Ryan Fitzpatrick laid it all out there.
At 3-5, the Jets have no choice but to win out to have any chance to make the playoffs. “We’ve got to win them all,” the quarterback said in advance of today’s game against the AFC East rival Dolphins (3-4).
Days later, cornerback Darrelle Revis echoed that sentiment. “We weathered the storm so far,” he said. “This one here is a must-win for us. It definitely is. It’s going to be a physical game for us and . . . we know where this can put us at in the division by winning this game. So it’s definitely important.”
But in order to get the much-needed win, the Jets need to start playing well for 60 minutes.
“We’ve got to put two halves together,” Fitzpatrick said.
“I think we maybe have done that one time this year against Buffalo [Week 2, a 37-31 Jets victory]. Other than that, it’s been one half or the other or none.”
PROVING THEM WRONG
Brandon Marshall spends plenty of time in Miami during the offseason, but today’s game will mark his first time playing in South Florida against the team that traded him in 2012.
And while he insisted last week that he doesn’t “have to prove anything to anyone,” the Jets receiver sounded very much like a player with something to prove.
“I learned a lot there. I really did,” said Marshall, who played two seasons for the Dolphins before being dealt to Chicago. “I’m disappointed how things ended there as far as on the football field. And I just didn’t understand how they were all over the radio asking for me to come down there, begging for me to come down, and once I got down there, they killed me.”
The Dolphins finished 7-9 in 2010 and 6-10 in 2011, but Marshall caught 167 passes for 2,228 yards and nine touchdowns in those two seasons. But in his first year, he caught only three touchdown passes.
“It was always, ‘We’re paying him all this money and he only has three touchdowns.’ And that was the first time I paid attention to touchdowns,” he said. “It was a lot of stress. But the good thing about that is, it made me realize that you need to produce in the red zone. When I got down there, I wasn’t a complete receiver. I didn’t know how to get deep, I didn’t understand how important the red zone was and I started paying a lot more attention to it.”
Marshall acknowledged his extensive off-the-field issues around that time and said: “I was a little immature . . . That’s where I became a man. But on the field, I felt like I was productive and still pretty dominant. But they didn’t see that.”
Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi
Ajayi joined Ricky Williams and Hall of Famers Earl Campbell and O.J. Simpson as the only players in the post-Super Bowl era to rush for 200 yards in back-to-back games. “I’m losing sleep at night,” Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said of stopping him. “They have really been doing an outstanding job the last couple of weeks with the running game. It’s truly impressive to watch on film.”
Keep your eyes on Brandon Marshall and Byron Maxwell.
Marshall gave officials plenty of warning about Dolphins cornerback Maxwell, saying: “He holds every single play.” Asked about the comments, Maxwell reportedly replied with a sly smile: “I never hold.” So what does he think about Marshall spending so much time thinking about him? “I might be doing something right now, huh? I’m going to play my game.”
Jets’ secondary vs. Jarvis Landry
The Jets will key on Jay Ajayi, so look for the Dolphins to take shots at Darrelle Revis. Browns wideout Terrelle Pryor caught six passes for 101 yards on Revis last week, and the Dolphins hope Landry can break out, too. “It has to start with Jarvis,” Miami offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said. “He’s kind of the energizer, the battery of this thing.”
Because the Jets are dead last in the NFL in pass defense (289.1 yards per game), Kacy Rodgers expects the secondary to be tested. “If you have shown efficiency or weakness, people go with that,’ he said. “We expect that every week until you get it completely fixed.”
THE NEW GUY
C.J. Spiller had only a few days of practice with his new team, but the Jets believe their new running back again can be productive now that he’s reunited with Chan Gailey. “We’re excited to have him onboard,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick, who played with Spiller in Buffalo when Gailey was coach from 2010-12. “You can’t have enough good players, especially good skill players, on offense.’’
In Week 4, Spiller caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson in the Seahawks’ 27-17 win over the Jets. According to Fitzpatrick, now it’s time for Spiller to make it up to them. “He said the least I can be is a plus-1 now,” Spiller said. “I have to score, then score another one just to make up for that touchdown a couple of weeks ago.”
“I don’t like him. I’m being honest . . . He doesn’t say much on the field, but because he holds every single play, I don’t like him.” — Brandon Marshall on Byron Maxwell
“We just try to make sure that we are on the same page about every route that we run, and not that we weren’t before, but that we just have a better understanding exactly what we’re trying to do. Hopefully I’ve done a better job of explaining it to him.” — Chan Gailey on helping Ryan Fitzpatrick limit interceptions
Rushing yards Jets have allowed per game (best in the NFL)
Career two-point conversions for Matt Forte, tied for second-most all-time in the NFL
100-reception seasons for
Brandon Marshall, most in NFL history.