Well, so much for Brett Favre and the high-flying New York Jets show. If not for a lucky win against Buffalo two weeks ago, the Jets playoff hopes would have been long gone. Oh, the Jets (9-6), who suffered a debilitating 13-3 loss in Seattle on Sunday, still have a chance. But the opportunity is about as thin as the team’s resolve. The Jets need a win against Miami (10-5) on Sunday and a Patriots (10-5) loss to the Bills. While a Patriots loss isn’t out of the question, there is little faith that the Jets will be able to knock off Miami.

Pessimistic, you say? Consider how flat Favre has been. Or how bad the defense has looked in key situations. Save for a miracle play against Buffalo, the Jets defense hasn’t made a big play in weeks. It also hasn’t helped that coach Eric Mangini has been as conservative as late South Carolina Senator Strom Thurman. That may be harsh, but it’s time to call it like we see it. Herm Edwards was criticized for being too conservative. Edwards would run screen plays and draws on third-and-long situations and wouldn’t go for it on fourth down unless the game was on the line. Enter Mangini, who coached as if he and Edwards were twins.

The problem is Mangini has playmakers, while Edwards didn’t. Leon Washington and Thomas Jones are a great one-two punch. Last week against Buffalo, Washington had one carry, a 47-yard TD run. On Sunday, Washington had three carries. Jones, who leads the AFC in rushing, had just 17 carries for 67 yards. That’s a problem. Mangini’s conservative nature was on display early as the Jets faced a fourth-and-one from the Seattle 2 with 8:07 left in the first quarter. Instead of going for it and getting a first down or maybe a TD, Mangini opted for a field goal. Where’s the sense of urgency? Where’s the faith that your offense can get a yard?

Even if you don’t get the yard, where’s the faith that your defense can keep Seattle from going 98 yards? Another turning point came early in the fourth. The Jets were called for a delay penalty as Jay Feely nailed a 45-yard field goal. Instead of giving Feely a chance to kick it again from 50, Mangini opted for a punt.

Same ol’ Jets.