Not your typical showdown

When the Jets travel to Buffalo on Sunday afternoon, it will be more than just an ordinary game between two last place teams. <p>

It will be a fight for survival.

"There's no doubt about it, we have to win out," said running back Curtis Martin. "We have to win out plain-and-simple. Every week we have to be focused and play with poise."

The Bills and Jets are tied for last place in the AFC East, as both have 5-7 records.

Whoever wins on Sunday will still have a fighting shot to make the playoffs in the parity-laden AFC, while the loser will simply be looking to play out a string of three meaningless games.

"I mean they're 5-7," said Herman Edwards on Wednesday. "They can win some games and all of a sudden things could happen for them, too."

Both teams are counting on the fact that the winner of the final wildcard spot will be able to sneak into postseason play with nine wins.

However, the Jets are playing from a position of strength. If they win all the remaining games on their schedule, and everyone else finishes with nine victories, they would hold the tiebreakers over Miami (8-4) Denver (7-5) Cincinnati (7-5) and Baltimore (7-5). The Jets would win the wildcard due to their projected division and conference record.

There is also another reason why the Jets feel confident dealing with their current predicament.

They have handled these types of situations well in the past.

"We have a better opportunity than other teams to believe," said safety Sam Garnes on Wednesday. "We have been in these situations before that look bleak, but we know if we keep plugging away, you never know what will happen at the end of the season.

"I just think we are able to focus in more (now), because we know the only way to go is up," Garnes continued. "So lets keep plugging away and see what happens. I think that is how we feel."

Last season the Jets started off 2-5, and rallied to finish the 2002 campaign 9-7, and win the AFC East.

"I think what we went through last year; we played (with emotion) every game when we kind of made our run," said Edwards. "We knew there was emotion involved in it. I don't think we have an empty tank (now) by any stretch of the imagination.

"I think we understand where we are at as a football team. We understand there is no margin for error. We have to go on the road and win a game."

Edwards seems to have convinced his team they can make something of a season that as of two weeks ago seemed like a lost cause.

This might be the most hyped-up 5-7 team you will ever meet.

"With the given situation this is going to be my biggest game yet," said rookie defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson. "It's another opportunity. This is the first big game I have been in.

"Everyone is going to be flying around and going hard. Everything is on the line. This is a must win."

"It is going to come down to whoever comes down early, gets it going, and plays the most consistent throughout," said linebacker Sam Cowart. "They are 5-7 and we are too. Both teams are looking for a win. It is going to come down to who has the least mistakes. Anytime we play someone from the AFC East it is going to be a fight."

NOTES:

John Abraham is doubtful, and David Young is out. Edwards described Josh Evans, Aaron Beasley, Jason Glenn, and Sam Cowart as banged up but none of these players are listed on the injury report.


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