Opening Statement…

Alright, obviously, going into this game, (there are) no playoffs on the line, winning record, all that stuff is out. But we’re playing a team with a lot of talent. And with that being said, I think you start with the running back, you look at C.J. Spiller, and you guys would know this more than I would, he’s averaging 6.5 yards a carry. I don’t know when the last time that happened, I don’t know how Adrian Peterson’s doing in Minnesota, but I can’t remember a guy averaging, going into the last game of the year, 6.5 yards a carry. So the first week, when he went crazy against us, I guess he’s gone crazy against a lot of people, so obviously (they’re) very talented there. You have the (Stevie) Johnson kid with about 1,000 yards receiving again. So they have some weapons, certainly, on offense. Then on defense, I guess it’s kind of quiet (joking), but Mario Williams has 10.5 sacks, so I think that’s pretty good. Then the (Marcell) Dareus kid, I think has 5.5 sacks and then Kyle Williams has 5.0. So, (they’re) obviously capable up front of putting pressure on the quarterback. And then the (Jairus) Byrd kid, I think has five picks. So with that being said, I think the most impressive part of their team may be their special teams. The Bills are always strong on special teams. I think (Rian) Lindell’s maybe only missed one kick the whole season, which is saying something when you kick half your games in Buffalo where the wind can go crazy. But they’re always strong on special teams and this year’s no different.

On how he keeps the team motivated for Sunday…

Well, I think the big thing about motivation is you have an opportunity to go compete. You’re in the National Football League and obviously, that’s your job. But besides that, it’s more about this is an opportunity for you and, shoot, nothing’s ever guaranteed, whether it’s a player, coach, whatever. For some guys in our locker room, it could be the last game they ever play in the National Football League. The last game they could ever play, you never know. But also, it’s just a chance to compete with your teammates and I think that’s a big thing. It’s about being professional and finishing the year no matter what.

On if he’ll give more of an opportunity to the younger players on Sunday…

We’ll see how it goes, but that’s a possibility. Maybe get another young guy up or two. We’ll see how it goes. I know we’ve had some injuries. I’ll get to (the injury report) with you guys. But somebody like Damon Harrison might be a guy that you play some this week. Muhammad Wilkerson’s not practicing today. I might as well give you all this before I forget. So Muhammad Wilkerson had a concussion and knee, so he won’t practice today. All these players won’t practice, Dustin Keller, ankle, Ellis Lankster, concussion, Chaz Schilens, knee, Aaron Berry, hamstring, LaRon Landry, heel and hamstring. So, all those players will not practice. And the guys that will be limited today will be Braylon Edwards with a knee and hamstring, Bryan Thomas, chest (and) Ricky Sapp, ankle. The following players will be full today, that’s Kenrick Ellis, knee, Mark Sanchez, low back, Matt Slauson, knee, Jeff Cumberland, wrist, Calvin Pace, shoulder, Nick Mangold, shoulder, Bart Scott, toe, Joe McKnight, ankle, Bilal Powell, shoulder, Garret McIntyre, elbow, Nick Folk, mid-back, Brandon Moore, hip (and) foot, Tim Tebow, ribs, Sione Po’uha, low back, Greg McElroy, abdomen and Robert Malone illness. So, all those guys are expected to be full today.

On the pass protection against San Diego…

Obviously, against this team that can really rush the passer, as noted with those three guys, you’ve got to try to stay out of third-and-longer situations, clearly. But it falls on a lot of guys, it wasn’t just the offensive line breaking down, it was blitz pickup, it was possibly the quarterback maybe holding it longer or drops not being as consistent as (they should). There were some routes that were a little off. So I think, overall, it was (a lot of factors), which is not unexpected when you have that many sacks.

On how Wilkerson got a concussion after playing every snap…

That’s interesting because obviously, at the end of the game, that was (when it happened). It was kind of news to me that he has a concussion. Hopefully he’ll be able to play.

On when Wilkerson was tested for a concussion…

I think it was after the game. I’m not 100 percent sure. But I know I wasn’t aware of it until yesterday.

On the Philadelphia team coached by his father, Buddy, that recorded 11 sacks in a game…

I think the record is 12 and I think he was with the Bears, when (Buddy Ryan) had that record. We could use some of that this week ourselves. But no, it’s hard to imagine the only reason I knew it was that after the game, the number kept posting up there. I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, we’ve given up that many sacks?’ I think we had maybe nine or 10 against (Ben) Roethlisberger one year, it’s probably the most I ever had. But I don’t know how to address it, there are clearly several things that went wrong, and to San Diego’s credit, they were able to get that kind of pressure on the quarterback.

