Jets looking to maintain positive momentum following bye week

The last time the Jets stepped onto the football field, they had an emotional 20-14 upset victory against the Eagles.

But that was over a week ago, as the Jets had a bye following the win.

How can Gang Green maintain its momentum after a week off?

“I feel like it is more of a mental mindset,” Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley said on Monday. “Just how you carry yourself as a player and how we approach this game as a team.

“Perfect example, today, we went out and had a walkthrough, everyone was locked in, focused, high energy. So there’s really no secret recipe. Either guys will be motivated, work and try to keep building, or they won’t. Guys will come in, get their lifts in, do the right things, take care of their bodies during the bye week, or they won’t. It’s just about how players approach this game and how we want to see ourselves down the road.”

During Robert Saleh’s tenure as coach, the Jets haven’t particularly played well after the bye week. In 2021, the Jets had their bye in Week 6 and finished the year 4-13 with a 3-9 record after their bye.

Last year, the Jets had a similar upset victory at home against the Bills and entered the bye week 6-3. The team looked ready to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

However, the Jets only won one more game the rest of the year against the Bears and lost six consecutive games to close out the 2022 campaign. The team finished 7-10.

One of the main reasons for the Jets struggles last season was the absence of Breece Hall, who tore his ACL seven games into his NFL career. Now, Hall is healthy and helping drive Gang Green’s offense. He has 426 rushing yards and two touchdowns in six games.

Heading into this year’s bye, Saleh tweaked the Jets’ schedule as the players were off most of last week after the win against the Eagles. Saleh says he wants to find that medium of giving players a chance to rest but also wants the players to stay sharp for the stretch run during the final 11 weeks of the season.

“There’s a lot of things I look at from an inward standpoint,” Saleh said. “Like, what could I have done better from a scheduling standpoint to help our guys stay fresh? What could we have done from a practice standpoint to help our guys stay healthy, that’s the big thing.

“What can we do to stay fresh, excited about the game, and stay healthy at the same time? Some things you have no control over, so we’ve been diving into the schedule compared to a year ago, we tried changing things up, we’re changing things up moving forward. Nothing drastic, but enough to try to keep our guys both physically, emotionally, mentally involved where they don’t feel like it’s ‘oh here we go again,’ it’s this long day.

“Just trying to make sure we find that balance where we still hit what we’re trying to hit from a preparation standpoint, but again, keeping our guys fresh both mentally and physically.”

Although the Jets were off on Sunday, they were the beneficiary of a couple of AFC East foes losing. The Patriots upset the Bills, 29-25, in Foxborough, while the Eagles defeated the Dolphins 31-17.

Because of those losses by the Bills and Dolphins, the Jets have gained ground in the AFC East, as they’re only a 1/2 game out of second place in the division and out of the seventh playoff spot in the AFC. First place also remains possible. The Jets are 1.5 games back of the 5-2 Dolphins with two matchups between the teams (Nov. 24 and Dec. 17) later this year.

Before their rematch against the Bills on Nov. 19, the Jets have three winnable games against the 2-5 Giants, 2-4 Chargers and at the 3-4 Raiders.

“Any given Sunday, anybody can win,” Saleh said. “We have to take it one game at a time. Obviously, the Giants are looking at life a little bit differently also.

“They’ve got a chance coming up if they’re looking at their schedule saying, ‘God, we’ve got some winnable games.’ So, all of our attention is on the Giants, and we’re controlling the things we have control over. It’s fun to watch the way the NFL plays out.

“It’s a league of equality, it just seems like it’s designed for everyone to play .500 football, but all our focus is on the Giants, just trying to find a way to do our best against those guys.”


The Jets bye week came at a good time as the team is dealing with several injuries to key players. Among them are D.J. Reed and Sauce Gardner, who both are in concussion protocol.

Saleh said he didn’t have any updates on Reed, Gardner, rookie Joe Tippmann (thigh) and Duane Brown (hip).

“With regard to injuries, with everyone coming back from the bye week, we’ll have a better idea, we’re going to use today and tomorrow to see where everyone’s at, and I’ll have a better update for you guys on Wednesday,” Saleh said.

Reed has been in the protocol since before the Jets’ 31-21 victory against the Broncos on Oct. 8, as he has missed the last two games. Gardner also suffered concussion-like symptoms and missed the 20-14 win against the Eagles on Oct. 15.

Tippmann suffered a thigh injury during the first half against the Eagles as he was downgraded from questionable to out of the game. In his post-game press conference, Saleh said Tippmann could be out a while, but he said the rookie is a “quick healer” as Tippmann looked good on Monday morning. Tippmann has started at right guard for the last four weeks after the Jets reshuffled the offensive line following Brown’s hip injury after the Jets Week 2 loss against the Cowboys.

Since then, Mekhi Becton has been playing at left tackle and Max Mitchell has started at right tackle after Alijah Vera-Tucker’s season-ending Achilles injury against the Broncos.