Kevin Mawae was the catalyst for change at a time when the Jets needed to bury the tortured past and develop a successful, hard-nosed identity for the future. He was nasty, reliable and, because the Seattle Seahawks declined to retain his services, he was available.

The Jets signed Mawae to a five-year, $16.8M contract in February 1998—the highest salary ever awarded to a center at the time. There was no denying then, as there's no denying now, that every dime was money well spent.

In a game enamored with skill positions, Mawae's grace, agility, and startling quickness was a challenge to anyone who ever doubted a lineman's athleticism. His versatility took him from left tackle to right guard before finally settling down at center during his final season with the Seahawks.

He then re-established the center position once he put on his No. 68 jersey for the Jets.

Mawae was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, six with the Jets for every season from 1999 to 2004. He's also an eight-time All-Pro and was selected to the NFL 2000's All-Decade Team.

In 1998, Rich Cimini wrote about then-coach Bill Parcells' recruitment strategy for the mauler who'd become the centerpiece of an effective Jets offense:

After last season, coach Bill Parcells made a shopping list of his biggest off-season needs. The No. 1 priority was to replace Roger Duffy at center. When Parcells recruited Mawae, he pulled the actual list out of a large binder and showed it to Mawae.

Parcells couldn't stomach the thought of another season without an impact center.

"You're held hostage if you don't have a center," Parcells said. "It's the worst feeling. It's like going to the dentist. Not good news."

All eyes are on the quarterback after the snap, but it's the center and his offensive line that set the tone. Parcells knew that better than anyone, and placed his faith in the 6'4", 305-pound military brat.

Ironically enough, all the moving around in Mawae's childhood translated to his style of play on the field. Talented linemen are often called anchors—an analogy that never truly fit with Mawae's active and aggressive approach to blocking.

Hindsight allows us to see Parcells' plan for the Jets more than 13 years ago with vivid clarity today.

CAREERS INTERTWINED

Parcells and the Jets masterfully orchestrated a plan to snatch Curtis Martin away from the rival Patriots. It was Mawae's job to make the coach look brilliant for the transaction.

Martin's legendary career and consistent output is well known and appreciated among fans, but a lot of what Martin did for Gang Green is a credit to the powerhouse center who made it possible in the trenches.

Without triggering a chicken-egg debate, the center and running back simply complemented one another perfectly. They were the ideal partners, tremendous athletes entering their respective primes, on a team that needed them.

Martin and Mawae powered the Jets offense from 1998 to 2005 as the most reliable players in green. Neither missed games until 2005, when injuries staggered their careers and ended streaks for consecutive starts. (Martin started in 119-straight games; Mawae's streak ended at 177.)

Nonetheless, while injuries claimed quarterbacks, free agency lured away receivers, and ineptitude removed coaches, Martin and Mawae were the Jets' cornerstones, working tirelessly to keep the team competitive.

Martin rushed for 1,287 yards and eight touchdowns in his first season with the Jets, behind the brawny and brainy offensive line Mawae led. That continued through 2004 when Martin won the NFL rushing title with 1,697 yards behind Mawae and friends.

CENTER-SLASH-FULLBACK

One of the most significant and impressive abilities in Mawae's repertoire was quickness when pulling from the center position down the line of scrimmage. From his snap to the quarterback's handoff, Mawae sealed off edges and smashed linebackers in the mouth before the running back gained yards.

When Mawae was drafted, the concept of a pulling center was considered more of a unique skill, exclusively attributed to Steelers great Dermontti Dawson.

After Mawae left Seattle for the Jets, former teammate and Seahawks standout linebacker Chad Brown doubted Mawae's potential to be in Dawson's class.

"I don't want to take anything away from Kevin, but Dermontti is in a class by himself," Brown said before showering Mawae with praise. "Most teams don't have the athletic ability of a Kevin Mawae, who gets downfield and makes blocks against defensive backs in the secondary. Those guys turns 8-yard runs into 18- or 28-yarders. He is one of the most athletic centers in the league."

