Jamal Adams
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams took to the podium after Wednesday’s practice to completely project the team’s 2019 mantra.

Robby Sabo

FLORHAM PARK, NJ—It was a quieter, far-less jubilant Jamal Adams on Wednesday. It didn’t matter.

Despite his less aggressive mood, the New York Jets strong safety projected an identical mantra that’s carried this squad the entire season, win or lose, high or low.

One game at a time.

“Again, it doesn’t matter what the record is, for those guys; it doesn’t matter what the record is for us,” Adams told reporters after a Wednesday practice at Florham Park. “It’s an opportunity. Any team in the NFL can be beat, so you have to show out every single Sunday, Monday, Thursday, or whatever it is.”

The 4-7 Jets ready themselves to take on the winless Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday. Winless, sure. Pesky? No doubt.

The Bengals have continuously given their opponents fits all season long. In Week 1, the Seattle Seahawks barely managed a victory, 21-20. The Buffalo Bills edged them by just four, the Arizona Cardinals by three, the Baltimore Ravens by six, the Oakland Raiders by seven and the Pittsburgh Steelers by six.

If there’s a team in the league that understands what can happen against a winless team looking to satisfy its pride, it’s these Jets.

Four weeks ago, New York slid to 1-7 after falling to the winless Dolphins in Miami. There it was, the image of the season, a lonely Adam Gase with his head buried in the playsheet and nobody near the man.

Just picture the head coach contagious with the flu while the entire team understood to stay away. Picture a pitcher working on a perfect game into the seventh inning.

As for Adams, Miami doesn’t even exist these days.

“I can even tell you when that was,” Adams said in response to a question pertaining to the Dolphins loss.

“Our focus is on Cincinnati.”

That’s the mantra. From the head coach to the second-year quarterback, “focusing on this week, the mission at hand” has reverberated throughout the halls of the Jets Atlantic Health Training Center all season.

It’s part of the reason this group was able to pull itself out of such a massive hole a mere four weeks ago.

Bill Parcells always so famously proclaimed, “Your record is what it says it is.” While that Big Tuna thought is undoubtedly true on the surface, ensuring a locker room doesn’t get caught up in the madness that is overall record and social media right hooks is a goal that feeds into the greater picture.

Words create culture. Culture turns into wins. Wins eventually morph into long-lasting success.

“You (gotta) go out there and compete, because, obviously, you can see, around the league, if you don’t show up, you can be down,” Adams said.

Jamal Adams and the New York Jets look for their fifth victory of the season when they take on the Bengals in Cincinnati this weekend. The world casually believes the Jets should take care of business. The Jets, especially No. 33, knows better.

Every NFL team is worth its own weight. Every franchise is a challenge in itself. Forget 6-7 at the time the Baltimore game arrives.

All that matters are the Cincinnati Bengals.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com