The Jets head into CenturyLink Field on Sunday as a 3-5 team to face a Seahawks team that is 4-0 in the friendly confines. While Rex Ryan acknowledges the records favor Seattle, he instead intends to focus on improving his team's performance in the aspects they can control.
In an interview with The Michael Kay Show, Rex was asked about what needs to be fixed going into the second half, and the fourth-year Jets coach remarked:
"There's issues in all three phases. I wish it was just 'Hey, look, this person has to play better,' or, 'This part of our game has to get better.' I think there are things across the board we know we have to get better at. Those are the things we are really going to focus on.
"Our third-down defense has to get better. We've been stopping the run better, but it's still not where we need it to be, and then our red-zone defense. Those are things that have to be our focus, like forcing turnovers. Gotta find a way to get the ball out. Those are things we are really focusing on defense and then, offensively, quite honestly you gotta eliminate the turnovers and it's easier said than done. We cannot, especially in the red zone, turn the football over, and those are areas that are really hurting us.
And then on special teams ... we'll go years and years never getting a punt blocked. This is the first time I remember getting a punt blocked. We've had two blocked and we've done some good things on special teams, but those things kill you and they are back-breakers. It's not something we are accustomed to and our special teams have always been a focus and we need to get back to that as well. There's a lot of things we have to get corrected, and then looking at your team and how we can maximize players that we have. Those are things you look at as well."
The third phase Rex is referring to, obviously, is special teams. The Jets have had two punts blocked this year, which have been huge momentum shifters in their games.
While trying to improve his team's performance as a whole, Ryan understands what a Hurculean task it is to win at CLink. "You're playing Seattle, where they are undefeated and the crowd is legendary in the way they support their team, and we kind of know we are walking into a hornets nest and we have to be ready to deal with it."
The Jets and Seahawks kick off at 1:05 p.m. PT on Sunday, and the game can be seen on CBS.
For more on the Seahawks, check out Field Gulls. Fore more on the Jets, head over to Gang Green.