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LaDainian Tomlinson: No East title without beating Bills

LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets

LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Sept. 18, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- LaDainian Tomlinson reiterated Thursday what the Jets have been saying all week: Their hopes of winning the division title hinge on the critical stretch they begin this week.

The Jets (4-3) meet the Bills (5-2) on Sunday, and a win would tie them with Buffalo. They're also one game behind the Patriots (5-2), whom they will host next week.

"Let's be honest," the veteran running back said. "This next month is going to tell us if we're going to be champs of the AFC East, and that's the way we need to look at it. It starts with this game because we can't be champs if we don't win this game. It's a big challenge.

"It's one of those situations where you can really say this is a do-or-die game."


Schotty: Holmes our No. 1

If Santonio Holmes indeed is unhappy with his role, as an Internet report suggested last week, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer isn't aware of it.

Holmes has been targeted only 41 times and has three touchdowns among his 22 catches for 311 yards. He's been targeted on 13 occasions in the last three games and got only three looks against the Chargers on Oct. 23, though he did have a 23-yard TD reception nullified because of a holding penalty.

"Tone has never said anything to me about it," Schottenheimer said. "Again, I think he's a great competitor. It's a shame. The one that gets called back last week is one of the best [touchdowns] I've ever seen. So I have no awareness that he feels that way. Tone is our No. 1 guy. He's a huge part of the plan, and that doesn't change each week."


Extra pointsRex Ryan said he feels better about the status of DE Mike DeVito (knee) but still is unsure if he'll be available Sunday . . . Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine expects Bills castoff LB Aaron Maybin to see more reps this week . . . Special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff estimated this will be his 33rd trip to Buffalo and said, "I should get a bucket of wings or something." . . . Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (chest) was limited in practice for the second straight day.

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