It appears that the New York Jets are quarterback Chad Pennington’s team after all. Case in point – Pennington threw for two touchdowns and also ran for one in defeating the Miami Dolphins last Sunday. He will try to build on that momentum when his Jets visit the Buffalo Bills this Sunday.
One constant so far in the Jets offense has been Pennington. The numbers aren’t outstanding (31-for-43, 291 yards, 4 TD’s), but he is efficient (121.4 QB rating – 2nd in the NFL). The Jets also got a boost from running back Thomas Jones (63-219) last week, with 25 carries for 110 yards. Also adding to the Jets running attack is the unheralded Leon Washington who provides the change-of-pace back the Jets have needed and also provides depth and results returning kicks (98-yard TD kickoff return last week). Their defense is still a work in progress (ranked #28 overall).
The Bills have been ambushed injurywise, especially on defense. They have lost linebacker Paul Posluszny, cornerback Jason Webster and safety Ko Simpson to season-ending injuries. They also have LB Keith Ellison (high ankle sprain) gone for at least the next couple weeks and S Coy Wire indefinitely with a sprained knee. Add to the mix QB J.P. Losman (knee sprain, at least 2 weeks) and you have a bona-fide MASH unit. Rookie QB Trent Edwards will replace Losman for the time being.
If there’s a chance for the Bills to win, this week is it, especially in light of the fact that the Jets defense is not that great. RB Marshawn Lynch can expect to see some holes when rushing, and perhaps Edwards can realize some success against the porous Jets’ secondary. The Jets really just need to stay turnover-free, establish the run and let Pennington just manage the game efficiently. That shouldn’t be too difficult as the Jets win this one at Ralph Wilson.