Jets know they can’t afford a Week 2 letdown at home

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OK, now what can you do for an encore?

That is the question facing Sam Darnold and the Jets this week as they come off an impressive 48-17 season-opening win over the Lions. Now, they come home to face the Dolphins at MetLife Stadium with expectations and enthusiasm from the fans at heights we have not seen for quite some time.

Will the Jets show that Monday night was no illusion or will they fall back to Earth?

The team’s theme this week has been moving on from Detroit and not letting one win go to their heads.

“That’s exactly what we’re doing right now, trying to make sure everyone in the room realizes it was just one game,” wide receiver Quincy Enunwa. “As much fun as it was, we want to continue to have that much fun. We can’t be too high on ourselves just because we won that game. There are still 15 other games. Our goal is to continue to play at that level, but to stay grounded.”

The Jets have followed some big wins under coach Todd Bowles with epic no-shows the following week.

Remember these?

  • In 2015, the Jets defeat the Colts in Week 2 on Monday night, 20-7, to improve to 2-0. They lose the following week at home, 24-17, to an Eagles team that would finish 7-9.
  • Later that season, the most memorable one of these collapses happens in Week 17, when the Jets implode in Buffalo and lose to the Bills, 22-17, one week after a dramatic, overtime victory over the Patriots. The loss costs the Jets a playoff berth.
  • The Jets torched the Bills in Week 2 of the 2016 season, rolling up 493 yards in a 37-31 Thursday night win. A week later, the Chiefs destroy the Jets, 24-3, picking off Ryan Fitzpatrick six times.
  • Last season, the Jets became YouTube sensations as the defense danced its way to a 34-21 win over the Bills again on Thursday. The win went to the young Jets’ heads, and they lost to the Buccaneers a week later, 15-10.

The Jets are trying to break the trend this week. The message in the locker room has been to go 1-0 every week.

“That’s the thing, we just can’t get too high on this one win,” guard Brian Winters said. “It’s literally one win, one game. Us as older guys have to show that to everyone — that it’s one game — and we’ve got to continue to build upon it.”

Marquee Matchup

Brandon Shell and Robert QuinnAP (2)

Jets tackles Kelvin Beachum and Brandon Shell vs. Dolphins edge rushers Robert Quinn and Cam Wake

This week starts a run of challenging pass rushers the Jets offensive line has to deal with. Wake has terrorized the Jets for years. He has 10 ½ sacks, an interception, three passes defensed and four forced fumbles in 17 career games against the Jets.

If Wake was not a tough enough challenge, the Dolphins acquired Quinn this offseason from the Rams in a trade. Quinn had 8.5 sacks last year for the Rams.

Beachum, Shell and the rest of the Jets’ offensive line played well last week, but this is a much bigger challenge.

“Both premier edge rushers, both cause a problem,” coach Todd Bowles said. “Obviously, they got them down there, when they rush four those two will seem like your rushing six. They’re going to create a big problem, we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

Four Downs

Seconds for Sam: All eyes will again be on Sam Darnold this week, as the rookie quarterback makes his MetLife Stadium regular-season debut. He excited the fan base with the way he bounced back last week against the Lions after opening the game with a pick-six.

His statistics for the Lions were not eye-popping (16-of-21, 198 yards, two TDs, one INT), but it was the way he handled himself after the early adversity that was so impressive. He also was not asked to do much in the second half after the Jets took a big third-quarter lead.

Darnold was unfazed by the attention he received this week and the hype that surrounds him. Coach Todd Bowles laughed when asked this week how Darnold handled everything that came along with his debut win.

“I didn’t expect him to go from Jekyll to Hyde, if that’s what you’re asking,” Bowles said. “He’s going to be the same guy every day, but he’s fine.”

Frank the Tank: Dolphins running back Frank Gore can make history on Sunday with 15 more yards. That would move him past former Jets star and Hall of Famer Curtis Martin for fourth on the all-time rushing list. Gore enters the game with 14,087 yards. Martin finished his career with 14,101.

Gore has started 109 consecutive games and looks indestructible at age 35 in his 14th NFL season.

“He’s not normal,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said. “He’s different. He’s built different. He’s mentally built different. He’s a special person. He’s a special player. If you watched him work day in and day out, it would make sense.”

Pick party: Takeaways have not been easy to come by for the Jets in recent years, but on Monday night they feasted against Matthew Stafford and the Lions. The five interceptions were the most by a team in a game since 1999.

The Jets defense could rise to one of the elite units in the league if it can create turnovers every week. That is something that has been lacking in Bowles’ last few defenses. The Jets also did something rare on Monday when Darron Lee scored off an interception, breaking a 73-game drought for the Jets.

So special: The Jets’ special teams units played their best game in years on Monday night. Andre Roberts had two huge returns, one for a touchdown. Jason Myers had nine touchbacks on kickoffs and made two field goals. Punter Lachlan Edwards did not allow the Lions return game to ever have a chance.

Now, the Jets have to prove they can do it consistently. The Dolphins have given the Jets a hard time on special teams in the past. Jakeem Grant had a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown last week for Miami, so the Jets will get tested this week.

Costello’s Call

Can you hear it? The Jets’ hype train has left the station. Everyone loves the Jets after that big win on Monday night against the Lions. Is Sam Darnold for real? Are the Jets? I think they are … for this week at least.

Jets 27, Dolphins 20

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