Jets: Saved By The Bungling Bills

Even Brett Favre needs a little help every now and then. That help came courtesy a two minute meltdown by Buffalo on Sunday. With the win, Favre's Jets are still in control of their destiny, unfortunately for Patriots fans.

After their improbable victory Sunday, coach Eric Mangini and many of the Jets talked a lot about playing for 60 minutes, and doing whatever it takes to win.

But as the ever-candid Brett Favre admitted, "We needed a little help."

And that's just what the Jets received, as Buffalo coach Dick Jauron's mind-boggling play-call of a play-action pass set up Abram Elam's strip sack of J.P. Losman and Shaun Ellis' subsequent 11-yard rumble into the end zone with 1:54 left that gave the Jets (9-5) the 31-27 win.

Yes, it's possible that the Jets' improbable victory over Buffalo, a.k.a. Miracle of the Meadowlands 2.0, eventually will be looked upon as the win that propelled them into the playoffs.

But to get there, they still must keep winning. And as exhilarating as Sunday's victory was, it didn't quite cover up all the blemishes the Jets showed in the first 58 minutes of the game.

"We're rejuvenated a little bit because there was a scare, (but) we did pull it out," said defensive end Ellis. "We have another chance to go out and try to play our best ball."

That chance will come Sunday, when the Jets visit Seattle (3-11). Judging by records alone, that game would seem to be a gimme. But not much has come easily for the Jets this season, and no wins at all have come out West for them. They are 0-3 in games played in the Pacific Time Zone.

Plus, the Seahawks, who came from behind to win at St. Louis on Sunday, should be motivated for Mike Holmgren's final home game. He is taking what he calls a "sabbatical" from coaching at the end of the season.

The Jets still control their own playoff destiny and will win the AFC East if they win their final two games. But if they lose to the Seahawks, that playoff outlook could change.

"I'm sure guys understand what we need to do," right tackle Damien Woody said. "We can't get to where we want to go unless we take care of business out in Seattle. It's going to be a tough environment, a tough place to play."

The Jets gained 278 yards of total offense in the first half against the Bills, but only 94 after that.

"The second half definitely wasn't as crisp as the first half," Woody admitted. "We didn't convert (on third downs) like we were doing in the first half. We weren't as sharp. We didn't execute as well as we did in the first half. Our big thing is we have to be consistent for four quarters. At this point in the season, you really have to be sharp throughout the whole game and not just in different periods of the game. I'm sure that's going to be addressed when we get back to work on Wednesday."

Meanwhile, the defense allowed 187 rushing yards to Buffalo.

"Of course, we wanted to play well and put out a great effort on defense," Ellis said. "Buffalo pretty much ran the ball on us. They controlled (the clock) and dictated the things that we did on defense. If we were on our game it could have easily been a 17-6 game with us winning."

--RB Thomas Jones scored only two touchdowns for a 4-12 team last season. In 2008, he has a team-record 15 touchdowns for the 9-5 Jets.
And he believes one has a lot to do with the other.
"I think a lot of the adversity we went through last year," Jones said, "put us in this position this year."
Jones set the record with a 2-yard touchdown run on the Jets' first possession, marking the first time in three games they scored on their opening drive.
"It feels great," he said. "I'm blessed to have the opportunity to score 15 touchdowns. ... It's a great accomplishment, but it's great that we won. Sometimes, if you break a record and lose, it feels like it never happened."
Jones thanked his offensive line and fullback Tony Richardson, calling them the best in the league.
--WR David Clowney, active for the first time this season, had the longest reception of the game for either team, a terrific 26-yarder in the third quarter. He corralled the ball, which was in front of him, with one hand and then caught it with both hands.
"I guess you can say it was a lucky catch," said Clowney, making his NFL debut. "I just tried to make sure I stuck my hand out there."
Clowney was active because wideout Brad Smith (concussion) sat out.
"I definitely got the jitters out," Clowney said. "Hopefully, I'll dress again next week and take it from there."
When asked if he thought he had done enough to play again, he said, "I can't say that. It's all up to the coaches."
--After leaving two days early for each of their first three West Coast games and losing each one, the team investigated perhaps changing its travel plans and leaving for Seattle on Saturday. But coach Eric Mangini said Monday that's not possible.
"The airline took care of that. We can't leave a day" later, Mangini said. "We book ahead. It must be like one of those tickets that I used to buy. ... There's no give on that."


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