Jets Must Avoid Textbook Trap Game

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First a few updates:

1. Calvin Pace returned to practice today with very limited reps and Darrelle Revis still wasn’t on the practice field. I wouldn’t bet on seeing either of them on the field against Buffalo this weekend. Jamaal Westerman and Wayne Hunter could both also miss this week’s game.

2. Danny Woodhead scoring touchdowns in New England. Chauncey Washington signed by the Rams. Leon Washington returning every kick in sight for a touchdown. How about it Joe McKnight?

3. TOJ will be seeing “Lombardi” on Broadway tonight, in his first ever play…thoughts coming tomorrow.

Jets Must Avoid Textbook Trap Game

If you were attempting to define the term “trap game” you would describe the upcoming Jets/Bills match-up. The Jets are coming off two emotional wins against their primary divisional rivals and competition for an AFC East title, New England and Miami, and on the horizon is a made for TV Monday night match-up against Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings, in which you may be able to hear the cheers every time #4 hits the turf up in Connecticut.

Yet, coming up this Sunday at 1 PM the Jets must travel to Buffalo, home of the AFC East’s dysfunctional, basement dwelling Bills. I genuinely feel bad for the fans up there, who are among the most passionate in the league. The past two weeks, I have been walking in the streets of Hoboken on Sunday around noon. If you aren’t familiar with the area, at this particular time the streets are filled with NFL fans in their respective jerseys heading to a sports bar to watch their teams. I always see two or three Bills fans, who have a certain look on their face as they trudge around in their Lee Evans or Marshawn Lynch jersey. Unlike the other fans, they aren’t exactly excited to be heading to watch their team, it almost looks like they are 9 year olds being dragged to church by their parents. Poor, guys.

Anyway, the Jets or their fans would be exceedingly foolish to take this game lightly. Despite Buffalo’s lack of talent, direction, and strategy they have played their other two AFC East opponents tough, only losing to Miami by 5 points and New England by 8.

Needless to say, in a typical Jets season one of the worst losses always comes against the Bills. Consider the following:

  • 2009 – Mark Sanchez throws 5 interceptions en route to an embarrassing 16-13 loss, which drops the Jets to 3-3 after a 3-0 start.
  • 2007 – Despite high expectations the 1-2 Jets fall to 1-3, after they lose to the 0-3 Bills and then later in the year lose 13-3 at home on a ridiculous Lee Evans touchdown when Abram Elam and Darrelle Revis run into each other.
  • 2006 – The eventually playoff bound Jets get smacked by the Bills 31-13 to drop their record to 7-6.
  • 2005 – The Jets pull themselves to 2-3 with an impressive win against Tampa Bay with Vinny Testaverde at the helm and then follow with an ugly 27-17 loss in Buffalo.
  • 2004 – The 6-1 Jets are upset on the road 22-17 by the Bills and also lose Chad Pennington to an injury.
  • 2003 – Despite a bad start, the Jets come into Buffalo winning 3 of 4 but see their recent strong play fall off in a 17-6 loss.

You get the gist of it.

Buffalo is going to play the Jets tough. This is a game in a difficult environment and a good early season test for the Jets. A great team takes care of business in this game, moves to 3-0 in the division and 2-0 on the road. There is no logical reason that Ryan Fitzpatrick should be able to produce more points with his pedestrian wide receivers and tight ends than Mark Sanchez can throwing to Dustin Keller, Braylon Edwards, and Jerricho Cotchery. The Bills have talent at running back, but so far in 2010 you can’t run on the Jets. Why should LaDainian Tomlinson slow down against this defense? Better yet, why can’t Shonn Greene get going against this defense when a scrub like BenJarvus Green-Ellis can nearly run for 100 yards against it?

The point is the Jets have to be a mature team, who treats this game with equal importance to the previous three weeks. If the Jets can handle business this week, there is no reason they can’t knock off the one-dimensional Vikings at home (in case you haven’t noticed they can’t throw the ball) and the inconsistent Broncos in Denver. What will people have to say about that “impossible” start to the Jets schedule, if they head into the bye week at 5-1?

Bad Jets/Bills Memory