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Jets blame talk of Super Bowl for two-game slide


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http://www.newsday.com/sports/football/jets/ny-spjets095958017dec09,0,1358016.story

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Two weeks ago, the Jets were at the top of the football world - or at least very near it. They had won five straight games, including back-to-back wins on the road over New England and then-undefeated Tennessee, a team not many observers thought they could beat.

People were mentioning the words " Super Bowl" and "Jets" in the same sentence, and no one was laughing. Jets fans and the media talked almost dreamily of the Jets meeting the Giants for the championship. And apparently, some of the Jets couldn't help but let all of the big talk get to them.

At least that is the diagnosis some Jets players provided yesterday, a day after their 24-14 loss to the lowly 49ers in San Francisco. It was the Jets' second straight loss to a team they were expected to beat; they lost to visiting Denver, 34-17, the week before.

"When we were on the road, everyone started buying into the Giants and the Jets in the Super Bowl and this and that," linebacker David Bowens said. "It's not like they are just going to put us there. We have to earn the spot. We have to get there."

Tight end Dustin Keller said players couldn't help but hear what others were saying.

"I think it might have been the case," Keller said when asked if all the talk was distracting. "It's better that it happen now than a couple of weeks from now. Say we do get into the playoffs and then the first round we're in the same mind-set, then we will just let it go."

In other words, the Jets need to get used to being a good team.

Jets coach Eric Mangini has been preaching consistency since he took over the job. Right now, they are consistently erratic, which the players know is something that has to end this week.

"We do control our own destiny right now," Keller said. "Right now we're tied for first place, and we'll see what happens. Depending on what happens the last three games, we'll see what happens."

The Jets, New England and Miami are tied for first place in the AFC East at 8-5. The Buffalo Bills, whom the Jets play this weekend at the Meadowlands, are fourth in the division at 6-7.

A loss to the Bills could be potentially devastating, and judging from the way Mangini was talking yesterday at his news conference, he is going to make sure his team knows that.

"You know I've talked constantly to the guys about the importance of every game," Mangini said. "It's nothing that hasn't been addressed and covered, almost ad nauseam. But that being said, you've got to go out and do the same things week in and week out. If there hadn't been a sense of urgency, there will be now."

At the beginning of the season, after suffering through last year's 4-12 record, most Jets fans would have been happy to be 8-5. But given that the Jets got off to an 8-3 start, expectations have risen. Now the general feeling is that the team needs to do something to reverse its skid. Bowens, a team captain, even mentioned that he might call a players' meeting.

Said Bowens: "I don't want to say I'm hitting a panic button, but the leaders need to step up."

Notes & quotes: Mangini said WR Brad Smith, who did not travel back from San Francisco with the team Sunday night, is being evaluated after taking a hard hit. Mangini said he will update Smith's condition tomorrow ... Laveranues Coles made some headlines in the San Francisco papers over the weekend with his comments on a conference call about his lesser role in Brett Favre's offense. Neither Coles nor Favre was at his locker yesterday. Mangini, however, said Coles and Favre are on the same page. "Talked to Laveranues, I've talked to Brett. I've talked to those guys frequently," he said. "I think their goal is exactly the same, that L.C. wants to do everything he can to help us win and so does Brett. It's not a function of any personal goals or anything like that. L.C.'s not like that."

Sunday

Buffalo at Jets

1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 2

Radio: WEPN (1050), WABC (770), WRCN (103.9)

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Bulls**t. Flat out, you played like lethargic chumps the last two games. You showed no passion and drive. Plus, your coaches came out with a predictable, unimaginative game plan, and failed twice to make the necessary adjustments. All this talk blaming Super Bowl expectations is spin by the Jet P.R. Dept. You are professionals--sure, gutless ones that are, historically, prone to massive chokes in key spots thereby destroying the hearts and minds of your loyal fans--who should not be so easily fooled by media reports. Just f**king win, dunces.

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Bulls**t. Flat out, you played like lethargic chumps the last two games. You showed no passion and drive. Plus, your coaches came out with a predictable, unimaginative game plan, and failed twice to make the necessary adjustments. All this talk blaming Super Bowl expectations is spin by the Jet P.R. Dept. You are professionals--sure, gutless ones that are, historically, prone to massive chokes in key spots thereby destroying the hearts and minds of your loyal fans--who should not be so easily fooled by media reports. Just f**king win, dunces.

Are you ok BFF? I didnt mean to upset you with this article.... Please accept my apologies.

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Are you ok BFF? I didnt mean to upset you with this article.... Please accept my apologies.

Are you kidding? This is calm from where I was yesterday. That loss on Sunday just killed me for some reason. I've sat through lots of bad games and chokes since the mid-60s--LOTS!--but that one left me feeling like I got slammed in the gut. Almost like I felt after the Doug Brien debacle. It gets tougher each year, and I am not one of those "long suffering Jet fan" types. Thanks for your concern. I've disconnected all the gas lines into my home, so don't worry.

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Are you kidding? This is calm from where I was yesterday. That loss on Sunday just killed me for some reason. I've sat through lots of bad games and chokes since the mid-60s--LOTS!--but that one left me feeling like I got slammed in the gut. Almost like I felt after the Doug Brien debacle. It gets tougher each year, and I am not one of those "long suffering Jet fan" types. Thanks for your concern. I've disconnected all the gas lines into my home, so don't worry.

I'm glad you are calmer... I moved on today from sunday's debacle. I'm ready for Sunday with the hope they wake the f#ck up.

I actually called my parents and left a message telling them that I was ok and have moved on from the game and thinking about sunday...

my dad worries when he doesnt hear from me after a horrible loss.

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WTF happened to Mangini's first year mantra....ONLY WORRY ABOUY OURSELVES, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.

Back then if ANYBODY got caught saying something to that effect to the media, they would've been riding the doghouse all season.

Mangini seriously needs to re-take control of his team IMO.

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I'm glad you are calmer... I moved on today from sunday's debacle. I'm ready for Sunday with the hope they wake the f#ck up.

I actually called my parents and left a message telling them that I was ok and have moved on from the game and thinking about sunday...

my dad worries when he doesnt hear from me after a horrible loss.

016187008.jpg

See... I've moved on.... now I'm going to start making fun of the Bills midget trainer.

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Talk about Herms sorry excuses?

The Jets are blaming the media :rolleyes:

I don't think they're blaming the media, but maybe that's just me because the story I just read said something along the lines of:

"We're a bunch of sorry little pansy bitches that couldn't perform worth a damn with a little bit of pressure, because we were so full of ourselves after a couple of good games that we instead just sat there and got bitch slapped around by a couple of crappy teams."

I can't believe anyone can make comments like those in this article without being completely embarrassed and disgusted by themselves.

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important lesson for keller, as he is the only player quoted with something that remotely resembles blaming the losses on SB talk

the media wants to trap you

see how they turn " I think that might have been the case" to a declarative statment like "jets blame talk of SB...."

dustin;

never answer a question that requires you to speculate or essentially agree with a reporter

don't let them put words in your mouth

use parcells' old line

"I'm not a fortune teller"

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