No one ever accused Brown of being clairvoyant. Perhaps his assessment of Mawae's ability felt true in 1998; it definitely didn't hold as the end of the story on Mawae's career.

In 2003, Mike Martz told T.J. Quinn of the Daily News that Mawae "does things that no other center in this league can do."

"He can pull on a linebacker that's shaded further to the side than he is and block him, which he shouldn't be able to do," Martz continued.

"He's a freak."

Quinn masterfully explained the genius behind the Jets blocking assignments during Mawae's tenure, and how they managed to confuse defenses at will:

When Mawae pulls, it is generally because the former guard has designated himself as the lead blocker when calling out the blocking scheme to his offensive line. The result is a shift in the balance of the running game, former San Francisco All-Pro center Randy Cross says.

"Instead of having a fullback blocking a linebacker, now you've got a center on a linebacker and your fullback on a corner or safety," Cross says.

Teams react to it, and several defenses the Jets have seen this season - notably the Green Bay Packers - began reacting to Mawae's movement, rather than the guards. Once the linebackers started following Mawae, the Jets were able to counter the other way for big gains.

The center established the offensive rhythm.

BY ANY MEANS

As president of the NFL Player's Association, cameras often captured Mawae in the center of this offseason's nasty labor dispute. He wasn't caught very often when he was a player doing things that earned him an intense reputation.

That's a step below calling him dirty, but a distinction that must be made for a player who "knows how much he can get away with within the rules," according to an anonymous coach speaking with Cimini in 2004.

"Sometimes he goes a little too far," the coach continued.

Early into the 2004 season, Mawae fractured his right hand in a victory against the San Diego Chargers. Then-coach Herm Edwards was mum on the details, but left room for people to speculate on Mawae's status and wonder if his streak of 157-consecutive starts was in jeopardy.

It wasn't.

Mawae returned to the field with his right hand wrapped in a cast and switched to southpaw for his ball-snapping duties. What began as a testament to his ironman toughness evolved into a running joke as analysts and fans questioned the severity of the injury weeks later.

Truthfully, it looked like Mawae was enjoying the club and using it to his advantage at every opportunity.

"The ref came up to me three or four times and said, 'I'm getting complaints,' " Mawae said after a 2004 win against Miami. "I said, 'What do you want me to do?' Don't play against me. Or I'll hide one hand behind my back."

The layers of bandages eventually came off, but Mawae's style never softened. His brand of football has a philosophy; and while he's a friendly, devout Christian off the field, Mawae's pride in his work is what made his career special to football fans.

He's the throwback player to generations ago who'd buckle his chin pad, play through pain, and do everything within his power to walk away knowing he did what was necessary.

"You either play football or you don't," Mawae told the Daily News. "Guys say I cross the line, but I've never seen my name on a list of the dirtiest players. If people take exception to the way I play, I don't care. They don't have to like it, but they'd better be ready for the way I play."

OVER IN A SNAP

To put it gently, the Jets' overall success varied widely during Mawae's tenure.

The 1998 season produced the team's best results with a 12-4 regular-season finish and a heart-breaking end in Denver for the AFC Championship Game.

Injuries devastated the team at various positions for years until Martin and Mawae suffered season-ending injuries in 2005. Martin's knees disallowed him from returning to football; Mawae's torn triceps tendon spelled the end of his career with the Jets. The future Parcells envisioned in 1998 ended.

Even without a championship, the mission was accomplished. Through Mawae, the Jets elevated from the 3-13 and 1-14 disasters of the Rich Kotite era (or error). There were bumps in the road in Mawae's seven seasons with the Jets, but hope always existed behind him. He embodied the team's competitive spirit and helped establish an identity for the Jets that still exists today.

In 2009, Mawae's successor Nick Mangold told The Jets Blog, "He really set up the center position in New York. People really know about it because of Kevin and what he was able to do."

Mangold made a seamless transition into a role Mawae defined and placed his own stamp on it, but that doesn't negate what Mawae meant for the Jets, or how people evaluate an offensive lineman.

