ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) _ Curtis who?
To hear Buffalo Bills defenders talk, stopping New York Jets running back Curtis Martin shouldn't be a problem this weekend. They've done it before, and plan to do it again.
And the New York Jets running back's latest big game 115 yards rushing and a touchdown in three quarters against Miami last Monday doesn't faze the Bills.
He's like every other back,'' defensive tackle Pat Williams said.They all look the same to me.''
Or as linebacker Takeo Spikes put it: ``We don't consider ourselves the Miami defense.''
In other words, the Bills believe they're much better.
Despite a 2-5 start, a swagger is beginning to emerge for a Buffalo defense that prepares to host Martin and the surging Jets (6-1) on Sunday. It's a confidence in part from having not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season.
That includes limiting Martin to 77 yards in the Jets' 16-14 win over Buffalo last month. It was an impressive showing against a running back who is third in the league with 798 yards rushing and has run for 100 yards or more in five of seven games.
It was a performance that continued Buffalo's string of successes against Martin, a 10-year veteran who ranks seventh on the NFL's career list of rushers. Of his 38 100-yard performances since joining the Jets in 1998, only three have come in 11 meetings against the Bills.
It ain't no challenge,'' Williams said.We've just got to go out there and play hard like we do every Sunday.''
Shutting down Martin won't solve all Buffalo's problems.
The Jets might not be the pass-happy Indianapolis Colts, but quarterback Chad Pennington has been effective running the team's short-passing attack. With 1,502 yards passing, Pennington's averaging only 7.5 yards per completion. But his strength has been efficiency, with eight touchdowns and only two interceptions.
Pennington was at his most effective against the Bills the last time, finishing 31-of-42 for 304 yards. That included going 7-of-8 for 51 yards in a 60-yard drive that set up Doug Brien's winning field goal in the final minute.
He kept the football out of our hands,'' Bills coach Mike Mularkey said.He manages that offense. Whatever they're asking him to do, he doesn't try to do more.''
The Bills still like their chances against Pennington, particularly now that their defense is healthier with veteran safety Lawyer Milloy back after missing the first five games including the one against New York with a broken right forearm.
Cornerback Troy Vincent noticed the effect Milloy had in his first game back, Buffalo's 20-6 loss at Baltimore.
Besides making several big hits in that game, Milloy's enthusiasm raised the unit's intensity level, Vincent said.
His heart, his determination, those are ingredients you need to be a dominant defense,'' Vincent said.Any time you have his kind of presence on the field, you're a better defense.''