NFL Wire News

Jets look to be more successful after their bye


The Sports Xchange

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets perennially had problems handling prosperity and succeeding after a bye week under ex-head coach Rex Ryan. This week, the NFL will learn how the Jets fare under both circumstances with Todd Bowles in charge.

The Jets return from their bye week with some momentum — they improved to 3-1 following a 27-14 win over the Miami Dolphins in London on Oct. 4 — as well as a winnable game on the schedule Sunday, when the Washington Redskins visit MetLife Stadium.

Not only do the Redskins head to New Jersey with a struggling running game, an injured No. 1 receiver and two injured cornerbacks, but they’ll also be toting a 2-16 road record since the start of the 2013 season.

All of which would be a recipe for a letdown under Ryan. The Jets went 1-5 after the bye during Ryan’s reign, during which they were also prone to massive peaks and valleys. With Ryan at the helm, New York had six winning streaks of at least three games as well as eight losing streaks of at least three games.

The Jets also made a habit of losing the games that could have established them as legitimate contenders. Ryan’s rookie season bottomed out with a 10-7, Week-15 loss to the Atlanta Falcons that had the coach convinced the Jets had just been eliminated from playoff contention. (They actually squeaked in at 9-7 with wins in their final two games and made it to the AFC Championship Game.)

Even the best team of Ryan’s tenure, the 2010 squad that went 11-5 and lost in the AFC title game, had a handful of momentum-squelching losses. A five-game winning streak ended with a post-bye, 9-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The Jets ended the regular season with three losses in their final five games, including a 45-3 rout at the hands of the New England Patriots and a 10-6 loss to the mediocre Miami Dolphins six days later.

One thing is for certain: The Jets aren’t as enthusiastic over their fast start under Bowles as they would have been under Ryan.

“It’s early, we have a long way to go,” Bowles said Wednesday. “Although you’re pleased with the results, we know internally that we did a lot of things wrong that we have to clean up. And going forward, we’re trying to work on that.”

As for how the Jets will respond after the bye — well, everyone was upbeat on Wednesday. But the real answers won’t be determined until Sunday.

“I think everybody welcomes the bye whenever it comes and enjoys the time away, but this is what we do,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. “This is where we want to be.

“It’s been nice, Monday and today, to be back on the field running around with the guys. We’re feeling pretty good and excited for Sunday.”

SERIES HISTORY: 11th regular-season meeting, Redskins lead series, 8-2. The Jets won the most recent game between the teams Dec. 4, 2011, when running back Shonn Greene rushed for 88 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-19 victory at FedEx Field. The most memorable game in the series was the Jets’ first win, a 3-0 victory at RFK Stadium on Dec. 11, 1993 in which kicker Cary Blanchard’s 45-yard field goal in the first quarter provided the only points on an afternoon in which the Jets held the ball for 41 minutes and limited the Redskins to 150 total yards. It was the 58th of the 59 3-0 wins in NFL history but just the fifth of six 3-0 wins since the AFL/NFL merger.


–The Jets should have a chance to establish a diversified offense against the Redskins, who were gashed for 176 yards on the ground by the Falcons last week. Expect a fresh running back Chris Ivory to get at least 20 carries as offensive coordinator Chan Gailey looks to batter the Redskins in order to open up opportunities for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and wide receiver Brandon Marshall to continue their season-long game of catch against a secondary that was missing its top two corners, DeAngelo Hall and Chris Culliver, against the Falcons.

An elite run defense is likely licking its chops for the Redskins, whose top two backs, Alfred Morris and Matt Jones, have averaged 2.75 yards per carry over the last three games. Shutting down Morris and Jones will force game managing quarterback Kirk Cousins to take to the air, but his No. 1 weapon, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, has missed four games with a hamstring injury, which means Cousins might be forcing the ball into a secondary led by cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie.


–Jets WR Brandon Marshall vs. Redskins CBs DeAngelo Hall or CB Chris Culliver.

Marshall has feasted on No. 1 cornerbacks all season. Thanks to injury, the Redskins don’t have a No. 1 cornerback. Both Hall and Culliver missed the Redskins’ loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Early indications are each player will return this weekend, but whomever is assigned to Marshall will have his hands full trying to keep up with a player on pace for the best season by a wide receiver in Jets history.

–Jets DE Sheldon Richardson vs. Redskins LT Trent Williams and/or RT Morgan Moses.

Richardson is back after serving a four-game NFL suspension and head coach Todd Bowles said he’ll play against the Redskins. A full-time role is unlikely at the outset, so figure on seeing Richardson in pass-rushing situations as Bowles tries to shore up the one weak spot thus far for the Jets, who have just seven sacks in the first four games. Harassing Redskins QB Kirk Cousins will further limit a Washington offense that is already unlikely to generate much of a running game.

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