With New York having punched their ticket to the postseason; Gang Green aims to close out the regular season on a high note against the lowly Buffalo Bills. Last Sunday, Rex's defense was exposed by Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler's deep ball, while Bears tailback Matt Forte collected 113 yards rushing yards, the most by a Jets' opponent since Week 10 of the 2009 regular season. The playing time of New York's starters; principally Mark Sanchez still remains in question, placing an added burden on the Jets second unit to rise to the occasion. With a win on Sunday, the Jets would reach a mark of 11-5, their highest win total since the 1998 regular season.
KEYS TO VICTORY:
1. Stop the run
Over Gang Green's last two contests, the Steelers and Bears respectively, New York has surrendered a combined 266 rushing yards, a staggering number for a rush defense ranked atop the league for the majority of the season. Bills' tailback Fred Jackson is flirting with his second consecutive 1,000 yard season, needing 108 yards to reach that plateau. New York will need to fly to the ball carrier and crash Buffalo's backfield to put a halt to the Bills rushing attack; daring Ryan Fitzpatrick and his 24th ranked passing attack to beat them.
2. Win the Turnover Battle
New York enjoyed a four game turnover-less streak, lasting from Week 2 to Week 5, during a span in which the Jets earned a peerless 4-0 record. Mark Sanchez and Gang Green's offensive unit have been prone to mistakes, particularly during the second half of the season, while the defense has failed to produce turnovers. Last Sunday, Buffalo committed a mind-boggling seven turnovers en route to a 34-3 drubbing at the hands of New England. If Rex's boys hope to ride high into the playoffs, they will have to force a beleaguered Bills squad into turnovers, putting the finishing touches on Buffalo's dismal season.
3. Start Fast
In what amounts to an exhibition game for New York, a contest that has no bearing on their playoff seeding, it's important for Gang Green to bring the energy and bury Buffalo early. New York is just 4-3 at home this season, scoring a combined fifteen points in their three home losses. New York's home cooking seems to lull them to sleep as the Jets have struggled to hit their stride offensively during opening quarters this season. In what has been deemed a tune-up game, an opportunity for starters to rest and bench players to get some snaps, New York should be leery of a sluggish start and avoid ending the regular season on a sour note.