Three straight wins, with some help from others around the National Football League, have launched the New York Jets into the final playoff spot with just three games left in the 2011 season. The goal is now crystal clear for Gang Green, win and in, and they really couldn't have asked for much more when they were .500 having come off a brutal loss to the Denver Broncos. But the final three games for the Jets won't be as easy as the past three, starting this week when they try to do something they haven't done in the history of the franchise -- beat the Philadelphia Eagles. The once-lauded "Dream Team" Eagles have stumbled to a 5-8 record, but looked quite good last week in dismantling the Miami Dolphins 26-10. They are still alive in the mediocre NFC East race, so they will be playing with desperation.
We're also getting down to the nitty gritty of the fantasy football season, with playoffs in many leagues in full swing. If you have any Jets on your roster, here's your primer on how to play them this week.
RB - Shonn Greene - numberFire projection: 14.86 carries, 64.73 yards, 0.41 rushing TDs, 3.65 receptions, 25.66 rec. yards, 11.69 fantasy points
Greene has earned must-start status, finally, after his solid performances the past few weeks. Last week against the lifeless Kansas City Chiefs, Greene had his best overall day of the season, with 129 yards rushing (and a score) and 53 receiving yards. He's improved leaps and bounds as a receiver out of the backfield, and I would expect the Jets to try more screens this week against an aggressive Eagles defense. It will also likely be a close game, meaning Greene will get a lot of touches.
QB - Mark Sanchez - numberFire projection: 17.35 completions, 202.12 yards, 1.00 TDs, 0.86 INTs, 12.61 fantasy points
Sanchez has been a solid fantasy quarterback this season. He's thrown for 21 TDs against just 11 interceptions. He doesn't put up huge yardage numbers, but the Jets are the NFL's number one red zone team, so Sanchez is getting them in the end zone. He's also been a threat rushing, as he has five run scores this season.
TE - Dustin Keller - numberFire projection: 3.71 receptions, 39.80 yards, 0.36 TDs, 6.14 fantasy points
The Jets have finally started to include Keller consistently in their game plan, and he's received a lot of targets from Sanchez in the past few weeks. I would expect the Jets to be able to get Keller in mismatch situations against the Eagles and exploit them.
WR - Santonio Holmes - numberFire projection: 3.21 receptions, 55.13 yards, 0.30 TDs, 7.30 fantasy points
It's been a statistically disappointing season for Holmes, who hasn't had any real breakout games. I'm not sure if one will come this week going up against a talented Eagles' secondary, but he has touchdown catches in three consecutive games. Hopefully that streak continues this week.
WR - Plaxico Burress - numberFire projection: 3.98 receptions, 47.76 yards, 0.26 TDs, 6.43 fantasy points
Burress had no catches last week against Kansas City, so its hard to say he should be an automatic start against the Eagles, who have a talented secondary. Maybe Burress is wearing down a bit late in the year after not playing football for two years prior to this season.
Jets Defense/Special Teams - numberFire projection: 20.22 points allowed, 2.74 sacks, 2.16 turnovers, 8.99 fantasy points
NumberFire seems to really like the Jets this week, ranking them as the number four projected defense. I have my reservations, as the Jets' aren't equipped to matchup with fast teams. I don't think the Jets defense gets shredded, but I don't think it's a banner day, either.