Jets get run over by Bills

The Jets inability to stop the run once again held them back as they suffered their eighth loss of the season in a 17-6 slugfest against the Buffalo Bills. The loss drops New York's record to 5-8 and puts them in last place by themselves ending any realistic playoff hopes.<BR><BR>

The Bills' Travis Henry proved to be the difference in the game as he rumbled his way to 169 yards on the ground with a touchdown. It was a career-high in rushing yards for Henry who was playing hurt with a broken bone in his right leg and torn rib cartilage. The Bills ran for a total of 203 yards as the offensive line dominated the Jets up front.

"We came out and played great," said Henry. "The offensive line was unbelievable today. We ran the ball up the middle, there were lots of lanes to run through. It's December, that's when you're supposed to run the ball and we did great today."

Due to the extremely impressive ground attack, quarterback Drew Bledsoe was able to manage the game instead of putting the pressure on his shoulders. Bledsoe threw a total of 15 passes, completing nine of them, for just 72 yards and a touchdown.

"That was the formula that we talked about in training camp," said Bledsoe who tied Phil Simms at 25th for all-time touchdown passes with his 199th. "That is the way we would like to play. We like to have that power running game, play great defense, play good field position with the football and let Travis Henry do the work."

Buffalo's defense kept Gang Green's offense in check by limiting them to only 187 yards of total offense and 88 rushing. The Jets were able to move the football on a couple of occasions but could not put the ball in the end zone. They were unable to take advantage of scoring opportunities as they had the ball in Bills' territory four times, yielding just six points. They had a chance to turn the game around early in the third quarter, trailing 7-3, after cornerback Ray Mickens intercepted a Bledsoe pass and returned it to Buffalo's 35-yard line. But the turnover was squandered as Gang Green went three-and-out and was knocked out of field goal range by a sack.

Quarterback Chad Pennington played his worst game of the season partly due to being harassed by the Bills' front four and linebackers. New York's offensive line was ineffective in providing time for their franchise quarterback as Pennington was sacked five times.

"You have to be hungry," said Buffalo defensive tackle Sam Adams , who had seven tackles, including two sacks. "We have three ball games left, we have to win all three to get into the playoffs."

Curtis Martin was also contained as linebackers London Fletcher and Takeo Spikes combined for 20 tackles. Martin finished the day with 84 yards on 25 carries and accomplished a milestone himself in passing O.J. Simspon for the 12th spot on the all-time rushing list. He currently has 11,314 rushing yards in his ninth season.

"I don't care about that right now," he said. "It doesn't have any significance in this season. Right now, our season isn't where we wanted it to be. Today we went there and got our butts kicked, period. I kind of feel like they played the way we intended to play."

The Jets find themselves playing for pride the rest of the way as any playoff hopes at this point would be virtually impossible. They are three games behind the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins who are fighting for the final slot in the AFC playoff race at 8-5. Gang Green's remaining schedule includes Miami in the last game of the year which could have playoff implications for the Phins. The Jets would most likely love nothing more than to play spoilers.

The Bills, on the other hand, are still alive at 6-7 and two games back behind the Dolphins and Broncos. Their last three games are away at Tennesee next week, home against the Dolphins the following game, and away at New England to finish out the year. They will most likely have to run the table and get a little help from others to sneak in as the sixth seed.

The Jets are home against the Pittsburgh Steelers as they now have to try and finish the season with a .500 record at best. The Steelers are coming off of a 27-7 victory over the Oakland Raiders. They have an identical 5-8 record and are currently in third place in the AFC North.


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