The Jets need amend their New Years Resolution to include thanking the Steelers for having a B-Squad good enough to keep the Buffalo Bills from the AFC Playofs, because St. Louis, and regardless of what the smarmy columnists may say, the Jets (10-6) received a spot after a 32-29 overtime loss to the Rams, who delivered in an actual must-win situation. Curtis Martin finished the afternoon with the the rushing title and 1,697 yards on the season, one yard more than Seattle's Shaun Alexander, becoming the oldest player to do so at 31.
Interestingly, the Jets' spot had been assured at some point in the second half of their game, but most players said they were not aware of the Pittsburgh-Buffalo result until they had arrived in the locker room. Say what you want about competitiveness, but it brings up yet another opportunity to second-guess everything, considering it is the norm for playoff-bound teams rest key players in fear of injury.
Meanwhile, the vast fan and media conspiracy against offensive coordinator Paul Hackett continues...if only he'd stop giving everyone the easy ammo (just ask your nearest Jets fan). So it's off to San Diego this Saturday (8 p.m.), to face the Chargers (12-4, holders of the league's biggest turnaround this season) in an AFC Wild Card. But even the biggest Jets fans agree - of all playoff-bound teams, lately Gang Green has not been looking the part of a team that could be expected to do anything. But in the NFL playoffs, we already know virtually anything is possible.
Sadly, the status of wide receiverWayne Chrebet's career appears in doubt, after yet another concussion.
Photo by AP/Charles Rex Arbogast