It just goes to show the average NFL fan that trophies aren’t given out in the first month of the season. After the New York Jets fell to 2-3 with three consecutive losses in September and early October, the panic button was being pressed with full force in the Big Apple. New York rose to the occasion though since then, including this past Sunday when they dominated the Bills in a 27-11 win in upstate New York. The win improved the Jets’ record to 5-3 and put them in a a three-way tie with Buffalo and New England atop the AFC East standings.This weekend the stage doesn’t get any bigger for the Jets. New England is coming into town for Sunday Night Football having lost two consecutive games, the second of which came in crushing fashion this past Sunday in a 24-20 loss to the Giants in Foxboro Sunday afternoon. First place is on the line as the Jets look to take hold of the AFC East for the first time this season.
Bart Scott joined ESPN New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss being tied for the AFC East this week after losing three games in a row a month ago, staying calm after losing three in a row, if he senses a rivalry brewing between the Jets and Giants, fighting for strippers with the Washington Redskins players when he played for the Baltimore Ravens, and Rex Ryan playing a New England Patriots fan in Adam Sandler’s new movie.
After losing three in a row everyone is panicking. Three games later you are tied for first place in the AFC East. Did this happen quicker than you thought it could turn around?
“No because there are no trophies given out for the first half of the season for the first game. I think that is what Buffalo failed to realize. I heard some of the comments by Stevie Johnson talking about they are favored to go to the Super Bowl, but you gotta understand you gotta take small steps especially when you haven’t done it before. Sometimes guys are – at the end of the day – we are going to find out who is serious? Who is real and who is not? We have been in this situation before. We understand that November and December is when you make your major push. That’s when the cream rises to the top and a lot of guys will find out that the foundation they thought they were built on may be dirt or sand.”
When you were losing three in a row there wasn’t some concern?
“There was concern, but we understood that we went in and we were put in some tough spots against some good football teams. The one we felt like we let get away from us was Oakland because we had opportunities in pivotal points of those games I think to put them away where they would have quit, but we weren’t able to do that. We let them get back in the football game and feel confidence at home and they fed off that emotion and they beat us. We were put in a spot against Baltimore without Nick Mangold with a backup center that didn’t know the calls. You knew that was going to be tough sledding. What goes unnoticed in that loss was how well the defense played in matching up with that team, which is an explosive team, which some think is the best in the NFL. It definitely may be the best in the AFC.”
Do you sense a rivalry between the Jets and Giants?
“Not at all. Like I said when I was in Baltimore I could remember with the Redskins you had guys fighting over strippers and all kind of stuff. I don’t sense that here. I think it is a mutual respect. I think the town is big enough for both of us. I think we were just trying to make a statement that hey we wanted a little bit bigger piece of the spotlight because when I got here my sense was pretty much all Giants type of town. We played in Giants Stadium. We just want to get our piece of the pie. We respect them, but we would definitely love – we look forward to that game. I believe it is the 24th of December for bragging rights and hoping that’s the game that could help us win this division.”
Bart you gotta help me out. You guys fought for strippers? What does that mean?
“When you are in a small place like Baltimore and the temperature is relatively cold – hey you compete over the same chicks. That’s a football players favorite spot. Especially young football players. It was always a rivalry. Guys fight about hey that is my girlfriend and that’s my girlfriend, but here? Five million people, maybe more. There is plenty for everybody.”