By Rikki Greenberg
Grab your favorite Jets sweatshirt and green sweatpants because the team is calling for a Green-Out this weekend.
This Sunday at Jets stadium is Fan Appreciation Day so do your part as a dedicated Jets fan and proudly sport Green and White from head to toe.
The Greenhouse effect couldn’t come at a better time for Mangini and his merry men in spandex as they take on the Buffalo Bills (6-7). With three games left in the season, the once super sexy Jets have fallen from first place in the AFC East to a three-way tie with Miami (8-5) and New England (8-5).Â If the Jets beat Buffalo, steam roll over Seattle (Week 16) and kick Miami quarterback and Jets nemesis Chad Pennington to the curb (Week 17), the Jets will take back first place and have at least one post season playoff game at the Green House.
For now, the Gang Green radar focuses on defeating Buffalo. With home-field advantage, Fireman Ed and yours truly cheering from the suburban sidelines, the Jets are that much closer to a playoff appearance.
The Jets back-to-back losses to the Broncos at home (34-17) and to the 49ers in San Francisco (24-14) are great examples of how a team could go from hot to not in a matter of weeks.Â The Gunslinger of the East posted “I’m too sexy for my jersey” passer ratings after Week 11’s Patriots massacre (119.4) and Week 12’s Titans steamroll (103.6), but failed to get the same sultry momentum against Denver (60.9) and San Francisco (60.8)
The Green and White also has seen struggling productivity in rookie cornerback Dwight Lowery (zero tackles against Denver vs. five tackles against New England) and former sixth round 2006 NFL Draft pick corner back Drew Coleman (three tackles against San Francisco vs. eight tackles against Arizona). The lack of coverage has caused the pass defense rank to go from 26th in Week 12 to 31st in Week 15. However, the Jets defensive rank rises significantly against the run (4th ranked rushing defense) , thanks in large part to the Green and White run stopping machine and AFC Player of the Week for Week nine Kris Jenkins (listed as questionable according to the team’s website due to a hip injury).Â Despite Favre’s dip in performance, the Jets still have a solid offense with AFC Offensive Player of the Month Thomas Jones setting records in the running game and veteran wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, along with rookie tight end Dustin Keller, holding it down in the passing game.Â
Buffalo Bills Head Coach Dick Jauron couldn’t have started the 2008 season on a better note. As of Week 7, the Bills were 5-1 (first time since 1995) and second season quarterback Trent Edwards started to look like the quarterback veteran back-up J.P. Losman used to be. As stated before, it only takes a couple of weeks for a scorching NFL team to go from number one in the What’s Hot category to last in the What’s Not category in Sports Illustrated. By Week 13, the Bills were 6-6 and without Edwards (214-of-324 for 2,328 yards, 10 TDs,10 INTs for the season) due to a groin injury suffered the week before against San Francisco.
The Bills added â€œinjury to injuryâ€ when two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Mike Schobel was placed on IR last Thursday after his left foot wasn’t healing properly. Now the Bills look to Losman to lead the 23rd ranked offense for the second straight start since the Edwards injury in Week 13. The inconsistent quarterback will get some help Sunday from second season running backs Marshawn Lynch (4.0 yards-per-carry average seven touchdowns for the season) and Fred Jackson (4.2 yards-per-carry average and one touchdown for the season). Also look for Bills veteran wide receiver Lee Evans to make big plays in the passing game.Â
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