The dust has settled since Ronnie Brown powered his way into the end zone Monday night for the Wildcat happy Dolphins. The Jets were unable to stop the Fish on offense in their last second 31-27 loss on Monday but will take that experience, to paraphrase the words of coach Rex Ryan, help “figure out who they want to be.”The next phase for any team with physical talent is communication, comfort, and familiarity with each other. The Jets look to take that next step in their next AFC East battle with the Buffalo Bills at home on Sunday. At 3-2 the Jets remain tied with New England for the division lead and can ill afford a poor performance and a third straight loss.
The 1-4 Bills have struggled to say the least on offense. QB Trent Edwards can’t get the ball to speedy WRs Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish and Terrell Owens has been a disappointment to say the least. His ten year streak of catching a pass a game ended games ago, a telling sign that Owens and the rest of the Bills passing game has yet to get on track. Star RB Marshawn Lynch returned last week from a league suspension but a 6-3 home loss to the woeful Browns is proof that not even a top back in Lynch can resuscitate an offense in disarray.
The Bills defense lost two starting LBs for the season last week as well including former Giant Kawika Mitchell. Jet WR Jerricho Cotchery is out with a hamstring injury but Braylon Edwards who had a great game in his Jet debut (5-64yds 1td) will look to pick up the slack. TE Dustin Keller (0 catches last week) could have a big game as well. Mark Sanchez rebounded beautifully in Miami after throwing 3 picks in New Orleans. His bomb to WR David Clowney could be a sign of things to come for an offense craving for a speedy threat. The rookie’s ability to hold onto the ball was key and will continue to be as the season progresses.
The Jet run game got going a little bit last week finally and have added RB Danny Woodhead to the roster. Woodhead had a monster final preseason game and will add depth to a team that could hit its stride against Buffalo and Oakland the following week. Any added injection to the Jet ground game will be an added plus. The Jet defense gave up 413 yards to the Fish last week. It will be interesting to see how the unit responds from such a humbling experience that saw the Wildcat dominate and the inexperienced QB Chad Henne have his way when he was asked to make third down throws.
Sunday at home is a big opportunity for the Jets to get back on track and begin what could be a two game win streak that could land the club at 5-2 before a week 8 rematch with Miami. The weather will be harsh as a winter storm has rolled in this October. For the Jets to be playing meaningful games when the real winter comes around, they’ll need to take care of business and win the games they’re supposed to win. Starting with Buffalo on Sunday.
THREE KEYS TO THE BUFFALO GAME
1-The return of the Jet Defense: This unit dominated Matt Schaub , Tom Brady, Kerry Collins and Drew Brees before last weeks hiccup. Trent Edwards has struggled. Now’s the time to regain that swagger.
2-Dustin Keller vs Bills LBs: Two Bills starters are out, so is Cotchery. Keller can help provide alot in the passing game and with bad weather in the forecast will need to be a security blanket for Sanchez in the passing game.
3-Jet secondary vs Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish: The Bills haven’t gone deep all year. At some point they’ll have to try. Ted Ginn Jr beat the Jet secondary last week for a big TD. That can’t happen if the game is tight late in the second half tomorrow.