We asked Greg Cowan over at ColtsAuthority.com (formerly 18to88.com) to answer some questions about this weekend's matchup between the Colts and the Jets.  Here's what Greg thought about his team and their chances this weekend.

Be sure to read my answers to his questions on ColtsAuthority.com!

TJB: With the news about Chuck Pagano's health, how has the team responded to their coach's fight with leukemia?

Greg: The response from the team has been genuine, touching, and somewhat inspiring. From their pregame interviews, to their actions during the game - Luck pounding the ChuckStrong banner after his touchdown and Robert Mathis holding up a sign that said ChuckStrong during the game's final moments, to their emotional post-game comments, the team has really rallied around their head coach.

As a rule, I'm skeptical about the role emotions play in the outcome of games - I believe skill overrides everything else - but it's hard to ignore just how invested the team became in winning for their coach.  That said, going forward, I have to wonder just how long they can ride this emotional wave before wearing themselves out. Maybe they can make it through the Jets game, maybe even longer, but I imagine that, some point soon, the Colts will be in for an emotional let down which will lead to a disappointing result.

TJB: What has it been like for Colts fans expectations transitioning  from Manning to Luck?

Greg: I wouldn't say there was a real divide among fans, at least where Luck is concerned. There was a large segment of the fan base, myself included, that thought the team should keep Manning and the veterans and give it a go, but once the decision was made and Luck was drafted, the fan base has been completely supportive of their new QB.

As far as expectations are concerned, Colts owner Jim Irsay and new GM Ryan Grigson tried to temper expectations by talking about the need for a 4-year rebuild, but with every snap Andrew Luck takes, it becomes increasingly hard for Colts fans to be "patient."  Luck is so far beyond any rookie I've ever seen, especially in his pocket awareness, his calmness, and his poise. When he took the field with 4:30 left in the fourth quarter needing a touchdown to beat Green Bay, there was no doubt in my mind that Luck would score, he's become that good in end-of-half situations.

To make a long story longer: we're spoiled, and Colts fans expect to be back in the hunt by next year.

TJB: Like the Jets, the Colts are dealing with injuries to key players. How has losing key players changed the Colts gameplan?

Greg: On offense, where rookie RB Vick Ballard is replacing Donald Brown, it's hard to say what exactly will change, but if anything DOES change, I doubt it will be drastic. The Colts running game is more of a suggestion at this point, their offensive line, especially the interior, is just not good enough for the Colts to have a consistent, dominant running game.

Though it seems like attacking the Jets on the ground might be a good idea at this point - they are giving up 172yards per game on the ground - I expect them to let Luck through it around 45 times on Sunday. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if Luck, through scrambling, was the Colts leading rusher against the Jets.

Defensively it's a little trickier. Robert Mathis has been their best, most consistent defensive player this year, notching at least one sack in all 4 of their games so far, and without him, you have to imagine the Colts will be finding creative ways to get pressure on Mark Sanchez and/or Tim Tebow. I do expect them to use some creative blitzes on Sunday, but very selectively, as they are also dealing with some injuries in the secondary (most notably CB Vontae Davis).

With Mathis out, the OLBs will be Jerry Hughes and Dwight Freeney. Both have been bad-to-OK this year, but will obviously need to step up their game if the Colts defense is going to put up the kind of performance they did against the Packers in the 2nd half.

TJB: Who are a few players for good or bad that Jets fans might not know but should before Sunday?

Greg: I'm a pessimist by nature, so let's start with the bad:

You know how Shonn Greene and the Jets running game has been struggling recently? Say hello to S Tom Zbikowski! Angles, as I like to call him (because he always takes a bad one) was brought in because of his knowledge of Pagano's system and his physical play. He's been abysmal against the run and invisible against the pass.

You know how the Jets defense has only racked up 5 sacks through 5 games? Say hello to the trio of C Samson Satele, RG Mike McGlynn and RT Winston Justice! 3/4ths of the Colts Offensive Line Voltron (LG Seth Olsen, who also forms Voltron's left Leg, is on Designated to Return IR)! You might be asking: "Wait, doesn't Voltron have 5 pieces? Who forms the head!"  Yes, and no one, that's the problem.

