The Jets' coordinators — Mike Pettine (defense), Brian Schottenheimer (offense) and Mike Westhoff (special teams) — speak with reporters every week. Here are highlights of their Wednesday afternoon news conferences:
It's not very often that one team plays another in consecutive weeks, let alone is victorious in both games. In fact, since 1970 only five teams have accomplished that feat.
Schottenheimer said there are some challenges to playing the same opponent so close in the schedule, but there are also some things that can work to a coach's favor.
"The benefits are you get a feel for their personnel," he said. "This is an opponent that we don't have a lot of history with. We've played them the last couple of years but there have been some changes. You get the benefit of having played them and get a feel for their players a little bit."
"Obviously they'll have some guys back, especially on the defensive line. We'll see what adjustments they make as well."
Two of the starters that the Bengals hope to get back are DT Domata Peko and DE Robert Geathers, both of whom were inactive Sunday night with knee injuries and both of whom practiced Wednesday (Peko full, Geathers limited).
The OC said the challenge was in not showing the Bengals too much of their playbook last week. They were able to hold a lot back because of the 37-0 score, and now there's more up Schotty's sleeve for this game.
Schottenheimer said he wouldn't mind continuing to work as the Jets' coordinator, despite his name being mentioned in relation to some NFL head-coaching openings.
"If someone came and wanted to talk to me, would I listen? Probably," he said, but added, "I'm very happy here. I love the area. I love working with Rex. I'm excited about the things we're doing offensively. I'm really content."
The punt and kickoff coverage were about the Jets units not playing to their full potential Sunday night. They gave up 200 yards combined on two punt returns and five kickoff returns. Rookie Bernard Scott had KO returns of 28, 36 and 53 yards, and rookie Quan Cosby had a fourth-quarter punt return of 40 yards.
"The one on the punt, it was just the tackles," said Westhoff. "We had him tackled for no gain and then we had him tackled for 4 yards. You miss those two, now you're opening it up because those guys were unblocked.
"They just ran a man-to-man return scheme. It was one of those games where it's so cold and you're not kicking as good, you're not squeezing the coverage as good. We had a couple of missed tackles that I wasn't very happy about."
P Steve Weatherford had three punts for a 43.3-yard gross average after being questionable due to a hamstring injury suffered in the days before the game. Westhoff was happy with how he played and said the sixth-year pro is fine.
"He punted really well today," Westhoff said. "He seemed to play through it pretty well. I thought for the most part he did a pretty good job."
DE Marques Douglas and several other players talked earlier in the week about playing the type of football they played last Sunday consistently on the defensive side of the ball.
They completely dominated, but it was no secret that the Stripes rested several starters. Pettine expects the Bengals O to come out with more than they brought to the Meadowlands on Saturday at Paul Brown Stadium.
"We're not going to fall into the trap of 'Well, they played the same intensity that we did'," said the D-coordinator. "I know a lot of guys didn't find out until late that they were playing. We're obviously pleased with the result but it's something that we've put behind us. This Saturday we expect to get the brand of football that won them the AFC North title."
The Jets have gone 5-1 over the past six games and that's a big tribute to the coaching staff. Now that they're in the big dance, they're not going to change the formula that got them here.
"There's no reason to tense up and play tight," said Pettine. "This is a must-win game. We're going to be us."
Their personality starts "up top" with the head coach, according to Pettine. Ever since Rex Ryan and Pettine arrived in January, they've been a group that has fun while handling their business, as expressed by a number of players throughout the year.
"Don't be afraid to make a play in this game," the DC said. "Just shoot your gun. That's the mentality you have to have in a playoff game. You can't — and we never will — play conservative and play not to lose. Sometimes that will bite you in the butt, but most of the time it ends up working out in your favor."