"It was difficult coming in and having that kind of a player here before you. You have that hanging over your head," Mangold said. "But I do appreciate Kevin."

We all do.

Tags: Main Page

New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty throws in the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty throws in the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)

After Jets quarterback Josh McCown suffered a broken left hand in Sunday's 23-0 loss to the Denver Broncos, second-string quarterback Bryce Petty said he feels "ready" to step up for New York's Week 15 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

"I am going to give my heart and soul and prepare for this week for New Orleans," Petty said, according to NJ.com's Connor Hughes. "Whatever happens in the future, happens, but all I can do is worry about things I can control. Whether Josh plays, or whether he doesn't, I am going to go in there prepared and ready to lead this team."

Given McCown's injury is on his non-throwing hand, it is unclear if he will play during the team's final three games of the season. Head coach Todd Bowles said McCown will undergo further tests this week to evaluate his status for the rest of the season.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Denver Broncos, Josh McCown, New Orleans Saints
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Bowles and McCown on 23-0 loss 00:02:13
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and quarterback Josh McCown talk about what went wrong for the Jets in their 23-loss to Denver.

Jets quarterback Josh McCown suffered a broken left hand in Sunday's 23-0 loss to the Denver Broncos, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters.

"It just sucks," an emotional McCown, who was brought to tears at the podium, said after the game.

McCown left the game late in the third quarter with the Jets trailing 20-0. He previously left the game in the first half after scrambling for a first down, but returned two plays later.

He walked off the field and underwent X-rays during the game. It is unclear if the injury will end McCown's season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. McCown will undergo further tests, Bowles said.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Elijah McGuire, Josh McCown
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Jets Post Game Overtime: 12/10 00:12:08
The Jets Post Game crew hands out its report cards after the Jets' defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos, 23-0.

Bowles and McCown on 23-0 loss 00:02:13
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and quarterback Josh McCown talk about what went wrong for the Jets in their 23-loss to Denver.

The Jets recorded 100 yards of total offense and turned the ball over twice as they were shut out against Von Miller and the Denver Broncos, 23-0, Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Josh McCown threw an interception and lost a fumble before leaving the game late in the third quarter due to a left hand injury. Bryce Petty completed just two of nine passes for 14 yards in his absence.

Bilal Powell and Matt Forte combined for 48 rushing yards on 19 attempts, while Robby Anderson, who totaled 253 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the past two games, was limited to three catches for 27 yards.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Bryce Petty, Denver Broncos, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
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Adams on playing for Gang Green 00:02:14
Jets safety Jamal Adams sits with Jeane Coakley to discuss his relationship with Marcus Maye and what it's like to play for Todd Bowles.

New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Buffalo Bills free safety Jordan Poyer during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Buffalo Bills free safety Jordan Poyer during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

RB Matt Forte, G Brian Winters, and WR Robby Anderson are all active for the Jets on Sunday in their road matchup against the Denver Broncos. 

Anderson was questionable after being limited in practice due to a hamstring injury, while Forte has been hampered by a knee injury. Winters has dealt with an abdomen issue.

QB Christian Hackenberg, CB Derrick Jones, CB Jeremy Clark, OLB Freddie Bishop, LB Bruce Carter, OLB Ben Ijalana, and OL Jonotthan Harrison are inactive for the Jets.

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Brian Winters, Christian Hackenberg, Derrick Jones, Jeremy Clark, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
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Vacchiano's 3 keys to a Jets win 00:01:49
SNY NFL insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a New York Jets victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his 3 keys to a Jets victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back in the studio for another edition of The Jet Stream podcast, as they look back at an impressive victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. First, the guys welcome Connor Hughes of NJ.com to the show to discuss Todd Bowles' job security and the benching of Muhammad Wilkerson. Later, Jets safety Rontez Miles calls in to talk about Bowles and his two rookie teammates, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.

