New York Jets: Five Things To Look For Vs. Buffalo Bills
The Jets close out their season with what is essentially a meaningless game against division rival, the Buffalo Bills.
With a playoff berth locked up, the Jets have little to play for except positioning in the AFC east playoff tournament.
The Jets head into Sunday holding on to the sixth seed, and the spectre of a first round matchup in Kansas City against a Chiefs team that has not yet lost at home this season.
The playoffs however, are a different animal, and one could argue that the Chiefs haven't played anyone at home who is as good as the Jets.
Should things break right, the Jets might find themselves with the fifth seed, and a date with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis.
Forgetting playoff positioning, the Jets have an opportunity to win an 11th regular season game for the first time since they won 12 in 1998.
Here are five things that as a Jet fan, you would like to see on Sunday...
1. Can Mark Sanchez Build Off Of Last Week?
There was a lot to like in Mark Sanchez's performance at Chicago on a bad weather day against a good defense.
Many people have criticized Sanchez for bad-weather play and he did a good job to slow down some of that talk last week.
However, the Jets still lost the game and Sanchez squandered three opportunities with the ball in the fourth quarter with a chance to put the Jets ahead.
Sanchez figures to start Sunday. How much he plays remains to be seen. But, a good performance by Sanchez could boost his confidence heading into the playoffs.
2. Can The Jets' Defense Play a Complete Game?
Or even a good game.
The Jets' defense hasn't played well since the Dolphins game three weeks ago.
Even in that game, the defense allowed a big touchdown on a third and goal to go scenario. When they held the Steelers to 17 points, they allowed the Steelers a staggering 11 third down conversions on 17 attempts.
Last week, the secondary was embarrassed by Jay Cutler and targets Johnny Knox and Devin Hester for 38 points.
If the Jets hope to do anything in playoff-football, their defense needs to be their strength, not their weakness.
This week against the Bills is an opportunity for them to flex some muscle.
3. Offensive Specifics: The Running Game
It remains to be seen who gets the bulk of the carries on Sunday.
One would figure, Joe McKnight would get an opportunity with Tomlinson and Greene resting for post-season play.
It would be nice to see McKnight deliver on some of the promise he has demonstrated in the combine drills. After all, he is the chief reason Chauncey Washington and Danny Woodhead didn't get a shot for Gang Green.
4. Defensive Specifics: Generating a Pass-Rush
There is no secret that one of the reasons that the Jets' defense has struggled is their inability to rush the passer with their front four.
Jason Taylor, and to a lesser extent Trevor Pryce (who is now injured), were brought to New York to help rush the passer. They were brought here basically because Vernon Gholston has been more "ghost" than "ghoul" when it comes to rushing the passer.
I know it's one game, but it would be nice to see Jason Taylor, Golston, et al generate a pass-rush so that Ryan doesn't have to blitz as often as he has had to.
5. Closing The Season Strong
Some people subscribe to the "momentum" theory going into the playoffs. I am not really one of those people, but if you are, you would like to see the Jets close the season with a win.
After a tremendous 9-2 start, the Jets have dropped three of their last four games and a loss to the Bills, would make four out of five.
You would like to see Rex Ryan's team finish with a win to close the season.
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