On how much he’s concerned that Wilkerson won’t play on Sunday…

That would be a big concern without question because I think Mo’s one of the best interior linemen in the league. Hopefully, he’ll get that kind of respect when the Pro Bowl voting comes out. Again, forget all that, I’d like for Mo to play but I am concerned with the fact that he can’t practice today.

On if the knee injury is also keeping him out of practice today…

Well, it’s (listed as a) concussion and knee (on the injury report), so I’m not sure. But take your choice, he’s not practicing.

On if Tebow will participate in practice as he normally would…

Well, yeah we’ll see how the week goes, on who’s getting what work and all that stuff. But like I said, in the game, Tim would’ve gone in the game, if I would’ve chosen to have him in the game.

On why he would go back to using Tebow in the Wildcat with the way Jeremy Kerley played on Sunday…

Again, I never said I was definitely going to do that.

On if he was upset that his conversation with Tebow requesting not to play leaked out of the organization…

Again, the conversation I had with Tim will be private.

On someone leaking out the nature of his conversation with Tebow…

Again, there are only two people who know what went on in that conversation. (That) would be Tim and I, at least my conversation with him.

On the possibility of all three quarterbacks being active Sunday…

Well, it’s certainly a possibility and right now, with this injury thing, we might not have that many (players available), so we’ll see how it goes as the week goes on. But it’s a possibility that we can dress all three. We’ve only done that once this year, but it could be less than that. I guess we’ll see how the week goes on.

On who will play Sunday if McElroy can’t play…

If Greg can’t go, I don’t know. That’s going to the what-ifs and everything else. Right now, I’m assuming Greg can go, so that’s how I’ll approach the game right now.

On McElroy’s injury…

Well, it looks like he’s practicing full, so it must not be that serious.

On when McElroy suffered his injury during the game…

I have no idea, but you get sacked 11 times.

On if he was told during the game that McElroy was injured…

No, not at all.

On what he learned about himself as a coach this year…

Well, I guess the big thing, I obviously never expected this type of season. There’s no doubt about that. But I guess, the consistency and all that type of stuff, those are things that you’re always shooting for and the frustrating thing to me is that I think that’s kind of what we’ve been lacking. We haven’t had that consistency. When you look at it on offense, there’s times we do a great job protecting the quarterback, do a great job running the football and then there’s other times when, obviously, the protection issues, especially this last week, I guess you can say it was consistent, but not in a good way. So I think that’s it and just trying to keep everybody focused on what’s in front of them. I know are guys are competing. They’re trying to do their best. But I think that’s kind of been disappointing and it’s certainly not something that I expected, so this is uncharted territory for me.

On the run defense improving with the return of Po’uha…

Yeah, it’s great to have Sione in there and you’re right, early in the season with that back (injury), and that was a thing where I never realized the extent of that (injury) but as he missed several games. Then you had Kenrick miss games on top of that, so it was kind of a snowball effect. But I think we are playing better run defense than we did, obviously, at the beginning of the year. So, I’m encouraged with that. I really like the way Mike DeVito’s playing, I think Mike’s doing a tremendous job and, obviously, you see Muhammad Wilkerson doing this. I’d like to get Quinton Coples to where his run technique improves and all that as well. It’s probably not there on par with DeVito or anybody like that yet, but I see some improvements there as well. Overall, I’ve been happy with how the D-line has progressed during the season.

On the performance of the defense without Revis…

Going into this season, I really thought that we were going to have a terrific defense. I absolutely thought that we would, I think I said a top-five defense, but I expected even better than that. Unfortunately, when he was out, obviously we’d much prefer to play with him, because, obviously, in my opinion, he is the top cornerback in football, but I also like the way some of our other guys have stepped up. I like the way (Antonio) Cromartie has stepped up and really filled that number one role. I think Kyle (Wilson) has done a good job overall playing that number two corner. The third corner, from Isaiah Trufant, to Ellis Lankster (to) (Darrin) Walls, we’re competing at that spot as well. Right now, statistically I saw a thing where we were second in the league in pass defense. I think that’s a big credit to the players that we have, guys stepping up in place of Revis and I also think it speaks volumes of the coaching staff. In particular, (Coach) Dennis Thurman and (Coach) Jim O’Neil have done a terrific job with that back end, and obviously (Coach) Mike Pettine and the job he’s done as well.

