Despite losing 26-6 on Sunday, Jets LB Jordan Jenkins believes his team isn't that far off talent-wise with the Patriots.
The Patriots won the AFC East once again this season with a 13-3 record, and though the Jets finished 5-11, Jenkins is convinced the Patriots aren't that far ahead of the Jets.
"Shoot, it's not actually far at all," Jenkins told NJ.com's Darryl Slater. "We've just got to capitalize on opportunities we've got and not make mistakes. If we didn't have some penalties we had [Sunday], the score might be a little different. The gap is not big at all. We just have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot.
"I mean, hell, last year was a totally different game than it was this year statistically. People can say that [the gap is large between the Jets and Patriots]. I don't agree with that. I know we can compete with these guys. In the first game [this season], it was a hell of a lot closer game. I don't feel like the gap is big at all."
The Jets' record say otherwise about the talent gap between both team. Since the Jets beat the Patriots in the 2010 divisional playoff series, they are 2-12 against the Pats, and 0-7 when they travel to Foxborough. They have been getting better shots at their rival at home, but when on the road, the Jets don't stand a chance.
But Jenkins isn't the only Jet that shares this mindset. Jamal Adams, the rookie safety, wants to be a part of the team that topples the Patriots off their throne in the AFC East.
"I know it," Adams said. "The Patriots, they weren't always the Patriots. They started somewhere. Matter of fact, my Pops played with them, and they went 0-16. It starts somewhere. Everybody goes through this phase. We're just going to bounce back and get ready for next year."
The Jets have already defied odds this season based on predictions during the preseason. Many slated them to be the worst team in the league. Because that didn't happen, the Jets are convinced they are moving in a positive direction.
"Because we weren't supposed to do anything," Jenkins explained. "We were supposed to be the terrible team. Everyone said we were tanking. We came out and fought with every team this year. This team is a hell of a lot different than last year. We feel like we're headed in the right direction. Last year, there was a little turmoil. You can easily tell it's different than last year."
Adams added: "We're moving forward and we're gaining some leverage. Nothing is annoying about this season. Everything is a process. We took strides this season."