Click below to listen

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Rontez Miles
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New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The Jets (5-7) face the Denver Broncos (3-9) at Sports Authority field at Mile high in Denver, on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 4:05 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER:

December in Denver is always a little nicer than I think it's going to be. Temperatures on Sunday should be slightly over 60 with light winds and sunny skies.

WHAT IT MEANS

It means everything to the Jets. They are two games behind the Baltimore Ravens in the race for the last wild-card spot in the AFC with only four games to play, so they can't afford any slip-ups. They also have to hope for some help because just to get to the Ravens, they have to jump over the Chargers, Bills and Raiders, who are all one game ahead of the Jets. It's not going to be easy. It's probably impossible. But the Jets have no shot if they don't win all four of their remaining games.

Tags: Brandon Shell, Christian Hackenberg, Denver Broncos, Josh McCown, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Bowles elated 00:00:28
Todd Bowles gives the reaction of the season after a short press conference, and Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys for a Jets win.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles was ecstatic about how short his post-practice press conference was on Friday. 

Bowles, who is usually reserved, couldn't hold in his happiness after the press didn't have any more questions for him.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE TWEET

Tags: Brian Winters, Matt Forte
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New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson catches a touchdown pass against Buffalo Bills corner back Tre'Davious White during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson catches a touchdown pass against Buffalo Bills corner back Tre'Davious White during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson will play in Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos despite being limited at practice on Thursday due to a hamstring injury, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters on Friday.

The Jets listed running back Matt Forte (knee) and offensive guard Brian Winters (abdomen, ankle) as questionable, while linebacker Bruce Carter was ruled out due to a groin injury.

 

Tags: Brian Winters, Demario Davis, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
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New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) talks to his line before the snap against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) talks to his line before the snap against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The Jets (5-7) face the Denver Broncos (3-9) on Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Here's what's going on today...

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GEICO SportsNite: McCown 00:03:38
The Football Night in New York crew discuss if Josh McCown will return to the Jets next season and debate Steve Spagnuolo's future.

The Football Night in New York crew discuss if Josh McCown will return to the Jets next season and debate Steve Spagnuolo's future.


New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates with wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) after Enunwa scored a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates with wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) after Enunwa scored a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)

Jets WR Quincy Enunwa was named the Jets' nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, reports Sports Illustrated.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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 (Steve Nesius/AP)
(Steve Nesius/AP)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles is not undermining the reeling Broncos ahead of the team's trip to Denver this weekend for a Sunday afternoon matchup.

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Jamal Adams on his rookie season 00:03:43
Jets rookie safety Jamal Adams sits down with SNY's Jeane Coakley to discuss his rookie season and his style both on and off the field.

Jets rookie safety Jamal Adams sits down with SNY's Jeane Coakley to discuss his rookie season and his style both on and off the field.


Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Jets RB Matt Forte (knee) was a limited participant at practice on Thursday after missing on Wednesday. 

 

Tags: Brian Winters, Juston Burris, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

Instead of sulking over his suspension last week, Jets LB Darron Lee used his time to view the game from a new perspective. 

Lee was suspended by head coach Todd Bowles after Lee arrived late to the team's walk-through last Saturday. The second-year pro hadn't missed a practice before the punishment, but either way, he has learned from his first suspension of his career.

"Yeah, we won, man," Lee told NJ.com's Darryl Slater. "There ain't nothing to be down about. I mean, who cares? This ain't about me. It's about the team."

Tags: Darron Lee
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Jets (5-7) face the Denver Broncos (3-9) on Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Here's what's going on today:

Need to know

The Jets practice again today at Florham Park. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVacchianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors…

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:01:24
Jeane Coakley reports from Florham Park on the status of the Jets, who are treating every game left like it's a playoff game.

Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs corner back Darrelle Revis (24) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs corner back Darrelle Revis (24) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Only three Jets were kept out of Wednesday's practice: RB Matt Forte (knee), LB Bruce Carter (groin) and S Terrence Brooks (excused absence).

Forte has not practice since injuring his knee on Nov. 2 against the Bills, although he's played in each of the Jets' last two games.