On the performance of the offense this season…

I think going into the season, I was really excited. I thought we could do a lot of creative things, including using the Wildcat. I thought the Wildcat would probably be more successful than it’s been. The passing game, that’s kind of been a disappointment this year. When you look at it from a numbers standpoint, I think that’s been an obvious disappointment. There are a lot of factors that go into that though. We talk about the loss of Darrelle Revis, but I also think we see the loss of Santonio Holmes, and some of the fronts that we’re getting, I don’t know if you do that if a Santonio Holmes is out there playing receiver. We’ve had some inconsistencies there (with) who’s been healthy (and) who hasn’t. Dustin Keller, I don’t know how many games he’s been healthy for this year also. There are a lot of things that go into it. The turnovers are probably the biggest thing. It’s something that we stressed from day one that has not gone near as well as I had hoped.

On why he thought the Wildcat would be successful…

I think even with what we did previously here, with Brad Smith, some of those types of things. Also, let’s face it, Tim ran a lot of it in Denver. There were things (where) I thought we would probably have a little more success with (than) what we had. Like I said before, it’s not Tim Tebow’s fault or whatever, it just seems like that’s kind of the way it is. Whether defenses are catching up to it a little bit, I’m not sure.

On Tebow’s ability as a Wildcat quarterback…

He’s a full-time quarterback with running back skills. That’s something that you look at as probably an ideal guy at that spot.

On whether using a small and quick player to run the Wildcat might be more effective…

Certainly, when you look at it from a statistical standpoint, I think that could be true. Now look, there have been some third-and-ones where we’ve just run (Tebow) straight into the line and he’s picked those up. I think that’s been good and the average is not going (to be as high because) you’re doing it for a different reason. I know Buffalo will run a little (bit of the) Wildcat on short-yardage as well. Those are things that maybe from a statistical standpoint don’t jump out, but if he converts the first down, obviously that’s a successful play.

On whether Jeremy Kerley will run the Wildcat at Buffalo…

It’s certainly a possibility and if it’s something that they have to prepare for and I wasn’t going to do it, I wouldn’t say it either.

On players he thinks might make the Pro Bowl…

We have some guys definitely deserving of it. I think Antonio Cromartie, obviously, on defense stands out. I’m hoping that Muhammad Wilkerson gets recognized that way. I’m not sure that he will. Sometimes it seems like it takes a couple years, but clearly those guys have jumped out and I think they’re very deserving. LaRon Landry, I think he’s deserving. On offense, obviously, D’Brickashaw Ferguson has had a great year, a fantastic year. Nick Mangold’s been a staple at that Pro Bowl, and Brandon Moore. If they don’t get on the team, I expect some guys to receive some votes for sure.

On whether he thinks the team can make the playoffs next year without rebuilding it entirely…

First off, really for me to look past this week probably is not really appropriate right now, but maybe next week I’ll be ready to answer it. I have one game left here. We have one game left. That’s where all my attention is going to be and I think that’s what the fans deserve. I can probably give you an answer, but I’d rather dial in to this football team and be able to answer that question next week.

Tags: NYJets, Brian Bassett

Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) scrambles during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) scrambles during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

Jets QB Sam Darnold has felt the energy at MetLife Stadium this season and he hopes the home-field advantage gives his team yet another boost when they face the Vikings on Sunday.

"It's safe to say we want to win every single game, but definitely on a homestand [we want to] win every single game," Darnold said. "Because our fans are amazing ... It's awesome to be able to play in front of them. Whenever we make a big play or score a touchdown, we feel the momentum in the whole arena really shift. It's awesome to be able to feel that and continue to grow off of that as a team."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

QB Sam Darnold (elbow) appeared on Wednesday's Jets injury report, but said the issue is "nothing crazy," per ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Darnold said he banged his right elbow while making a tackle following his interception during Sunday's win over the Colts. He added that it didn't affect him at all in practice, which he participated in fully on Wednesday.

Head coach Todd Bowles also told reporters he isn't worried about the rookie.