The Colts OL has been pretty abysmal this year, though they did seem to turn a corner in the second half of the Packers game, and is the only thing holding the Colts offense back from "elite" status.

As far as the good, DE Cory Redding was brought over from Baltimore as a Pagano guy, and he's been a vocal and emotional leader off the field, and a physical, tenacious leader on the field. With Robert Mathis out, look for Redding to be that QB-harassing spark the defense desperately needs.

It's hard to pick an offensive guy for this spot, as you've heard of all the good ones, so I'll go with Colts P Pat McAfee. The Colts have had special teams issues for the past 14 years, and McAfee is the only thing making the 2012 ST unit look respectable. His ability to force touch backs on kickoffs, and his high, deep, booming punts relieve a lot of pressure from the Colts undermanned coverage units.

TJB: What do you think the Colts gameplan will be to beat the Jets?

Greg: I think they'll play patient on offense - don't take too many risks unless it's absolutely necessary. They don't want to give a seemingly anemic offense any short fields or, even worse, defensive points.

On defense, they'll do whatever they can to prevent the big play. Force Sanchez to be patient and lead long 10+ play drives of his own.

Those two things, plus preventing any big plays on special teams, are the formula the Colts will need to follow if they are going to walk out of Metlife Stadium with the win.

Tags: Reports, Brian Bassett

New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) rushes for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) rushes for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

When Bilal Powell was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 draft by the Jets, he was joining a backfield that included the legendary LaDainian Tomlinson. 

Powell only appeared in two games that season but the knowledge he picked up from Tomlinson in the Hall of Famer's final season was invaluable to his career...

Tags: Bilal Powell
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Oct 28, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) looks to pass against the Washington Huskies during the first quarter at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Oct 28, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) looks to pass against the Washington Huskies during the first quarter at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe most important football game for New York will not take place at the Meadowlands on Sunday. It will take place 2,800 miles away at the Los Angeles Coliseum, where the future of one or both of the New York teams may be on display Saturday night.

And yes, both the Giants and Jets will both have scouts in the press box watching UCLA take on USC - along with 18 other NFL teams. Their eyes will be fixed on Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen and Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold - the odds-on favorites to be the first and second picks of the 2018 draft.

The Jets, of course, are desperate to find their franchise quarterback. And the Giants are searching for the heir to their 36-year-old quarterback Eli Manning. Right now, the Giants seem to be in the best position to grab the quarterback they desire. But a few more losses over the final six games, and perhaps a trade up, and the Jets could be in position, too.

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New York Jets corner back Buster Skrine (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets corner back Buster Skrine (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets CB Buster Skrine was fined $48,620 for his hit on Bucs WR DeSean Jackson last Sunday, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

The third quarter hit on Jackson yielded an unnecessary roughness penalty. It was the 11th time this season Skrine has been penalized, which is the most by any defensive player in the NFL. 

It is also the second time Skrine has been fined this season. He was docked for a hit on Raiders RB DeAndre Washington in Week 2. 

Tags: Buster Skrine
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The Jets have finally reached their bye week, and it's probably at the right time after a dreadful loss to the Tampa Buccaneers. The guys discuss the defeat, as well as a recap of the season so far.

Click below to listen

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 (Steve Nesius/AP)
(Steve Nesius/AP)

The Jets (4-6) are on their bye week and next face the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 26. Here's what's going on Friday:

Need to know

The Jets are scheduled to return to practice on Monday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors from SNY's Ralph Vacciano.

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Jets mid-season awards 00:05:26
The Jets Nation crew take a look back at Gang Green's first half and hand out their mid-season awards.

The Jets Nation crew take a look back at Gang Green's first half and hand out their mid-season awards.


Jets mid-season report cards 00:09:19
The Jets Nation crew take a look back at the Jets' first half of the campaign and hand out their mid-season report cards.

Former Jets LB and current SNY Jets contributor Chad Cascadden gives his midseason grades.

Tune in to the Jets Nation Midseason report tonight at 6:30 on SNY!


