Jets soaring but far from satisfied with 2-0 start to season

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NEW YORK (AP) Two games, two wins. Not too shabby for the New York Jets.

Coach Todd Bowles isn't exactly celebrating, though. And neither are his players.

''They know how long of a season it is and this just tells us we can be 2-14 right now,'' Bowles said Tuesday. ''They understand that, too, but I'm not going to temper them from being excited.''

Still, it's a strong start for a franchise that cleaned house in the offseason, from the general manager to the coach and throughout the roster.

''No, I'm not surprised,'' Bowles said when asked if the 2-0 start was unexpected. ''I don't want to be 0-2. We've been working hard and we've been grinding and as the team comes together, it's a process to get to where we want to be.''

Bowles' even-keeled personality is perhaps the biggest change for a team that had been used to Rex Ryan making headlines with a brash, confident approach after both wins and losses.

While the Jets have done a lot of things right in wins over Cleveland and Indianapolis to open the season, Bowles is low-key about it all.

''We're not there yet, but we're making great strides and nobody is going to be good coming right off the top,'' he said. ''We're just going to keep building and keep going. That's what we're doing.''

Boring? Maybe. But Bowles doesn't sugarcoat anything.

Take the Jets' quarterback situation, for instance. When asked if Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain the starter even when Geno Smith is healthy enough to play after having his jaw broken last month by a then-teammate, Bowles added no fuel to any possible quarterback controversy.

''Ryan is our starting quarterback right now,'' Bowles said. ''We're doing well, we have good chemistry going and everything else and Geno understands that. And as we go, Ryan is our quarterback. We'll go forward from there.''

Bowles was then asked if Smith was healthy enough to play this week if Fitzpatrick would still be the starter.

''Yes,'' he said without hesitation. ''Ryan's the starter.''

Bowles repeatedly said in the preseason that if Fitzpatrick was playing well and the Jets were winning, Smith would not automatically retain his starting job.

So far, Fitzpatrick has been solid, throwing for 423 yards and four touchdowns, along with two interceptions. The addition of Brandon Marshall has been huge, giving the Jets a strong, physical receiver to complement Eric Decker. Chris Ivory and the running game have also been solid.

Against the Colts, the Jets struggled a bit in the second half offensively, failing to put Indianapolis away. The Colts got within three points at 10-7 in the fourth, but then Fitzpatrick led the Jets down the field and connected with Marshall on a 15-yard TD that made it a two-score game with 6:20 left.

''We just have to be able to stay on the field,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I've got to get better at third downs. There's a lot of stuff. We'll try to get better. We're going to have to get better to continue to win games on offense.''

For now, though, the defense has done the job.

After having a league-low 13 takeaways last season, the Jets already have 10 - including three by Darrelle Revis - in just two games, a team record. They've given up just 17 points, and that includes mostly shutting down Andrew Luck on Monday night.

''The coaches have been preaching (turnovers) ever since Day 1 and we were able to get some for the second week in a row,'' nose tackle Damon Harrison said. ''Any time we can get turnovers, it greatly increases our chances of winning. First couple weeks of the season, it's true.''

The Jets' solid start has them soaring in the minds of many media, some of whom didn't expect much more than a mediocre showing in Bowles' first season, figuring it to be a rebuilding or retooling year. New York leaped from 21st to a tie for No. 9 in the AP Pro32 power rankings Tuesday.

Still, Bowles remains unfazed. He's already focused on facing the 0-2 Philadelphia Eagles at home on Sunday - and improving.

''We're just going to keep progressing, getting better every week,'' Bowles said. ''We saw a lot of good stuff, but we saw some bad stuff, too.''


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