Saturday, October 15, 2005

Jets Go For Second Straight Win At Buffalo

The Jets got a much needed win at home last week over Tampa Bay 14-12. In place of Brooks Bollinger, Vinny Testaverde helped spark Gang Green's offense to victory.
The 41-year-old quarterback was an efficient 13-of-19 for 163 yards and one interception.

While Testaverde opened up the passing game, Curtis Martin fought for all 59 yards he got on 23 carries along with two touchdowns.

"Vinny's a stallion," Martin said. "At his age, I can't even imagine playing football, but he's still out there and he's still getting the job done."

"We've designed our offense around the things that Vinny can do well, and that’s how we’re going to play the whole year," coach Herman Edwards said. "We’re just trying to make him feel comfortable because he has no training camp experience with us; he has no off-season experience with us. He’s only going on his seventh practice."

While they gave the offense a boost, the Jets D limited Michael Pittman to 46 yards on the ground while intercepting Brian Griese once and sacking him three times.

New York is looking for its second consecutive win but must accomplish it in a tough environment at Rich Stadium in Buffalo (4:15 PM, CBS). The Bills halted a three-game losing streak with a 20-14 win over Miami last week. With second-year QB J.P. Losman struggling, Bills coach Mike Mularkey turned to veteran Kelly Holcomb to help lift the offense. Signed from Cleveland, Holcomb was 20-of-26 for 169 yards and a TD. It was quite a change from how much the offense struggled with Losman, which had scored just 29 points in their last 14 quarters.

"When you have a young guy, you don't run a lot of plays that we ran today because he's not used to seeing those types of defenses," Buffalo receiver Eric Moulds said last week. "When you have a veteran guy that has played a long time, you can put more on display because he's seen every kind of coverage."

While Holcomb solidified the passing game, second-year back Willis McGahee carried the ball 31 times for 86 yards and a score. In his first start against the Jets last year, he ran for 132 yards and a TD in a Bills win late last year. Gang Green must keep McGahee in check if they are to prevail Sunday.

A big key to that will be ex-Hurricane teammate Jonathan Vilma. Vilma leads the Jets in tackles with 63. Defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson is also coming off a career game in which he had two sacks and nine tackles against Tampa. The performance was good enough to merit AFC Defensive Player of The Week honors. Along with sack leader John Abraham (3.0 sacks) and Shaun Ellis (1.5 sacks), Gang Green needs to control the line of scrimmage against Buffalo Sunday.

At stake today could be the playoff aspirations of both clubs. They both enter 2-3 knowing full well that whoever loses could be in trouble.

Expect a hard fought game that should be very physical at the line of scrimmage. It could come down to a field goal late. Rookie Mike Nugent might need to atone for his two misses last week.

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