FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -The New York Jets were in trouble and their quarterback knew it.
Brett Favre had just thrown an interception that was returned for a touchdown and swung the momentum back in favor of the Buffalo Bills. Then, he and the offense went back on the field.
And stayed there.
``It definitely, in my eyes, ranks so far this year as probably our biggest drive of the season,'' right guard Brandon Moore said Monday.
Favre engineered a 14-play drive in the Jets' 26-17 win Sunday that melted 8 minutes, 41 seconds off the clock and made it a two-possession game again on Jay Feely's 31-yard field goal.
``We knew we had to run the clock down,'' running back Thomas Jones said. ``We were able to get some decent runs. We were able to execute the plays that we had drawn up. Everyone did a great job on each one of those plays to put us in a position to get the field goal.''
a game back. New York plays at home Sunday against St. Louis before facing the Patriots next Thursday night.
``If we want to be considered one of the top in our division and throughout the AFC, these are the games we need to win,'' Moore said. ``We haven't been as successful with these games in the past. Now, moving forward from that one and moving forward to the Rams, we've got to continue it for that type of win to even mean anything for us in the future.''
After seizing control late in the third quarter on Jones' 7-yard touchdown that made it 23-10, the Jets had to sweat out the final minutes.
Rian Lindell missed a 43-yard field-goal attempt for Buffalo with just over 11 minutes left, giving New York a chance to add to its lead and seal a victory. Instead, Favre lofted a pass that was easily picked off by Jabari Greer and returned 42 yards for a touchdown.
``I'm not non-human,'' Favre said after the game. ``I'm thinking, 'Boy, this ain't good.'''
Favre said he ``was nervous as hell'' jogging back on the field after the mistake, but the long drive helped calm him and his teammates. A series of short passes and runs moved the ball downfield as the Jets converted three third-down plays, quieted the boisterous Bills crowd and reclaimed the momentum.
``It was sort of a statement drive,'' Favre said.
led AFC East race.
``It feels good to be in the hunt and our goals still being out in front of us and the things we want to accomplish,'' Moore said. ``As far as being in first place, it's a competitive division and that was one game and one step in that direction.''
At this point last season, the Jets were 1-7 and playing out the schedule. They've already won one more game than they did last year, and that's without playing their best football. Favre is still making some mistakes, the offense still finding its identity, and the defense still trying to establish itself as a consistent pass-rushing, run-stuffing force.
``It seems like we haven't put it all together or we can play a whole lot better than we've played,'' defensive end Shaun Ellis said. ``It's very encouraging for us to know that we haven't put it all together and once we do, it will bring good things. Against Buffalo, it was the best collective effort that we played in a while.''
Coach Eric Mangini took that thought one step further.
``I thought this was probably our most complete game that we've had so far this season,'' he said.
five tackles and two sacks against the Bills.
``He does a great job of pushing the middle,'' said Ellis, whose seven sacks are his most since he had 11 in 2004. ``He puts a lot of pressure on the run game. He does it all. He's a force to be reckoned with.''
Darrelle Revis also had a big game with five tackles, a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery and an interception, and Abram Elam returned an interception 92 yards for a touchdown.
Despite his one interception, Favre ran the offense efficiently as the Jets scored on five of their nine possessions. The last of the non-scores was a satisfying kneel-down by Favre to punctuate the win.
``We've still got a long way to go and getting caught up in where we are right now really doesn't matter,'' Moore said. ``This next game is the most important game. I mean, winning and being tied right now, nobody will remember that in December when it's all said and done.''

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