They don't want to admit it, but they have to. The New York Jets and their loyal fans knew their season was over, but thanks to a highly questionable play call by Buffalo Bills coach Dick Jauron, they were lucky to escape with a 31-27 victory last Sunday.
Now they head to Seattle to face Mike Holmgren and his three-win Seahawks in his final game at Qwest Field. Holmgren, if you remember, was the coach in Green Bay the last time Brett Favre won a Super Bowl back in 1997, so you could say there is a bit of added motivation in this game.
The Seahawks have nothing to lose Sunday, while the Jets have basically everything to lose. A loss to Seattle and one to Miami next week could very well spell the end of the Jets' season should New England win out.
The Jets cannot afford to play the same football that they have been in the last few weeks. They could have a lot of problems with Seneca Wallace, the backup to Matt Hasselbeck, who took the Patriots down to the wire two weeks ago, with his ability to make plays on the run. Offensively, look for Wallace to use tight end John Carlson more in the passing game as the Jets have had big problems covering them.
Though they are not the defense they were a year ago this time, expect the Seahawks to throw everything including the kitchen sink at the Jets' offensive line to disrupt the timing of Favre and his receivers.
A loss to Seattle and the Jets' dream season becomes a nightmare. Talk of a Jets-Giants Super Bowl officially goes out the window and keep this fact in mind: the Jets have not won a game on the west coast this season, including a loss to the two-win Oakland Raiders earlier in the year.
For the Jets to win, its simple: attack, attack, attack. Attack on the ground, through the air, upfield, downfield, sidelines, between the numbers, it doesn't matter. The Jets must establish their dominance early and often and not give the Seahawks even a glimmer of hope.
Also, don't forget Brett Favre's words during his news conference early Wednesday afternoon. He told the media these could be his final two games (should they miss the playoffs) in the NFL.
Now, I know we've seen this before over the past couple of seasons. but I actually believe the old grizzled veteran this time. What more does he have to prove to anyone? He's pushing 40 and his arm is showing signs of wear and tear. But, of course, no one will truly buy the Favre retirement story until he decides to stay away from an NFL training camp come July.
This game for the Jets means more to them than it has at any point all season. A win and they become one step closer to destiny. A loss and...well we don't need to go there just yet.