NEW YORK (WFAN) — If Muhammad Wilkerson is nothing else, he’s honest and calls ’em like he sees ’em.
And heading into their game at Baltimore, he doesn’t see the Jets as being as good as they should be.
Who can blame him, considering how bad Gang Green played last week?
As everyone knows, the Jets are the first team in NFL history to alternate wins and losses in their first 10 games. And even though if the season ended today they’d be the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs, Wilkerson told WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts during his weekly spot on Tuesday that the truer reality is the Jets have a ton of work to do before they can start believing what the standings say.
“If we keep having mental breakdowns the way we have … I don’t think as of right now that we are,” Wilkerson said of being a playoff team. “But I think we will get there. We have six games left and we pretty much need everyone to find themselves and find a way to help the team as best they can so we can pull together and finish this thing strong.”
Wilkerson was referring to Sunday’s awful 37-14 loss in Buffalo, a game in which the Jets turned the ball over four times on offense and didn’t get anywhere near Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel on defense. It was a total breakdown in all facets and quite alarming considering the Jets were coming off a win over NFC power New Orleans and then their bye week.
“I think we just have to do a better job of being consistent,” Wilkerson said, referring to the Jets’ unique .500 record. “If it’s a win, we, all right, we should enjoy the win, but we gotta get ready for the next opponent. We can’t be too happy about getting a good win. We need to put it behind us and get ready for the next opponent. At the end of the day, anybody can be beat on any given Sunday.”
Wilkerson said the defense deserves a lot of the blame for the loss to the Bills, despite the fact that rookie quarterback Geno Smith played perhaps his worst game as a pro, completing just 8 of 23 passes for 103 yards. He threw three interceptions, including his fourth pick-6 of the season, and fumbled deep in Jets territory.
Wilkerson said turnovers are a fact of life and regardless of where the opponent sets up shop, the Jets’ defense needs to do a better job of minimizing the damage.
“We just gotta back them up,” Wilkerson said of the offense. “We know the offense is struggling and we know we have a rookie quarterback who is going to make some mistakes. As a defense we have to do our job and go out there and get the ball back, stop them from scoring and get some three-and-outs.”
The Jets are just 1-4 on the road this season, losing three games by a combined score of 124-36, and now they take on the Ravens, whom they’ve never beaten in Baltimore in four meetings.
Wilkerson said the Jets seem to lose their edge away from MetLife Stadium.
“If I had a perfect answer for that, I would tell you,” he said when asked about the team’s struggles on the road. “We’re just not being consistent and we’re not taking that defensive mentality we have at home with us on the road. We need to find a way, find our mojo and keep it going.”
The star defensive end said the coaching staff bears no responsibility for the Jets’ no-shows on the road, either.
“We gotta do a better job taking the coaching to the field,” Wilkerson said. “They do a great job on Wednesdays giving us the game plan, telling us what our opponent is going to do to us or expects to do to us. We just gotta be prepared for it.”
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