Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 20, 2015 · Page D4
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October 20, 2015

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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page D4

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015
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Page4D Tuesday,October20,2015 DemocratandChronicle. com NFL FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - This is the week you c ould count on, at least twice an NFL season, to hear some pretty good trash talk all the way from New York to Boston. Yep, it’s Jets-Patriots. Bad blood, memorable moments and players and coaches switching sides mark this AFC East rival- r y. S o, with the latest s howdown set for Sunday a t New England with first place in the division on the line, the hype should be starting right about now, right? “We’re not trying to catch up on anybody,” guard Willie Colon said Monday. “We’re not trying to make any statements. We just want to win, and everything will take care of itself.” Wait. W hat about the shots at Tom Brady? Or, that stuff about not kissing Bill Belichick’s rings? And, the talk of knocking the Patriots off their throne atop the AFC East? “You know the answer to that,” Colon said. “You k now why. New regime.” Rex Ryan certainly d rove the narrative during his six years with the Jets, firmly establishing an us-against-them app roach. Ryan always spoke of his respect for Brady and Belichick, but also made it clear that he wanted to beat them, and i n a big way. H e wasn’t very successful at it, though, going 4-9 against them with the Jets — although one of those victories came in the playoffs. That did little to stifle the chatter during the week leading up to the games against t he Patriots. Well, under coach Todd B owles, the buzz is gone. “Winning this game is not going to make us,” Bowles said. “Losing this g ame is not going to break us.” Whoa. But, Ryan used to say division games were w orth 1½ games because o f their potential effect on the standings. “No,” Bowles said. “It’s one game for us.” These are certainly new — and boring? — times in the Jets-Patriots rivalry, with New York taking on the even-keeled a nd low-key approach of its head coach. T he spiciest of the headline-making comments might have come after the Jets’ 34-20 vic- t ory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday. That’s when Sheldon Richardson declared that the Jets are “licking our c hops” at facing the def ending Super Bowl champions. Yawn. “You want them amped up on Sunday, but as far as playing the game or playing a specific person, you try to treat everybody the same and we go about our b usiness the same way,” Bowles said. “We don’t let t hat (determine) what we do in practice or what we do on Sunday.” That includes not get- t ing too high emotionally about facing an undefeated Patriots team that has won the division 12 of the past 14 seasons. “ Emotions is a tricky w ord,” Colon said. “Because if you fall into it, you kind of lose focus on everything that needs to be done around you. The only way to keep emotions out of that is just focus on your job, and focus on the job at hand.” F or the Jets (4-1), that means not having the type o f sluggish starts that have been an early season problem, including their sloppy first half against t he Redskins. New York had three turnovers in the first two quarters, leading to all of the Redskins’ points as they took a 13-10 l ead into halftime. R yan Fitzpatrick and the offense got their acts together in the third quar- ter, scoring 24 straight points and cruising to a win. Chris Ivory had an- o ther big game with 146 y ards rushing and a t ouchdown, leading a Jets running attack that ranks first in the league. “We have a lot of stuff to clean up,” Fitzpatrick said. “The turnovers early obviously put our defense in a tough spot. Those are just things that aren’t going to be able to continue t o occur if we want to con- t inue to win games.” T he defense is ranked N o. 1overall in yardage allowed with 269.2 yards per game, and it has given up an NFL-low 75 points through five games. In Brady & Co., the Jets will face the league’s No. 2 overall offense, which also ranks second in passing. “He’s one of the ultimate quarterbacks of our time,” Bowles said. As a starting quarter- b ack, Brady is 21-6 against the Jets, including 1-1in the playoffs. So, he’s an opponent the Jets know well — and can serve as an early season litmus test for New York. Even if they’re being hush-hush about it all. “ It’s Week 6 and we just happen to be playing the N ew England Patriots,” Colon said. “That’s our mindset. We know it’s going to be a tough team to g o against. But for us, it’s another chance for us to prove ourselves. The only thing we need to prove to ourselves is that we can w in.” NFL Jets low key about Patriots DENNIS WASZAK JR. ASSOCIATED PRESS BRAD PENNER-USA TODAY SPORTS Jets head coach Todd Bowles says his team will take a low-key approach to the showdown with the Patriots. An MRI exam shows T itans quarterback Marcus Mariota sprained his left MCL, and coach Ken Whisenhunt says they will have to see how the rookie’s knee progresses be- f ore determining if he can play Sunday against Atlanta. Whisenhunt said that M ariota was walking around just fine at the Tennessee headquarters o n Monday. Mariota was injured during the second quarter of Sunday’s 38-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins when hit low by end Olivier Vernon. The rookie stayed on t he field and didn’t miss a p lay. Mariota did put a brace after the series, and he remained in the game u ntil Whisenhunt sent Zach Mettenberger in for the final series with 1:54 l eft. Bengals: The NFL Network has apologized to B engals players who were shown naked in the l ocker room during a post- game interview Sunday in Buffalo. A lex Riethmiller said a “regrettable mistake by a production team” was be- h ind the video. An NFL Network reporter was in- t erviewing cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones after a 34-21win in Buffalo on Sunday, and the v ideographer’s angle included several players c oming out of the shower in the