There’s still plenty to play for if you’re the Jets, who despite being all but eliminated from playoff contention at 2-8 havean awful lot left to prove.The bye comes at an interesting time for the team, who pulled off one of the surprises of the NFL season in Week 10 with a win over the Steelers. The Jets, who have historically suffered after the bye week under head coach Rex Ryan, now need to build on this impressive win.Having a week off between that upset and this Sunday’s road game at Buffalo (1 p.m., CBS) won’t help the momentum issue.
The Jets are not only playing for their own jobs but for that of Ryan as well. Even as a fourth straight season without the playoffsis now likely, a strong finish to the season could be a major boost for hopes to keep the man called ‘Rex’ around these parts.
In the 5-5 Bills, the Jets face a team that hasn’t won since it beat New York in Week 8.
Here are three things to keep tabs on:
1. That Kid from Clemson
The Jets head coach knows a thing or two about Sammy Watkins, the Bills standout rookie wide receiver. His son, Seth, is a wide receiver of his own right at Clemson and is a former teammate of Watkins.Last month in a Bills blowout win of the Jets at MetLife Stadium, Watkins hadthree catches for 157 yards and should have had a touchdown but for the heroic tracking down bySaalimHakim. Watkins leads the Bills in receiving yards this year and has become a favorite target of quarterback Kyle Orton.
2. The Vick Factor
These two teams played each other just three weeks ago,a45-23 win in Week 8. The Bills were dominant in that game, mainly due to three interceptions in the first quarter by Geno Smith, who lost his starting job to Michael Vickafter that horrible outing. In two games with Vick as the starter, the offense hasn’t had a single turnover. This one could be a ‘W’ for the Jets if they continue that trend.Bills head coach DougMarronepraised both Smith and Vick, but it’s clear that Vick gives the Jets a better chance to win.
3. The Lake Effect
The game on Sunday could be in doubt given the beating that Buffalo has taken in recent days with feet upon feet of snow being dumped in the region. Players were not able to practice since mid-week, making preparation for the Bills a challenge. Further complicating things for the Bills is the fact that they played on Thursday night, giving them an extended layoff. They might be as rusty as the Jets – who come in off a bye week. This could be a sloppy game.