If there is one area where the Jets have an advantage in this game, it would be on special teams. Leon Washington is a serious threat on kickoff and punt returns and the Cowboys haven’t exactly been stellar in those areas.
While New York has sagged to 29th in total offense and 29th in total defense, its special teams have continued to shine. And it's a real concern for a Dallas team that ranks 20th in the league in defending kickoff returns and 31st in stopping punt returns.
I watched some of the kickoff coverage against the Redskins last week and guys were getting out of their lanes at the wedge and going for the kill instead of maintaining lane integrity. I saw Miles Austin do it a couple of times and some of the other cover guys were involved. I guess we really do miss Cricket Anderson as the wedge-buster, but they better step it up on Thursday, or Leon Washington could keep the Jets in the game.
Leon Washington, the team's punt returner, stepped in on kickoffs and has averaged 32.7 yards per return with three touchdowns.
He's also had a direct impact on both of New York's wins.
Against the Dolphins in Week 3, Washington returned a kick 98 yards for a touchdown in a 31-28 win.
Then, against the heavily favored Steelers last week, his 33-yard punt return in overtime set up the game-winning field goal.
In the offseason before the draft, I was a big proponent of drafting a CB. Aaron Ross was my guy, he has worked his way into a starter’s job on the Giants, but another guy who was on the radar was Darrelle Revis. I guess Terrell Owens doesn’t really follow the draft in the offseason – here’s his response when asked about CB Darrelle Revis for the Jets.
"Who? I don't know who that it is," Owens said. "Once I step on the field it doesn't matter who's out there. I don't pay attention to numbers or names. I go out there and I focus on what I'm supposed to do. That's not a slight on him, or whoever he is. I just go out there and play football."
Laverneus Coles hasn’t been ruled out of the game, but he’s definitely hurting.
Asked about the injury Tuesday, Coles directed reporters to the team staff, who are not allowed to speak publicly. Neither are the players, though. Coles said, "We’re not at liberty to speak about those things."
As for how he is feeling, Coles said: "I’m healthy. I’m standing here, so as far as anything else, that’s as far as I can go with it."
Coles did practice in a limited role Tuesday, and he was listed on the team’s injury report under "ankle."