Offense Overall: (C)

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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

The Jets (4-6) are on their bye week and next face the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 26. Here's what's going on Wednesday:

Need to know

The Jets are scheduled to return to practice next Monday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors from SNY's Ralph Vacciano.

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Current state of the Jets 00:02:37
Jon Hein and Willie Colon break down the current outlook for the Jets after their recent loss to Tampa Bay that dropped them to 4-6.

Jon Hein and Willie Colon break down the current outlook for the Jets after their recent loss to Tampa Bay that dropped them to 4-6.


NY Jets Special Teams coach Mike Westhoff as the Jets get in practice at the Jets Training Facility during training camp in Florham Park, NJ on Aug. 8, 2011 (William Perlman (USA Today))
NY Jets Special Teams coach Mike Westhoff as the Jets get in practice at the Jets Training Facility during training camp in Florham Park, NJ on Aug. 8, 2011 (William Perlman (USA Today))

Mike Westhoff, who had been working for SNY as Jets contributor, is coming out of retirement to join the Saints as a coach.

The 69-year old Westhoff, who was a special teams coach for the Jets from 2001 to 2012, is joining the Saints in the same capacity.

"I didn't want to regret something I didn't try," Westhoff said, according to the NY Post.

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Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons tackles New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons tackles New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (4-6) are on their bye week and next face the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 26. Here's what's going on Wednesday:

Need to know

The Jets are scheduled to return to practice next Monday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors from SNY's Ralph Vacciano.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Morris Claiborne, Robby Anderson, Steve McLendon
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 (Jerry Lai)
(Jerry Lai)

Former Jet Bart Scott will join Chris Carlin and Maggie Gray as the team to replace Mike Francesa on WFAN, per the NY Daily News. 

The annoucement has yet to be made by WFAN itself, but it was first reported that Carlin and Scott were to take part of the team taking over for the legendary Francesa. 

Scott currently works with ESPN 98.7 while Carlin talks for WIP radio in Philadelphia. Gray works for SI Now and CBS Sports Radio. 

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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets put together their most complete performance of the season in an impressive 34-21 win over the Bills on Thursday night, rushing for almost 200 yards and racking up seven sacks and three fumble recoveries in the process.

Let's start this week by breaking down the performances on the offensive side of the ball:

Quarterbacks

With the running game working, Josh McCown didn't need to throw much this week, but he was efficient when he did. He threw just seven passes after halftime, completing five. In the first half, while the game was still in the balance, McCown gave the Jets the lead with a touchdown scramble, completing a drive he'd kept alive himself with another third-down run.

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bilal Powell, Brent Qvale, Brian Winters, Chad Hansen, Elijah McGuire, James Carpenter, Jeremy Kerley, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Wesley Johnson
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Cast your votes below for the Jets offense, defense, special teams and coaching during the first half of the season and see the results on Jets Nation: Mid Season Report on Thursday 11/16 at 6:30PM.

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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) drops back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) drops back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Jets (4-6) are now on their bye week. Their next game is against the Carolina Panthers on November 26th. Here's what's going on today...

Tags: Jeremy Kerley, Josh McCown
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Unlike the previous week, the Jets offense looked stale in their 15-10 loss to the Bucs on Sunday.

Consistency is what the players didn't see from the unit after the game. As the Jets tried to find a rhythm, something would halt them in their tracks. Josh McCown says it's on the veterans like him because they didn't pull the team together. 

"Myself and the other veterans have to pull these [young] guys along, help us find consistency and be better," McCown told Jets.com's Ethan Greenberg. "Because every unit, at some point this year, has played and shown that they can play with the best in the league. But we have to do that for four quarters week in and week out and we didn't do that today. We have to take these next two weeks to get healthy, look in the mirror and figure out ways to do that and be better, so we can make a run down the stretch."

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

The University of Tennessee has expressed interest in Jets DC Kacy Rodgers to become their next head coach, per Newsday's Calvin Watkins.

Tennessee fired Butch Jones on Sunday, leaving the school to hire a new coach following the season. No interviews have been scheduled as the talks are just beginning between both sides. 

Rodgers played for the Vols from 1988-1991 was he was a linebacker/defensive end. He was also born in Humboldt, Tennessee. 