However, DL Leonard Williams (back), WR Robby Anderson (hamstring) and RB Isaiah Crowell (foot) highlighted a long list of Jets who did not practice.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Joe Namath talks Sam Darnold 00:02:45
Jets legend Joe Namath talks about Super Bowl III, advice from Bear Bryant, and his thoughts on Sam Darnold's chances with the current team

Ahead of the Jets honoring the 50th anniversary of their Super Bowl III victory, Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath sat down with SNY's Jeane Coakley to reflect on that upset win, how he prayed "run clock," and what he thinks of today's QB Sam Darnold...

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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts (27) celebrates with cornerback Morris Claiborne (21) in front of Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal (14) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts (27) celebrates with cornerback Morris Claiborne (21) in front of Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal (14) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

 

Click below to listen...

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Jan 1, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews (18) looks to catch a pass for a first down against Houston Texans defensive back Robert Nelson (32) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Brown)
Jan 1, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews (18) looks to catch a pass for a first down against Houston Texans defensive back Robert Nelson (32) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Brown)

The Jets are bringing in free agent WR Rishard Matthews for a workout Tuesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The 29-year-old veteran was cut by the Titans last month after he requested a release due to his unhappiness with his playing time. He registered just three catches and 11 receiving yards over the first three weeks of the season.

But with Quincy Enunwa out between three and four weeks with a high-ankle sprain, the Jets are looking for a stopgap at wide receiver.

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New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa fumbles the ball in the second quarter after a hit by Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa fumbles the ball in the second quarter after a hit by Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Quincy Enunwa had developed into Sam Darnold's most reliable receiver early in the season. He was the player Darnold threw to the most and turned to when he needed a third-down catch.

So what is Darnold going to do without Enunwa, who suffered a high-ankle sprain and will probably be out for about a month?

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Sam Darnold wasn't just twiddling his thumbs while waiting to get drafted this past spring. Like all fans of his future NFL team, the Jets quarterback was keeping a close eye on the Kirk Cousins free agency saga before the Redskins QB signed with the Vikings.

"I was definitely following it," Darnold said Monday ahead of his Week 7 matchup with Minnesota Sunday at MetLife Stadium, per the New York Daily News. "During the draft process, there's nothing really else to pay attention to. Because I'm not on a team. We're not trying to dial up anything. I'm not at USC trying to figure out what we're going to do the next year. And I'm not on an NFL team trying to figure it out."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) scrambles during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) scrambles during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Six weeks into the season, all four of the rookie quarterbacks taken in the Top 10 of the NFL draft have at least three starts on their resume. They've had a chance to get rid of their first-game jitters, or to catch the NFL by surprise, and they're starting to settle in to their rookie seasons.

It will take years, of course, to determine which of the four is the best. It might even take that long for one of them to lead a team to the playoffs. But now that they've all settled down, it's easy to determine which ones are off to the best start.

Here's a look -- and a ranking -- at how the Fab Four are faring so far...

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

On the heels of a strong performance in Week 5, Sam Darnold was tremendous in the Jets' Week 6 win over the Colts. And his Pro Football Focus grades bear that out.

According to PFF, Darnold has the second-best passing grade (89.8) in the NFL over the last two weeks. Over that same span, his 71.4 deep accuracy percentage is third and his accuracy percentage with a clean pocket (87.2) is fourth.

Things opened up for Darnold in Week 5 due in part to the record-breaking game running back Isaiah Crowell had. But in the win over the Colts, he picked apart the Indianapolis defense without the benefit of being able to fall back on a red-hot ground game. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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 (Richard Mackson)
(Richard Mackson)

The Raiders are awful again, and are reportedly ready to trade some of their most valuable assets -- including WR Amari Cooper. Should the Jets have interest?

Cooper -- the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 Draft -- left the Raiders' Week 6 loss due to a concussion and has had a down 2018 so far after having just 48 receptions for 680 yards in 2017. But he was highly productive during his first two years in the league when the Raiders were actually competitive. 

He had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns during his rookie season in 2015 as the Raiders went 7-9. During Oakland's 12-4 season in 2016, Cooper reeled in 83 catches for 1,153 yards and five touchdowns.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Danny Abriano
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) makes a catch against the New York Giants during first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) makes a catch against the New York Giants during first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa will miss around three to four weeks with a high-ankle sprain in Sunday's win over the Colts, SNY.tv's Ralph Vacchiano has confirmed.

Head coach Todd Bowles said Monday that Enunwa, who did not play in the second half on Sunday, suffered a sprained ankle but did not reveal its severity.

