Jets can’t afford damaging step backward against Redskins
This is what we need to see from the Jets now, after Sunday’s win over the Giants calmed the turbulent waters around them, at least for the minute.
Now, go beat the 1-8 Redskins on Sunday at FedEx Field. Take another baby step forward instead of a damaging step backward.
“It’s all going to be about Wednesday, showing up coming back to work, wiping the slate clean and focusing on winning the next game,’’ Jets coach Adam Gase said Monday. “If we’re looking past anything besides that, we’re in the wrong spot. We need to figure out a way to keep improving every day and not worry about what’s going on [in the big picture]. We just need to play better than we did the week before.’’
The parking lot exits surrounding MetLife Stadium were still gridlocked with giddy Jets fans and grumpy Giants supporters Sunday after the Jets 34-27 win over the Giants when Steve McLendon was delivering a message from his heart to his teammates.
“I told the guys, ‘Hold onto this feeling and never let it go,’ ’’ McLendon told The Post. “I said, ‘You’ve got to hate losing more than you love winning. You have to absolutely hate it.’ ’’
Before the Jets took the field Sunday, lugging their miserable 1-7 record and three-game losing streak, McLendon, their sage defensive tackle, was in his teammates’ ears.
“Be relentless,’’ he told them. “You don’t have to like the man that’s next to you, but fight for him. For 60 minutes, be relentless and fight for your brothers.’’
The Jets did that. They were relentless, led by safety Jamal Adams, who played the best game of his career, and they fought.
The win was anything but artistic, but the result was what counted. The Jets were just good enough against a Giants team that was a little bit worse than they were.
So, now what?
Next for the Jets is a weakling Redskins team they have to beat if they’re going to show any progress.
It’s a game that, if the Jets don’t win, will render Sunday’s “bragging rights’’ victory over their MetLife Stadium co-tenants meaningless.
The Redskins are not good. They’re one of only two teams in the NFL that actually has scored fewer points (108) than the Jets (130).
For more on the Jets, listen to the latest episode of the “Gang’s All Here” podcast:
The Redskins, who are coming off their bye week, on Monday announced rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins, the 15th pick in the draft, will start Sunday and for the rest of the season.
Haskins has thrown 44 passes over more than eight quarters and hasn’t yet thrown a touchdown pass.
So, suffice it to say that the Redskins are there for the taking, there for the Jets to win a second game in a row for the first time this season.
“We’ve still got a lot of ball left; we’ve only got two wins, so obviously we’re looking to get our third one,’’ safety Marcus Maye said.
“The mindset going into this week is knowing how to get back to work, stay focused and work 10 times as hard as you did the week before to repeat success,’’ linebacker Brandon Copeland said. “That will be huge this week, trying to build and progress as opposed to taking a step backward. To be quite honest, we don’t have any laurels to rest on.’’
Truer words have not been spoken.
A win over Washington would not represent some sort of watershed moment for the Jets. But it would show some semblance of baby-steps consistency after they’d gone a few games (before the win over the Giants) looking inexcusably noncompetitive.
A loss to the Redskins would be a concerning regression for Gase and his program, which already has been on shaky ground, and put the Jets right back where they were before the win over the Giants: in crisis.
Haven’t the Jets already had enough crisis this season?
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