background. Left tackle Andrew W hitworth was one of those shown. He said on M onday that the league should restrict media access to the locker room to p revent it from happening again. Riethmiller says the c rew didn’t follow network procedures that w ould have prevented the mistake. Browns: Police have released a dash-cam v ideo and 9-1-1emergen- cy calls from a roadside i ncident involving Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. T he former Heisman Trophy winner was quest ioned by Avon, Ohio, police last week after Manziel got into an argument w ith his girlfriend, Colleen Crowley. Witnesses said Manziel p assed cars on the shoulder while driving at a high s peed and he later admitted drinking alcohol earlier in the day. Manziel was not c harged and he was active as Cleveland’s backup S unday during a 26-23 overtime loss to the Denver Broncos. T he Browns said they have spoken to Manziel a bout the incident. Manziel spent 70 days in a rehab facility during the o ffseason. Texans: The Houston Texans have flip-flopped b etween Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett throughout t he early part of this season. That indecision at quarterback appears to be over now after Hoyer’s strong performance in Houston’s win over the J aguars on Sunday. “He’s our quarterback,” coach Bill O’Brien said. “We’re going to stick with him. He’s playing really well. He’s playing a t a high level, and we’ve got a lot of confidence in him.” Hoyer made his second s tart this season on Sunday and it was the first time he both started and f inished a game. He won the starting job out of camp, but was benched during the season opener after struggling early in that game. But Mallett had a tough t ime in his three starts a nd Hoyer took over in the last two of them before regaining the starting job l ast week. Lions: Detroit Lions running back Zach Zenn er is going on injured reserve with cracked ribs and a partially collapsed l ung. Coach Jim Caldwell s aid Monday that Zenner was in the hospital after being injured in Sunday’s o vertime win over Chicago. Caldwell said Zenner would go on IR “at s ome point in time” but that his condition was imp roving. Zenner has 60 yards on 17 carries this season. He impressed during presea- son and has received some playing time in a backfield that’s been hurt b y Joique Bell’s injury problems and Ameer Abdullah’s fumbling. Theo Riddick made the most of his opportunities Sunday, running for 28 y ards on seven carries and catching three passes for 50 yards. Ravens: The Baltimore R avens keep finding ways to lose, and coming close is of no consolation to c oach John Harbaugh. Baltimore fell to 1-5 with a 25-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. The Ravens’ five defeats have come by a total of 22 points, in part be- c ause they couldn’t come u p with a big play when it mattered most. In three of the losses, B altimore blew a fourth- quarter lead. In the other two, the Ravens staged c omebacks that fell short. Harbaugh said Monday: “It’s disappointing to l ose these close games the way we’re losing them. T he bottom line is we’re not good enough to win them right now.” H e insisted that the Ravens won’t stop trying to improve. B altimore faces the Arizona Cardinals next Mond ay night. NFL ROUNDUP MRI shows Mariota sprained MCL ASSOCIATED PRESS AP Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is tended to after being injured in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Dolphins. doing so, he rarely blitzed, even sent three-man rushes, and with no pass rush whatsoever, Andy Dalton sat back there and played c atch. Mario Williams said he probably set a per- s onal record for most times in coverage. Why is Mario Williams in pass c overage? Why is Jerry H ughes? Turn those guys loose and let them do what t hey do best: sack quarter- b acks. 2. The injuries. I'm not sure what the Bills can do because injuries happen in the NFL, but man, this many? The offense is ravaged and it looked like a preseason game for most of the way Sunday with EJ Manuel, Chris Hogan, De- narius Moore, and Cyrus K ouandjio on the field. Now the Bills face the p rospect of playing the Jaguars without Tyrod Taylor, Sammy Watkins, P ercy Harvin, Karlos Will iams, Seantrel Henderson, and Marquise Goodw in. Factor in the loss of A aron Williams and Kyle Williams on defense, and Marcus Easley on special teams, and the Bills have a serious problem on their hands if most, or all, of those players are sidelined against Jacksonville. 3. Doug Whaley's most recent transact ions. Give Whaley credit for revamping this roster b ecause if all these guys weren't injured, the Bills would be a fairly formida- b le team. However, his l ast month has been gruesome. Getting only a 2017 f ifth-round pick for Matt C assel was a fleecing by the Cowboys. I wasn't against trading Cassel, but I was hoping for more than that, which basically amounts to nothing. Cutting Jordan Gay was idiotic, and that was obvious Sunday. Dan Carpenter has a weak kickoff leg and he had no touchbacks on f our tries. His first kick made it to the goal line and w as returned 49 yards. If Gay were here, that's a touchback. And dumping p unt returner Marcus T higpen for Denarius Moore. Yeah, OK. Nice f air catch at the 4. S tat pack 2011- That was the last time a Bills defense went through a game in which it didn't record a sack or force a turnover, a streak of 61games that ended against the Bengals. 28 - Completions by EJ Manuel, which set a new personal record. He also c ompleted 11straight at one point, another per- s onal best. 82.6 - A.J. Green's average yards per game re- c eiving for his Bengals c areer, which ranks him third among active play- e rs. The Bills held him to 3 6 yards. Looking ahead The Bills flew to London after the Cincinnati game and spent Monday getting adjusted to the time change and their home for the next week. Jacksonville is scuffling at 1-5 and is coming off a 31-20 home loss to H ouston. The Jaguars, who are playing in London f or the third year in a row, will arrive in England Thursday looking to snap a four-game losing streak. M AIORANA@Gan- nett.com Defense Continued from Page 1D

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