team fracturing was imminent.
"No, I'm not worried about the locker room," Saleh said. "We've got a great locker room. We'll be fine."
And the coach spread the responsibility around to everyone, not just Wilson or the slow-starting offense or sluggish first-half defense, for how the Jets' situation gets fixed.
"We've just got to be better," he said. "We've got to be better as coaches to give our guys the opportunity to make plays. We've got to be better as players when we get the opportunity to make those plays. But it's all the way down. We've just got to figure out these answers."
A plus for the Jets is that they're not splitting apart on either side of the line of scrimmage.
"It is extremely frustrating," Wilson said of waiting for the offense to kick in over the first 45 minutes. "But we're really working on just how can we go next-play-next-play-next-play mentality. I think we all trust in each other more than ever. Especially as these times get tough and people count us out, we have to lean on each other because I think we have the group and these guys are going to keep learning, growing and we're going to keep getting better together."
The way the numbers broke down for both the O and D were baffling. The offense through three quarters had four first downs, 60 yards, were 1-for-10 on third downs and had put just three points on the board.
A plus for Wilson and the offense was that they didn't turn the ball over — one reason the Jets remained in the game for the entire fourth quarter until Wilson's Hail Mary pass glanced off of Garrett Wilson's shoulder, then Randall Cobb's outstretched hand at the goal line.
Similarly, the defense at the half had yielded 10 first downs, 216 yards and 6-for-10 on third downs, and it had no takeaways or sacks for the game. But the unit did buckle down in the second half to allow 142 yards and no TDs.
MLB C.J. Mosley cut to the big-picture view on why the defense has struggled for stretches in each of the first three games to get off the field.
"Teams are doing a great job of game-planning against us," Mosley said ."I thought we played a decent game, but we've got to hold ourselves to a high standard. We said we're going to be the best defense in the world, we can't make those mistakes."
DL John Franklin-Myers also wasn't looking across the line to point out Jets culprits for Sunday's loss, He put it on himself and his D-line.
"It's on us," he said. "The quarterback's running around, we're getting pressure on him but not putting him down. We gave up 13 points, whatever it was, but that wasn't good enough. We can all point fingers. I think we have to do better defensive-line-wise to get sacks on third down. I'm not going to get on the offense or anything like that because we had zero sacks today."
See the best game action photos during the Week 3 matchup against the Patriots.
The defense's biggest mistake was in allowing Pharaoh Brown to get behind them on play-action and gather in his second-quarter 58-yard catch-and-run from QB Mac Jones.
"That was a little miscommunication on the back end," CB Sauce Gardner said. "I'm not the type to name-call and call certain guys out, but we'll fix it. It'll be better.
"We didn't do our job," Gardner added about the Jets defense. "Our standard are different. We've just got the mentality that we don't want to give up nothin', especially busted coverages. That just can't happen."
What also can't happen is that dreaded divided locker room. Gardner said the way to avoid that is by "just loving each other up, not focusing on the outside noise. ... Coach Saleh does a great job of talking to the team and reiterating that we've all got each other's back. We've got to buy into that, and we've been doing that for the most part."
And the love has got to flow this week, because before the Jets get their next chance to pay back the Patriots at Gillette Stadium to end the regular season in January, they've got to be ready for the Kansas City Chiefs, again at home on Sunday night.
"We have 14 games left. We're 1-2," JFM tallied up. "We beat the Bills, so we kind of see what we have, what it takes to do what we need to do. We just have to go out and put it forward no matter what. I'm going to put it on us. I want to play better, we want the defensive line to play better, we want the team to play better. We've got to be better."