The three-to-four-week timeframe is typical for high-ankle sprains, although it could vary.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Jets S Marcus Maye suffered a broken thumb during Sunday's win over the Colts, reports SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

According to Vacchiano, the team is still evaluating the extent of the injury. Maye missing three-to-four weeks is a reasonable estimate, adds Vacchiano, but is far from a certainty. 

Vacchiano adds that there is some hope that if Maye heals quickly and can tolerate the pain, he may be able to play with a cast on (Maye was wearing a cast after Sunday's game)...

Tags: Marcus Maye
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Kacy Rodgers Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Kacy Rodgers Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers received some good news on Monday.

Rodgers, who has been battling a serious undisclosed medical condition the last two weeks, was cleared to slowly return to his coaching duties and will be the defensive play-caller again this Sunday.

Head coach Todd Bowles, who had taken over the defensive play-calling responsibilities in Rodgers' absence, revealed the good news in a conference call on Monday calling it a "big relief."

Tags: Morris Claiborne
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Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

In Sunday's 42-34 win over the Colts, Jets QB Sam Darnold put together his most complete performance as a pro, completing 24 of 30 passes for 280 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Let's look at some specific examples before we draw conclusions...

Tags: Brian Winters, Jordan Leggett, Neal Sterling, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) catches a pass over Indianapolis Colts cornerback Chris Milton (28) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) catches a pass over Indianapolis Colts cornerback Chris Milton (28) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The presence of all those Super Bowl III heroes on Sunday wasn't just a celebration of the Jets' greatest achievement, it was a painful reminder of why it's so hard to believe in this year's team. There have been too many years of heartache, too many seasons of disappointment, too many times the rug was pulled out from under everyone's feet.

So when these Jets beat the Indianapolis Colts 42-34 on Sunday, barely hanging on in the end, there were surely a few skeptics who saw the team's obvious flaws. And when Todd Bowles stepped to the podium and said "We're right back in the thick of these things," it's understandable if everyone rolled his or her eyes.

Tags: Darron Lee, Indianapolis Colts, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets talk 42-34 victory 00:01:09
Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, Jermaine Kearse, Chris Herndon and Todd Bowles talk about the positives after a huge win over the Colts, 42-34.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - As the Jets celebrated the 50th anniversary of their last Super Bowl championship team, Sam Darnold gave them even more reason to believe that the next one won't be too far off.

The 21-year-old Darnold, in his first real shootout against a top tier NFL quarterback, out-played Andrew Luck on Sunday afternoon. He completed 24 of 30 passes for 280 yards with two touchdowns and one interception to lead the Jets to a 42-27 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Luck was pretty good too (23 of 43, 301 yards and 4 touchdowns), except for the fact that he threw three interceptions. He also even nearly engineered a second-half comeback but fell an onside kickoff recovery short. But overall, Darnold was the more impressive quarterback for most of the game, after he shook off a shaky start. He did get help from a Jets defense that forced four turnovers, but the running game wasn't nearly as good as it has been...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Buster Skrine, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) rushes for yards after a catch as Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore (23) pursues during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) rushes for yards after a catch as Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore (23) pursues during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: The Jets held off the banged-up Colts for a 42-34 win on Sunday to improve to 3-3 on the season. Let's highlight three of the best performances, along with three players who were disappointments.

Winners

QB Sam Darnold 

Tags: Marcus Maye, Sam Darnold, Terrence Brooks
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SNY's Week 6 Jets Report Cards 00:02:46
Ray Lucas, Willie Colon, and Bart Scott hand out their report cards after the Jets beat the Colts on Sunday, 42-34.

The Jets have moved to 3-3 on the season after defeating the Colts 42-34 on Sunday. The Jets Post Game Live crew handed out their grades for each unit, and what they ultimately thought of the Jets' latest performance. 

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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Sam Darnold has seemed comfortable as the Jets put together back-to-back wins to move to 3-3 on the season.

During Sunday's victory over the Colts, the rookie quarterback was 24 of 30 for 280 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. 

So what's the area where Darnold has improved the most?

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former quarterback Joe Namath during pre game warm up before game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former quarterback Joe Namath during pre game warm up before game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Legendary Jets QB Joe Namath is a fan of rookie Sam Darnold, but stressed that how high Darnold reaches will be about his surrounding cast.