The Vols do not need permission from the Jets to talk to Rodgers about the position. 

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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

After the win against Buffalo, there was a lot of hype about the "resurgent" Jets and some talk of Todd Bowles as a coach of the year candidate. However, after yesterday's dispiriting loss, the reality is that the Jets have lost four of five with their only win coming over a Bills team whose 37-point loss to the Saints yesterday suggests they have been overrated. Heading to the bye, it's probably time to reset our expectations.

Let's start this week by breaking down the performances on the defensive side of the ball...

Tags: Buster Skrine, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Jordan Jenkins, Juston Burris, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McLendon
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

After playing their best game of the season against the Bills last Thursday, the Jets looked lethargic in their 15-10 loss to the Bucs on Sunday. 

It didn't look like the same Jets energy that ran all over MetLife Stadium a week prior. Head coach Todd Bowles noticed a lack of spirit to start the game, and it would last until the final whistle. 

"You've got to show up every week in this league or you get it handed to you," Bowles told The Post's Brian Costello. "We didn't show up today."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum, Morris Claiborne, Robby Anderson
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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

Buccaneers QB Ryan Fitzpatrick got his first start on Sunday against his former team, and made the best of it with a victory. 

"It was special to me to be able to win that game," Fitpatrick told NJ.com's Connor Hughes.

Fitzpatrick led the Bucs to a 15-10 win as the Jets suffered their sixth loss of the season. It wasn't his best performance as he finished 17-for-34 for 187 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. But his fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Charles Sims would be the deciding score, and the feat Fitzpatrick was hoping to achieve. 

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick
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Jets Post Game Overtime: 11/12 00:11:49
The Jets Post Game crew hands out report cards following the Jets' 15-10 loss at the hands of the Buccaneers.

Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) reacts with a towel over his head during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) reacts with a towel over his head during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

What a waste of an opportunity.

That's the only way to describe that hideous, 15-10 loss the Jets had on Sunday to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Jets had showed so much promise in recent weeks. They were 10 days removed from their best win of the season. They were getting everyone excited as they sat on the edge of the AFC playoff picture.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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Bowles, McCown on 15-10 loss 00:02:04
Jets head coach Todd Bowles attributes the team's 15-10 loss to sloppy overall play, while QB Josh McCown credits Tampa Bay's game plan.

The Jets struggled on offense and former Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Bucaneers to a 15-10 win on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.  >> Box score


 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Josh McCown, Robby Anderson, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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Dr. Levine on treating soldiers 00:03:37
Dr. David Levine discusses his experience treating both professional athletes and soldiers. Demario Davis talks about their relationship.

Oct 8, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Kevin Hogan (8) runs the ball as New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne (21) comes in for the tackle during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)
Oct 8, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Kevin Hogan (8) runs the ball as New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne (21) comes in for the tackle during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson is active and CB Morris Claiborne is set to return on Sunday when the team faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a road matchup.

Claiborne returned to practice on Thursday after he was sidelined last week with a foot injury, while Wilkerson is set to go after resting during the week.

Tags: Matt Forte, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The Jets (4-5) at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER

We'll be shivering up here in the Northeast all weekend, but not so much down in Tampa. Temperatures should be in the low 80s throughout the game under partly cloudy skies, moderate winds, and a tiny chance of showers at some point...

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Vacc's 3 Keys to a Jets win 00:01:24
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

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Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs with the ball against New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon (30) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs with the ball against New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon (30) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jets WR Robby Anderson is only in the midst of his second NFL season, but he already has lofty goals for what he hopes is a memorable NFL career.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets won 34-21. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (AP)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets won 34-21. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (AP)

The Jets have activated WR JoJo Natson their practice squad as part of three moves before the team takes on the Bucs on the road on Sunday.

In addition to adding Natson, the Jets waived/injured DL Ed Stinson and signed CB Michael Hunter to the practice squad.

Natson is a 5'7" wide receiver who went undrafted out of Akron and originally signed with the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts waived Natson in September and he later signed with the Jets. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Darron Lee 00:01:43
Jeane Coakley talks to Jets' linebacker Darron Lee about the team's focus coming off a big win and their preparation for Sunday's game.