Wednesday, December 29, 2004

How the Jets will make the playoffs

I have but two words to type that assures the Jets a playoff berth in this glorious 2004-05 season.

Care to guess? Be my guest, but you'll be wrong each time. Yet, I rather enjoy being entertained by inside-the-box thinkers, so I'll play along.

Nope, not Chad Pennington. Not Curtis Martin, either. Certainly not Anthony Becht. Maybe Wayne Chrebet? Nice, sentimental guess, but blatantly incorrect. In fact, no Jet plays into this equation.

The two words that guarantees the Jets a berth in the first round of the NFL playoffs require some progressive thinking. Brace yourselves. Here they come:

JAKE PLUMMER.


That's right, folks. Jake the Snake will bring the Jets to the promised land and prevent yet another collapse by a New York sports franchise this year.

Oh sure, when looked at individually, the words "Jake" and "Plummer" are relatively harmless. But when combined, it forms a lethally bad quarterback with an ever-growing ability to make the wrong play at the wrong time.

If you're wondering what I was drinking when I concocted this notion of a Denver quarterback carrying the Jets to the playoffs when they're not even playing in the same game, the answer is Brisk Iced Tea. Though I never could discern the origin of the ingredient that makes it taste so brisk (if it were iocane powder, I'd certainly know the origin), I'm fairly certain there are no hallucinogens in there.

Here is how it all plays out:

Jets at Rams, 1 p.m. EST: After beating the Eagles on Monday night, the Rams have something to play for in Week 17 at home -- a playoff berth. Marc Bulger is back at quarterback and Torry Holt will likely embarrass the Jets' secondary because they are young and well, they are the Jets. Pennington's arm is still sore and he's questioning his ability the way Cap Rooney did in "Any Given Sunday." Plus, Pennington appears to be growing a stubble mustache giving him that 1991 Levittown look. Not very becoming. And then there's the Paul Hackett Factor, which states that any game the Jets need to play well on offense and score points to win, Hackett will take a dump in his pants. He'll smell up the booth something awful in St. Louis, and Nelly will use his country grammar to mock the Jets at an impromptu halftime show.

Steelers at Bills, 1 p.m. EST: For Buffalo to make the playoffs, a win here is a must as is a Jets or Broncos loss. Pittsburgh has no business even showing up for the game having already clinched the No. 1 seed for the playoffs. Ben "Do you think your Wu-Tang sword can defeat me?" Roethlisberger hurt his ribs last week and would be foolish to play anything more than a series or two. The Bus will get some rest, as will most of the starters. This is Apollo Creed getting into the ring to fight Drago. Not pretty.

It's not looking too good for the Jets right about now. Beningo is on suicide watch at the WFAN studios, and it has nothing to do with his whack-ass partner Sid.

At about 4:01 p.m. EST Sunday, Jets fans will be scouring the Internet for playoff scenarios and live scoreboards in Denver. (Start at here to keep me employed, please.)

Colts at Broncos, 4 p.m EST: Lord . . . lord, lord, lord, lord, this one's a doozy. After the Jets lose and Bills win, every football eye in America will focus on Denver for the biggest game of the year. If the Broncos win, they make the playoffs as a wild card. The Colts already have the No. 3 seed and a home playoff game locked up. Peyton Manning already has the single-season touchdown record. Marvin Harrison already has his phattie contract. Indianapolis' defense stinks. Is there any legitimate reason for the Colts to try in this game, especially since it's in Denver where there figures to be cold weather followed by even colder weather. But here comes New York's hero. Jake Plummer, the king of the dumb play, is still quarterbacking our beloved Broncos, which means two interceptions in the fourth quarter that costs his team the game, the playoffs and any chance of scoring with the hottie at the post-game party.

If you don't believe, take a look at some the Plummer's numbers this season:
TD/Int ratio, first half: 18/10
TD/Int ratio, second half: 7/10
QB rating, first half: 94.0
QB rating, second half: 71.3
* 19 of his 25 touchdowns have come in his first 20 attempts during a game.
* 15 of his 20 interceptions have come against AFC teams
* He's enjoying his greatest December interception rate in the last four years (9 picks in 4 games)

What does all this mean? It's simple. My hunch is Manning will play the first quarter with the rest of the No. 1 starters. He'll throw two touchdowns, and Edgerrin James will run for another. A big 21-point first quarter will force Plummer to throw the ball,which works well for the Colts and even better for the Jets.

So remember Jets fans, when praying to that plastic Fireman Ed statue you keep in the living room, give thanks to Jake Plummer, the man who patented big-moment collapses. He may not have invented the famed "cover pick," but he sure did perfect it.

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