FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Calvin Pace believes the NFL "had it out" for the Jets, who face future Hall of Famers Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in back-to-back weeks on short rest.
"It's going to be another tough one," the outside linebacker said of facing the Patriots on the road, just four days after losing, 31-17, to the Broncos. "Someone at the NFL really had it out for us on this schedule. But that being said, nobody feels sorry for us."
The Jets certainly weren't done any favors in the first half. They've been through a gantlet of quality quarterbacks, including Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Manning and now Brady. But Pace's sentiments on Thursday night games are shared by many NFL players.
"I think it's a terrible idea," he said. "I think if you're talking about player safety that's the one way that you're pretty much ensuring that a bunch of guys can potentially get hurt."
David Nelson agreed. But the receiver noted the appeal of playing in prime time. "We're the only team playing on Thursday night, it's in front of a national audience," he said. "That's what every competitor loves to do. When you're out there, it's the best thing in the world. But the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday leading up to it is not so fun."
The Jets (1-5) are so desperate for a win, they don't care who they play. "Man, you could put Morristown (N.J.) High School out there," Pace said. "The fact that we've lost five in a row, we just really need to get that feeling of success, victory." . . . Rex Ryan said to Patriots writers: "This is far from a dysfunctional team and you'll see it when we get there." . . . Eric Decker (hamstring) was limited in practice but expects to play; receiver Greg Salas (wrist/ankle) won't . . . Josh Bush (quadriceps) and Trevor Reilly (knee) also did not practice and David Harris (shoulder) was limited.