Thursday, December 03, 2009
JETS IN TORONTO TO FACE BILLS: PLAYOFF HOPES STILL ALIVE
by TJ Rosenthal for Football Reporters Online
The NY Jets saved their season last Sunday against Carolina with a 17-6 win.
That win will mean nothing if Gang Green can't continue a much needed win streak
that includes tough AFC East battle with the Buffalo Bills in Toronto tonight. It's Thursday night football. A short week to prepare followed by either a happy long layoff before week 14, or the realization that postseason dreams will be all but
For the Jets , RB Thomas Jones will be a key factor tonight. The Newark Star Ledger reported this week that Jones is second only to the Chargers LaDanian Tomlinson in yardage gained since 2005. An impressive stat for a humble guy.
For the Jets to go to 6-6, he'll need to add to that tonight against Buffalo, a team that owns the league worst 32nd ranked rushing defense. Can QB Mark Sanchez's color coded bracelet minimize the interceptions for a second straight week? It better. Sanchez threw five interceptions in the Jets previous meeting with the Bills.
A sickening week six OT loss that also saw NG run killer Kris Jenkins injure his knee and thus become lost for the season.
The 4-7 Bills are a different team since the last time the Jets faced them. Head coach Dick Jauron is gone, fired weeks ago in favor of interim Perry Fewell. Fewell got his first NFL coaching win last week at home against Miami. This thanks to the resurgence of WR Terrell Owens, who credits his recent hot play to the new starter QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Owens said this week that the relationship between himself and former starter Trent Edwards simply was not there. RBFred Jackson has supplanted Marshawn Lynch as the starter as well. Lynch who started the year serving a three game league suspension, has yet to find a rythym in 2009.
With Tampa Bay on the schedule next before a tough finish against Atlanta, undefeated Indy, and the first place Bengals, the Jets are in position to make the stretch drive interesting. This is as big of a game as a 5-6 team can have. Let's call
it a playoff game because in essence it is. Win, or go home.
Three keys to the Buffalo Game:
Darrelle Revis vs Terrell Owens: Owens is on fire the past two weeks. Revis has shut down top wideout all year starting on opening day in Houston against Andre Johnson. Randy Moss twice. you get the idea. Tonight must be the same.
Thomas Jones vs Bill Run defense: Jones has to go for close to 100 Yds. and a TD against the 32nd ranked D. If not, that would mean the onus would've been on Sanchez. Bracelet or not, the Sanchise is being asked to manage things and keep the chains moving, not take 2009 into his own hands.
Can we get an unsung hero tonight?: moments like these call for the unsung hero. The guy who wasn't a threat on paper, in game films. Let's look for a Brad Smith, Danny Woodhead, or perhaps a Jet interior defender like Sione Pouha tonight. The Jets need a big contribution from one perimeter guy tonight to help push things over the edge. If the QB isn't allowed to, or can't light it up, it will take, oh god am I actually saying this? 52 flashlights. This of course to quote ex Jet head coach and now ex UVA head coach Al Groh who used this reference in 2000 after the Jets beat Tampa with former Jet Keyshawn Johnson who mocked WR Wayne Chrebet that week before the game.
Follow TJ Rosenthal on twitter@ thejetreport