Nick Mangold said the Jets’ win in Pittsburgh last month will help them on Sunday in one regard.
“We can rely on it to know where the locker room is, how to get to the field and all that,” the Pro Bowl center said. “But after that it’s a whole new game, a whole new season, and you have to take it like that.”
The Jets know that as much as they drew inspiration from their regular-season loss to the Patriots, the Steelers are thriving on their loss to the Jets. “The playoffs is a whole new season,” Mangold said. “We said that last week about the Patriots, we had lost to them. So I’m sure they’re saying the same thing.”
What’s not being said, of course, are any harsh words between the two franchises.
“It’s a heck of a team we’re going up against,” Mangold said. “There shouldn’t be any reason not to have respect for them.”
The Jets maintained that they respected the Patriots and Colts, although their words showed very little of that. This week there are no personal vendettas, no grudge matches. Are the Jets a bunch of rebels without a cause?
“I don’t think we need a cause,” Mangold said. “It just so happens that things pop up. But I don’t think we’re grasping for something to carry us … Obviously we don’t want the same feelings we had last year. This year our goal wasn’t just to get back to the AFC championship game. Our goal is to go to the Super Bowl and win it. I think guys understand that and realize that this isn’t the end-all, be-all. But we’re focused on the task at hand to make sure that we can do the right things to get to the Super Bowl.”
At least they know how to get to the field.