CB Juston Burris (concussion) and RG Brian Winters (abdomen, ankle) were limited participants.

Tags: Brian Winters, Juston Burris, Matt Forte
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Oct 18, 2017; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to media after the NFL owners meeting at Conrad Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)
Oct 18, 2017; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to media after the NFL owners meeting at Conrad Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)

Roger Goodell has signed a contract extension that will extend his role as NFL commissioner through 2024.

According to the Washington Post, Goodell could earn up to $40 million per year, with roughly 90 percent of that total incentive based.

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Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) celebrates his touchdown during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports  (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) celebrates his touchdown during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Just days after leading the Jets to an impressive win which netted him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, Jets quarterback Josh McCown was officially named the starter for the rest of the season by coach Todd Bowles.

The 38-year-old completed 26-of-36 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns against the Chiefs on Sunday. He scored the go-ahead touchdown on a one-yard sneak with 2:15 left to help the Jets keep their playoff hopes alive with a 38-31 win at MetLife Stadium.

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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

After a three-touchdown performance in a comeback victory, Jets QB Josh McCown was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. 

The Jets were down 14-0 early in the first quarter, but that didn't stop McCown from leading a comeback. Relying on his favorite targets through the air -- Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse -- McCown racked up 331 yards on 26 of 36 for a 72.2 completion percentage. 

Despite throwing for a touchdown, it was McCown using his legs to pick up his other two, including the game-winner. It was his second straight week with a QBR over 100 (109.8), but McCown was only focused on how the team bounced back from the deficit after the game. 

Tags: Josh McCown, Robby Anderson
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Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches warmups before game against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports  (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches warmups before game against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

The Jets (5-7) face the Denver Broncos (3-9) on Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Here's what's going on today:

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets overcame a shaky start to break out of their slump with their finest offensive performance of the season so far against the Chiefs. A late touchdown by Josh McCown gave the Jets the lead and the defense held on to preserve a 38-31 shootout win.

Let's review the defensive performance from Sunday's win:

Tags: Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Rontez Miles, Steve McLendon
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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 are still mathematically alive for the two Wild Card spots in the AFC, though it would take a lot for them to get there.

With their win over the Chiefs on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, the Jets improved to 5-7 -- two games behind the 7-5 Ravens for the final Wild Card spot and three games behind the 8-4 Jaguars for the first Wild Card spot.

However, between the Jets and the Ravens are the Chargers, Bills, and Raiders, who are all 6-6.

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New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse catches a pass during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse catches a pass during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (5-7) face the Denver Broncos (3-9) on Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Here's what's going on Tuesday:

Need to know

The Jets return to practice on Tuesday after head coach Todd Bowles gave the team the day off following "Victory Monday" in celebration of Sunday's 38-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVacchianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors.

 

Tags: Calvin Pryor, Demario Davis, Denver Broncos, Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Sheldon Richardson
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New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) (Noah K. Murray)

A day after he benched Muhammad Wilkerson for most of the first quarter because he showed up late to a team meeting, Jets head coach Todd Bowles said he still considers the 28-year-old defensive end a team leader.

Wilkerson sat for most of the first quarter for arriving to a team meeting late on Saturday, the third straight year he has been benched for being late to a team meeting in his career.

But Bowles said Wilkerson and linebacker Darron Lee, who was a healthy scratch from Sunday's 38-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs for showing up late to practice, have "earned a lot of trust.

"You make a mistake, and you lose a little trust, and you just have to earn it back," Bowles said at a press conference on Monday. "So going forward, we'll go from there."

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches warmups before game against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches warmups before game against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Todd Bowles is a man of few words in public, never one to be the life of the party or a quotable media darling.

The New York Jets coach has won over his players for that very reason. It's the stuff that no one else sees that has his squad professing loyalty to the man leading the way.

"As a man, as a player, I love him," left tackle Kelvin Beachum said. "I'd run through a wall for him. I've only been here a year and I love everything about him.

Tags: Josh McCown
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