HOUSTON — Former Jets coach Herman Edwards famously ranted, “You play to win the sport.’’
The message proper now from present Jets coach Robert Saleh to his gamers getting into Sunday’s recreation at Houston goes one thing like this: “Don’t lose the damned recreation.’’
The 2-8 Texans, who ended an NFL-high eight-game dropping streak final Sunday with an upset of the Titans, are a staff the Jets are viewing as ripe to be crushed.
Of course, the Texans are trying on the 2-8 Jets, losers of their previous three video games and 5 of the previous six, the identical manner — as a possible straightforward mark and an opportunity at a two-game successful streak.
Saleh, who’s projected a definite players-coach positivity because the second he was employed, was as publicly perturbed as he’s been all season after final week’s 24-17 loss to the Dolphins, a recreation through which the Jets sabotaged themselves with a barrage of self-inflicted wounds.
Saleh made it clear instantly after the sport that his staff had crushed itself, and you would inform by the expression on his face and the tone of his voice that he was ticked off. As ticked off as he’s been all season.
“You must find out how to not lose video games,’’ Saleh stated. “Plenty of time it’s as a result of, one you’re both attempting to make a play that you simply don’t must make, you simply must do your job. Two, you get caught up within the second and the second will get too massive for you. Or three, you’re only a younger child who wants time, who wants to have the ability to be uncovered to these conditions.
“So, you educate as a lot as you possibly can.’’
An enormous a part of that training course of is a weekly Friday assembly Saleh has carried out referred to as “Learning Around the League.’’ It’s carried out by Matt Burke, the staff’s director of recreation administration.
There have been quite a few teachable moments the teaching workers drew from the Thanksgiving Day video games, together with the Lions-Bears recreation, throughout which the Lions have been penalized for calling consecutive timeouts at a vital second late within the recreation, and within the Cowboys’ loss to the Raiders, through which Dallas was referred to as for killer cross interference penalties that price it the sport.
“You noticed it within the Dallas-Las Vegas recreation, [when] they each stored taking pictures themselves within the foot,’’ Saleh stated. “You noticed it within the Bears-Lions recreation. Ways to lose video games. Every recreation has teachable moments. I’m positive groups are utilizing our stuff as teachable moments — a few of the stuff to do and a few stuff to not do.’’
Saleh’s purpose, in fact, is for his staff to chop down on the stuff to not do, which is what price the Jets the Miami recreation.
“It’s educating the younger gamers,’’ linebacker Quincy Williams stated of the Friday movie periods. “Most folks suppose soccer is simply bodily, that individual is simply higher than the opposite individual. We talked concerning the Lions recreation and the 2 timeouts back-to-back. I didn’t know that [was a penalty]. When I play ‘Madden’ and I attempt to press timeout once more after [I called timeout], it gained’t let me do it, and now I do know why it gained’t let me do it.
“The greatest factor is studying from different folks’s errors. In a detailed recreation like that, it’s all about who makes probably the most errors.’’
Or the least errors.
Sunday’s recreation figures to be a detailed one, as a result of neither the Jets nor the Texans are superb. You can financial institution on the staff that makes fewer errors successful the sport.
As of final week, the Jets thought they’d reached the portion of their schedule when there have been some so-called winnable video games towards weak groups. That didn’t begin so effectively towards the Dolphins (then 3-7).
Now come the struggling Texans. After this recreation, the Jets will probably be watching yet one more eminently winnable recreation — Dec. 26 at dwelling towards the Jaguars (at the moment 2-8) in a matchup that may characteristic the No. 1-overall draft choose, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, towards the No. 2-overall choose, Zach Wilson.
The Jets subsequent recreation is at dwelling towards the Eagles (5-6), then dwelling to the Saints (5-6), then at Miami (4-7), dwelling for the Jaguars and Tom Brady Buccaneers (7-3) and the finale in Buffalo (7-4).
So, the message for the time being, with the Texans of their sights, is get whereas the getting’s good. Because, if the Jets can’t beat the Texans and the Jaguars, it’s not out of the query that they may not win one other recreation this season.