After the Jets produced a season high in points in Thursday’s 34-21 victory over the Bills and amassed 194 rushing yards, their second-highest total of the season, quarterback Josh McCown has raised the expectations for the offense.
“I think we can do better,” McCown said. “It’s just continuing to improve in the areas that we’re not playing as well, and maintain what we’re playing well in. We’ve done good things. The thing we’ve been striving for is putting a complete game together, and I think we’ve done that to a degree at different times. We just have to shop for better consistency.”
Coming into the season, the main question mark for the Jets was the offense. Some of the questions are being answered positively.
There was McCown, the 38-year-old journeyman, who is having the best season of his 15-year career. A youthful group of receivers was bolstered by the early September trade for Jermaine Kearse and the emergence of Robby Anderson and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
The running game had only one big afternoon, in an Oct. 1 victory over the Jaguars, when the Jets gained a season-high 256 yards on 32 carries. But after a few weeks of muddled results, 10-year veteran Matt Forte griped about the lack of commitment to the run game.
Everything turned around Thursday against Buffalo, when the Jets rushed a season-high 41 times, led by Forte’s 77 yards and two touchdowns. McCown also ran for a score, marking the first time this season the Jets rushed for three touchdowns in a game.
“The great thing was that we ran the ball well the other night,” McCown said. “We did a great job of staying committed to the run. I think we’re showing that we can go into games and find a way to win both with running the ball or throwing the ball and move the football that way.”
Now the Jets enter a critical portion of their schedule, with a chance for the offense, yes, the offense, to push them forward. The Jets travel to Tampa to face the 2-6 Bucs on Sunday, and following a bye, they will visit the 3-5 Broncos. Those two road games are winnable, and if the Jets can improve to 6-5, who knows where the expectations could grow with a team that was projected to win two or three games.
“Our record is not great, we’re 4-5, so I wouldn’t consider this as a success by any stretch of the imagination,” right tackle Kelvin Beachum said. “We still have a long way to go and we have a number of games left in the season. We’re at a place where we can get back to .500, but by no means is this a success right now.”
Notes & quotes: The Jets re-signed defensive lineman Ed Stinson to the active roster after releasing him last week. He will fill the roster spot of wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, whom the NFL suspended Monday for four games for violating its policy on performance-enhancing drugs.