Sunday, December 14, 2008


The Jets should not have lost to San Francisco. They should not have lost to Oakland. The way they were playing at the time, they shouldn't have laid an egg against Denver. But they did.

And they shouldn't have beaten Buffalo the way they played on defense today. But they did.

In a game in which breaks went both ways (the Bills had a field goal bound in off the goal post, the Jets had a Bills' touchdown called back by a [legit] holding call; the Bills intercepted Brett Favre off a ball deflected by a player on the ground, the Jets got the fumble at a key time that they needed), the Jets got the biggest break.

With the Bills running every which way on the Jets (making me severely doubt their chances in the playoffs if they can hold on and make the post-season), they decided to throw the ball on second and five while they were running out the clock. It turned into the minor miracle at the Meadowlands, as Abram Elam blitzed (the first Jets blitz of the afternoon that I could remember), sacked J.P. Losman, and after someone fell on the ball and it squirted out, Shaun Ellis picked it up and dodged a tackle for the go-ahead touchdown.

The Jets actually picked off Losman again, but gave the ball back and had to hold on for dear life. That was one of the Jets' biggest problems in this game - failure to run out the clock. Granted, the first time they were pinned to their one, but instead of running the ball the Jets went to three passes - all incomplete, took no time off the clock, then punted, and proceeded to give up the Bills' go-ahead touchdown.

The other big problem was their inability to stop the run. Marshawn Lynch looked like the old Willis McGahee - the Bills back the Jets just couldn't bring down. Lynch had 21 carries for 127 yards. Their tackling, and really their defensive line against the Bills' O-Line, was atrocious.

But an ugly win is still a win. And there were some positives - Brett Favre found Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles again, connections the Jets will need to have post-season success. And they came out firing, scoring two touchdowns on their first two possessions, looking great doing so.

The Jets got no help from their two west coast foils from earlier this year (Oakland is getting smoked by New England and Miami beat the 49ers). But a couple of good things might have happened. One is that Seattle won, coming back from a deficit to beat the (similarly awful) Rams. Perhaps that sates the Seahawks, coming off a tough loss last week to the Patriots, heading into next week against the Jets, and the Jets can pounce on a falsely-confident team next week. Just a thought. The other thing is that the Bills showed they still have some life. Perhaps they can give the Patriots a run in Week 17 - which might just be what the Jets need, if they're not able to take care of themselves.

And that's the most important thing - the Jets still control their own destiny. They just need to keep winning - and help from Arizona (at New England) and Kansas City (versus Miami) next week wouldn't hurt. It might even result in a division championship before the last week of the season.

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