No more room for error. The playoffs start now as coach Rex Ryan stated. Not even 2 weeks ago, the Jets were taking on the Patriots with the opportunity to take over first place in the AFC East. Now, after 2 disappointing losses to the Patriots and the Tebow led Broncos, the Bills come to town, reeling as well, in the midst of a 3 game losing streak. They both enter the game with a 5-5 record, and fighting to stay in the wild card hunt. The Jets have won 5 straight, and 6 out of 7 in the all-time series, including a decisive 27-11 win up in Buffalo back in week 9. Here are some keys to look for:
STOP THE RUN
The Jets were the Jets of old in the last matchup on defense. They held the Bills to 96 yards on the ground. This allowed the Jets to expose Ryan Fitzpatrick to as not the quarterback he had been in previous weeks, holding him to a stats line of 15-31 passing for 191 yards 1 TD and 2 INTs. The Jets have no excuse for not stopping the run this Sunday, with Fred Jackson on injured reserve. This is a big blow to the Bills’ offense, as Fred Jackson was in the midst of a breakout season. CJ Spiller, and the recently signed Tashard Choice, if he plays, should not prove to be a significant threat to the Jets.
CLEAN UP SPECIAL TEAMS
This is an obvious one, but had to throw it in there. Fumbles on kicks, short punts by TJ Conley, missed chip shots by Nick Folk. We can have none of that on Sunday. Done with that, moving on.
ESTABLISH OFFENSE EARLY
They have a history of success against this team. The much criticized Mark Sanchez is 4-1 as a starter against the Bills in his young career. In the past 2 games against the Bills Shonn Greene is averaging 96.5 yards on the ground. LaDainian Tomlinson, although not likely to play, does average 89 yards per game on the ground against Buffalo. Ground and pound has a history of success against this team, even in defeat, and look for the Jets to establish it early and give Mark Sanchez opportunities in the play action game.
Keep Santonio Holmes involved as well. Plaxico Burress has been great of late, but Santonio has had success against this team, looking for his 3rd consecutive game against the Bills with a TD catch.
This should be a week for the offense to get back on the right track. It will be an ugly week if it doesn’t.
There you have it, your keys to week 12. Enjoy the game, see you on the other side.