By Dave Thomas
How bad can things possibly get for the 1-6 New York Jets?
Following a season-opening victory over the winless Oakland Raiders (0-6), the Jets have proceeded to drop six straight contests, including a heart-breaking 27-25 loss last Thursday night in New England.
With the season on the brink of disaster, the Jets look to right the ship this Sunday when they host another AFC East rival, the 4-3 Buffalo Bills. With a win, New York and Rex Ryan could potentially start to salvage a season that has been nothing short of horrific to date.
Bills Fighting For Playoff Spot
While the Jets have been floundering, Buffalo has righted the ship with veteran quarterback Kyle Orton at the helm. Orton and the Bills survived an upset bid at home last Sunday, squeaking out a 17-16 win over Minnesota.
If you look at the AFC East, while New England and Tom Brady would have to be the prohibitive favorites to win yet another division crown, both Buffalo and Miami are lurking in the weeds. Buffalo dropped its first meeting with New England a few weeks back, while Miami opened the season at home with a win over the Patriots, thereby leaving for an exciting race by all indications for the remainder of the season.
Will Jets Be Contender Or Pretender?
The big question for New York fans is will the Jets be a playoff contender or a playoff pretender when all is said and done this December?
When you look over New York's schedule for the remaining two months of the season, there are definitely some opportunities for the Jets to make some headway in the AFC East. While there are certainly no automatic W's in the league, New York has the ability if it plays a full 60 minutes of ball on all sides of the field to win its share of games.
After Buffalo's visit this Sunday, the Jets have dates at Kansas City (Nov. 2), home to Pittsburgh (Nov. 9), at Buffalo (Nov. 23), home to Miami (Dec. 1), at Minnesota (Dec. 7), at Tennessee (Dec. 14), home to New England (Dec. 21) and at Miami to close out the regular season (Dec. 28).
In looking at those remaining games, the Jets have a good opportunity to beat both Minnesota and Tennessee, figuring they will win some of those division games too. If they can steal a couple of wins, perhaps against the Steelers and Patriots, anything is possible.
With that old cliche of "one game a time" likely coming from Ryan and the Jets, the focus this week is tackling the Bills and defending home turf in this battle of New York teams.
New York comes into the game with some injuries just like all other teams at the midpoint in the season.
Among the key injuries right now would be wide receiver Eric Decker (hamstring) and right guard Willie Colon (knee).
Decker, who probably wishes he was still catching passes in Denver from one Peyton Manning, continues to fight a hamstring issue, while Colon battles a knee problem. Given how important it is that second-year QB Geno Smith has full protection on the offensive line, having Colon back sooner than later at full health would be good.
According to Ryan, both Decker and Colon are expected to be available for Sunday's game.
Thursday's Injury Report:
Oday Aboushi (left guard) - shoulder - limited practice
Phillip Adams (corner) - groin - limited practice
Willie Colon (right guard) - knee - limited practice
Eric Decker (wide receiver) - hamstring - limited practice
David Harris (middle linebacker) - shoulder - limited practice
Greg Salas (wide receiver) - ankle, wrist - limited practice
Trevor Reilly (linebacker) - knee - limited practice
For more Jets news and updates, visit Jets Central.
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.
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