Dick Jauron should be the first name on Eric Mangini's Christmas card list. Heck, the Jets coach should even send his counterpart in Buffalo a fruitcake in return for the gift that the Bills handed to the Jets at the Meadowlands Sunday afternoon.
Up 27-24 on second-and-five, with one play to go until the two minute warning, Jauron and the Bills inexplicably called a passing play. The Jets had given up a season-high 187 yards on the ground to that point and a first down, the Jets had only two timeouts, would have effectively ended the game. J.P. Losman, who should have thrown the ball away, got chased down by Abram Elam, though, and Elam knocked the ball loose. It found its way to Shaun Ellis, who grabbed it with the urgency of a stoner stumbling upon a Twinkie, and Ellis took it to the end zone for a touchdown and a season-preserving win for the Jets.
They need to be better, much better, than they were today, but at least the win stopped the bleeding for the moment. In addition to the awful run defense, the kick coverage units and Brett Favre deserve some blame for today's result. Roscoe Parrish nearly took a punt for a touchdown, the Bills ended up scoring, and Leodis McKelvin did take a kickoff to the house, only to have it called back because of a holding penalty.
Favre, meanwhile, reverted to some bad habits. He was picked twice, once by forcing a ball into coverage behind Laveranues Coles and once because he insisted on throwing deep into double coverage. The offense, which started with touchdowns on the first two drives, stalled for the majority of the game. Leon Washington continued to stake claim to the team MVP award by breaking a 47-yard touchdown run, the lone bright spot in the final three quarters.
There's still much work to do if the Jets hope to keep on playing in the postseason but the dream lives on thanks to the bunglers from Buffalo. It truly is the season of giving.