Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Sunday, January 2, 2011
Week 17 marquee: Brohm versus Jets JVs

By Tim Graham

The NFL frontloaded and backloaded the schedule for divisional games this year to add significance to potentially irrelevant games in Weeks 16 and 17.

The New York Jets sneaked into the playoffs last year because the Indianapolis Colts pulled their starters at halftime in Week 16 and the Cincinnati Bengals did the same in Week 17. The Jets won both games and received a wild-card entry after head coach Rex Ryan declared his team mathematically eliminated.

But the NFL's new approach didn't mean diddly squat for the AFC East.

At the Meadowlands on Sunday, the Buffalo Bills and Jets will play a junior varsity game.

Bills backup quarterback Brian Brohm, once considered by Mel Kiper to be the No. 1 draft prospect of 2008, will start. The Bills have scratched quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick because of a knee injury, giving Brohm the chance to throw his first NFL touchdown, something he hasn't been able to do in 11 preseason games.

Brohm will be throwing into a Jets secondary and the NFL-worst Bills run defense will be trying to stop a lineup that might remind us of the 1987 season.

The Jets have deactivated cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, safeties Eric Smith and James Ihedigbo, running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene and right tackle Damien Woody.

Notable scratches for the New England Patriots include receivers Wes Welker and Deion Branch, tight end Aaron Hernandez, defensive lineman Mike Wright and outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain.