New York (4-3) at Buffalo (5-2)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Orchard Park, NY
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 1:00 pm EST Sun Nov 2, 2008
  • TV: CBS
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Buffalo Bills have lost sole possession of first place in the AFC East partly because of Trent Edwards’ suddenly sloppy play.

Brett Favre’s carelessness, meanwhile, hasn’t stopped the New York Jets from remaining close in the division.

Edwards and the Bills look to at least keep pace atop the East when they host Favre and the Jets in a key divisional matchup Sunday.

Buffalo (5-2) has dropped two of its past three games to fall into a tie with New England for first place, with New York (4-3) one game behind.

The Bills are coming off perhaps their most disheartening loss, melting down in the fourth quarter to fall 25-16 at Miami last Sunday.

After overcoming fourth-quarter deficits three times this season, the Bills collapsed late by turning the ball over on each of their final four possessions, including a safety.

Edwards was especially careless. His fourth-quarter interception led to the Dolphins scoring a go-ahead field goal and he fumbled while attempting to convert a third-and-1 at the Miami 33-yard line with Buffalo trailing by four points.

Later in the quarter, Edwards was caught in the end zone for a safety, and Miami put the game away with a field goal on its ensuing drive.

“It’s hard when you lose to leave it and let it go regardless of what’s coming up,” said Buffalo coach Dick Jauron, referring to the team’s preparation for the Jets.

It was an uncharacteristic game for Edwards, who had not committed a turnover in the fourth quarter this season.

Now, Edwards will be without one of his most reliable third-down receivers. Josh Reed is out indefinitely with injuries to his ankle and Achilles’ tendon, and it generally takes players two to three weeks to recuperate from such injuries.

Reed, who was hurt against the Dolphins, ranks second on the team with 26 catches for 288 yards. He is second on the Bills and tied for 16th in the AFC with eight catches for 116 yards in third-down situations.

With Reed out, the Bills will have to rely more on slot receiver Roscoe Parrish and rookie second-round pick James Hardy to play behind starter Lee Evans.

Buffalo will also be without defensive end Aaron Schobel (foot) and right guard Brad Butler (knee).

New York, meanwhile, got a clutch play from top receiver Laveranues Coles and Favre in a 28-24 win over Kansas City last Sunday. Favre had a mistake-filled game, but threw a 15-yarder that Coles snatched with one arm in front of the end zone for the go-ahead score with a minute left in the fourth.

Favre struggled for the third straight game, throwing three interceptions in a contest for the first time since 2006. After the third was returned 91 yards for a touchdown by Chiefs rookie Brandon Flowers to put Kansas City ahead, New York’s home crowd began booing the iconic quarterback.

Favre has thrown seven interceptions in his last three games and is tied for the NFL lead with 11.

“I think there’s a lot of years gambling going on in terms of making some unbelievable plays and making plays that you would like to have a chance to do it over again,” Jets coach Eric Mangini said. “But, that’s what he’s done and he’s been very successful.”

Favre has been sacked 16 times, one more than all of last season with Green Bay, and has been knocked around in recent games. The 39-year-old Favre acknowledged that he was feeling sore after facing the Chiefs.

New York may want to run the ball more to take pressure off Favre. The Jets have gotten better performances on the ground over the past two weeks, racking up a total of 377 yards.

New York has also remained stout against the run, allowing an average of 82.5 yards. But the Jets gave up 24 points against a Chiefs team that was without Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson and started third-string quarterback Tyler Thigpen.

“The most disappointing thing was the amount of points we gave up, knowing the caliber of the players on this defense,” Jets defensive end Kenyon Coleman said.

New York has lost three straight to Buffalo, scoring 10.0 points per game. In the teams’ last meeting, the Jets were held to 254 total yards in a 13-3 home loss on Oct. 28, 2007.

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Team Stat Leaders

Passing Yards
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Week 5