ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Jason Taylor almost cringes when he hears the dreaded term, the one that's been thrown around about the Jets' matchup with the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium this afternoon.
A devilish smirk sprouts on the 36-year-old linebacker's face when those two words roll off the tongue: "Trap game."
"I almost want to call it coachspeak," Taylor said. "I know ESPN likes the word 'trap game,' but I don't buy into that. Everybody in this league is getting paid the first and the 15th. Everybody in this league is a professional athlete. And if you walk out there and think that you are just going to show up, you are going to do well, you are going to get embarrassed.
"We all know that. We've all been on the bad end of those things before."
The stars almost align perfectly for the Jets to stumble through the trap door in a game like this, though. Fresh off successive wins over AFC East foes New England and Miami that have given them early control of the division, the Jets (2-1) will face a reeling, winless team that many believe they should have no trouble beating.
Buffalo (0-3) ranks no higher than 13th in any of the major statistical categories on either side of the ball, and the Bills are yielding nearly 30 points per game - factors that should tilt the game strongly in the Jets' favor.
But then again, this is the same Buffalo team the Jets carved up for 318 yards - the second-highest rushing total in franchise history and second-most ever allowed by the Bills - last October, and the Jets still lost, thanks to six turnovers. That, Shonn Greene believes, should be enough to keep the team's attention.
"We are well aware, just from last year and the way they were playing us," the second-year running back said. "I've seen them play and I heard about the New England game. They hung in there and played until the last minute, only lost by eight points. So even though their record shows they are 0-3, they are not letting up.
"We are going to do what we've got to do to take care of the football and win this game."
If the Jets win Sunday, they'll be 3-0 in the AFC East and won't face another division opponent until they play the Patriots in New England Dec. 6.
"Huge," Rex Ryan said of today's game. "Of the four biggest regular-season games we have left, one of them is this game right here. Then the three others will be the other divisional games. That's how I look at it. That's how I've talked about it with our team, and we know how important this game is."
That's why, in Mark Sanchez's eyes, it was imperative for everyone to really lock in during the days leading up to this game.
"We've got to be that much better this week because these guys are hungry and they've been in two out of the three games that they've played," the quarterback said. "They took Miami down to the wire and they took New England down to the wire. They are a lot better than people think and a lot better than their record shows."
So are the Jets really sure their legs won't get caught in that old bear trap?
"We've beat two good football teams the last two weeks," Taylor said, "and there's absolutely no reason, no way we are going to have a letdown going into this third one."
Notes & quotes: LB Calvin Pace (foot) did not travel with the team to Buffalo and has been downgraded to out.