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Eric Decker has bittersweet reunion with former Broncos teammates

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) and Denver

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) talk on the field after a game on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. Photo Credit: AP / Kathy Willens

Eric Decker's former Denver teammates were his friends before and maybe his confidants after the Jets fell to 1-5 with a 31-17 loss Sunday at MetLife Stadium. For the Broncos, it was the perfect reunion in that their old buddy scored a touchdown and they got the win.

"I talked to a few guys before,'' Decker said. "I talked to a bunch after . . . Whether you're on the same team or not, you still root for them.''

Decker shared the Broncos' pain in their Super Bowl blowout loss to the Seahawks in February at MetLife, but since taking the free-agent money to join the Jets, you have to wonder if he rues his decision to leave.

"That's the game,'' he said, shrugging. "Obviously, they're doing things well over there, and we've got to find a way to be more consistent in this locker room. That's what I'm worried about.''

Five consecutive losses have given all the Jets plenty to worry about. Their offense at least can take heart from a second-half comeback in which they turned a 24-7 blowout into a one-possession game by scoring 10 straight points.

It was a huge improvement over their shutout loss the previous week in San Diego.

"Obviously, we didn't score any points last game,'' Decker said. "We're trying to find a way to be more consistent, put drives together. [Denver] is a good football team, a team that went to the Super Bowl last year.''

Decker enjoyed catching the 2-yard touchdown pass from Geno Smith that cut the deficit to 24-17 with 7:56 to play, and he totaled six catches for 54 yards. But in the end, there was little to celebrate.

"It did feel good to get in the end zone,'' Decker said. "We had a comeback there in the third and fourth quarter. It wasn't enough.''

Going from playing with Peyton Manning, whose three touchdown passes against the Jets left him two short of Brett Favre's record of 508, to playing with second-year struggler Smith has been a riches-to-rags story for Decker. He admitted the offensive game plan was geared toward throwing short passes to minimize mistakes.

"You go in with a game plan of doing a lot of different things, and stretching the field is one of them,'' Decker said of an offense that produced one play of more than 20 yards. "We just obviously called things to get things rolling and make sure we had the successful first down. That's the way the game goes sometimes.''

It might be the way the season goes.

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