"I do see a physical ability and I understand a mental ability," Namath said Sunday before the Jets honored the 50th anniversary of their Super Bowl III victory. "But I can't emphasize enough -- it's about the front line of both sides of the ball, it's about the kicking game, it's about the entire team, man."

Namath then started talking about Archie Manning, who he said would have been the first Manning Hall-of-Famer if the Saints (the team Namath referred to as the 'Aints') had put a quality team around him.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell carries the ball against the Denver Broncos in the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell carries the ball against the Denver Broncos in the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets RB Isaiah Crowell (ankle) will play in Sunday's game against the Colts.

Crowell, who was a game-time decision, was limited in practice earlier in the week. 

The 25-year-old Crowell is coming off a record-breaking game in Week 5 when he had a Jets-record 219 rushing yards and added a 12-yard reception in the Jets' win over the Broncos. 

Tags: Buster Skrine, Charone Peake
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How Namath became Broadway Joe 00:01:25
Jets legend Joe Namath reveals the origin of the name "Broadway Joe," see the full interview on Jets Pre Game Live, Sunday at 12pm on SNY!

How exactly did Joe Namath become known as "Broadway Joe" during his career?

In an interview with SNY, Namath said the nickname was coined by offensive lineman Sherman Plunkett

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Todd Bowles Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Todd Bowles Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Bruce Arians has always been a big believer of Todd Bowles, which is why the former Cardinals head coach is also a big believer in the future of the Jets. 

Arians, who will call the Jets' game against the Colts for CBS on Sunday, told the New York Post on Friday that Gang Green is headed in the right direction and that they have the right man to get them there. 

"I think (Bowles) is doing a great job there, especially now that he's got a quarterback," Arians said.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

DL Leonard Williams missed Thursday's Jets practice due to a "sore back," according to Todd Bowles. (NY Daily News)

"He just woke up like that," the head coach said, per the Daily News. Bowles did not say how the sudden issue impacts Williams' availability on Sunday against the Colts.

Williams, a vital piece to the Jets' defense, enjoyed his best game of the year in Week 5 against the Broncos with two sacks. 

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Bowles, Bates prep for Indy 00:00:55
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates discuss the Jets' mindset heading into Sunday's match-up with the Colts.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates discuss the team's mindset heading into Sunday's matchup with the Colts.

The Jets (2-3) kick off against Indianapolis (1-4) Sunday at 1 p.m. at MetLife Stadium.

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Sam Darnold (14) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Sam Darnold (14) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Jets WR Jermaine Kearse and rookie QB Sam Darnold are locker room buddies. They sit right next to each other in the room, and Kearse takes advantage of that by preaching his veteran wisdom whenever he can on the 21-year-old signal caller. 

One way he does that is recalling the time he was a rookie in Seattle back in 2012, and a fellow rookie in QB Russell Wilson was in the same boat as Darnold this season. He was a young gun coming off a solid Wisconsin career, and was looking to make an immediate impact in the NFL. 

During a break in game action in the Seahawks' second preseason game, Wilson returned to the huddle and heard Kearse talking as he began to speak. What he did next immediately caught the attention of Kearse. 

Tags: Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Pennington talks Darnold 00:02:36
Former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington looks back on his time in New York, and shares his thoughts on the development of rookie Sam Darnold

Former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington looks back on his time in New York and shares his thoughts on the development of rookie Sam Darnold.

Pennington also spoke about his ongoing work with the Mayo Clinic.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Darnold and Bowles on Indy 00:00:37
Sam Darnold and Todd Bowles talk about building on last week's big win, and finding a way to beat the Colts on Sunday.

Jets QB Sam Darnold and coach Todd Bowles look ahead to the team's matchup against the Colts on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Jets are hoping to build from their week 5 win over the Broncos, which ended a three-game skid.

 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

As Colts head coach Frank Reich started preparing to face Jets QB Sam Darnold, he couldn't help but notice some similarities between the Jets' QB and Carson Wentz, who he coached during his time as offensive coordinator of the Eagles.

"It feels like a little bit of the same personality; it's not too big from the standpoint of intellectually, but also emotionally, the game's not too big," Reich said, per the NY Post. "Physically, just being able to make the throws, and some of the athleticism."

 Wentz, who suffered a torn ACL in the final weeks of the regular season last year, finally returned under center for the Eagles in Week 3 and has totaled five touchdowns and one interception.

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