By Kristian Dyer
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The statement needs to be made because it hasn’t been yet. The Jets need a “Who’s you daddy” moment this Sunday against the Bills.
It won’t be easy, it never is in the NFL unless you’re playing the Dolphins or a team that has Tim Tebow as its quarterback, but the Jets surprisingly face another “must-win” game in Buffalo. Their previous two games were labeled the same way and both were needed wins to salvage a season that seemed destined to slip away from hope. This game is all about making right a season with so much promise.
How they’ve gotten to this point has been a hard road.
Before they packed their bags and let the bye week take them away from northern New Jersey, the then struggling Jets had an emphatic second half in a Week 7 comeback victory over the Chargers. The win propelled the Jets to 4-3 and sent them on their way with all sorts of good vibrations. They had won two in a row now and seemed to be out of a funk that mired them just a few weeks earlier in a three game losing streak. Momentum seems to be back with the Jets but now, however, the hard work needs to be done.
Their biggest enemy this week may in fact be themselves.
It would be easy for complacency to set in. After all, the Jets are coming off a bye week and they could have gotten a little fat in their time away. The Jets haven’t lost in their last two games and it has been three weeks since they tasted defeat in a Week 5 loss at New England. It could seem like this team is better than their 4-3 record and things could appear better than they actually are in a tight division.
Coasting, could be very much on the mind of the Jets. It could also be disastrous.
While the start of the season hasn’t quite panned out for the Jets, who endured the aforementioned losing streak and haven’t fully lived up to their potential, the next month of games can get them right where they want to be. There’s this Sunday in Buffalo against the surprising Bills, a team who at 5-2 have ridden an identity without superstars to a strong start to the season.
Then next week they host New England, a game that could well shape the divisional race. In successive weeks there is a trip to Denver and a home game against the Bills, closing out a busy November; this time next month, we will know if the Jets are the contender they’ve claimed to be this year or the pretenders they’ve been their previous 51 years of playing football.
What Sunday in Orchard Park represents is a chance for the Jets to take down the upstarts of the division, their pesky neighbors to the north, and reestablish themselves in the division along with a firmer grasp on their playoff positioning. The Patriots appear to be a lock for the postseason but with two head-to-head match-ups over their next four games, the Jets can deal the Bills a deadly blow for the playoffs.
That’s what this game is about for the Jets, who must realize that despite the fact that they righted the ship over their past two games, there is still plenty of work to be done. Sunday afternoon against the Bills represents a chance to make a statement that, despite their mediocre record and the fact that they are muddled in the middle of the conference, they are that team that still has Super Bowl ambitions – realistic ambitions at that.
And it’s all up to the Jets to make the Bills acknowledge them as their “daddy.”
Kristian R. Dyer covers the Jets for Metro New York and contributes to Yahoo!Sports. He can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer
Will the Jets put on a clinic against the Bills? Make your prediction in the comments below…