The Buffalo Bills welcome the New York Jets to Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday afternoon in an AFC East matchup. The Bills are coming off a dominating 23-0 win over the Washington Redskins while the Jets are refreshed after their bye week.
For Buffalo, this game will be a barometer as to how far they have come as a team. At 5-2, the Bills are currently in first place in the AFC East, but after going 4-12 a year ago, they understand that there are going to be many critics until they prove they belong.
After all, the Jets did rush for over 200 yards and scored over 30 points in each meeting last season. New York forced seven turnovers in a week 17 game in New York to finish last season. That game saw 40 year-old quarterback Mark Brunell play like he was in his prime.
However, Buffalo comes into this game much improved, and coming off a game that was a major confidence boost. Buffalo's much maligned pass rush generated nine sacks of Redskins quarterback John Beck last Sunday. That was more than double the Bills season total coming into the game. Rookie Marcel Dareus lead the charge with 2.5 sacks by himself.
The Jets like to run the ball, but they do have weapons at wide receiver. Plaxico Burress erupted for three touchdowns against San Diego two weeks ago, while Santonio Holmes is always a threat to catch a long pass. Tight End Dustin Keller is another one of Mark Sanchez's favorite targets in the passing game.
A consistent Sanchez is going to be another huge key for the Jets on Sunday. Sanchez has games where he looks brilliant, and then he has games where he looks like he still is a lost rookie. Will the Sanchez that lead his team back against San Diego show up, or will the Sanchez who went 11-37 against Baltimore show up? If the bad Sanchez shows up, it will be tough for the Jets to do anything on offense.
Will there be an Aaron Maybin sighting in Buffalo this week? The former first round pick and hopeful future Allpro of the Bills was unceremoniously cut by the Bills this year in training camp after being a complete bust for Buffalo. However, he has generated 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles for the Jets.
For the Bills offense, it will revolve around Fred Jackson and the ability of the offensive line to open holes for him. Despite playing with its third string left tackle last week, the Bills were able to keep Fitz protected in the pocket and allow Fred Jackson to rack up almost 200 total yards from scrimmage last week. If Jackson can get it going, it will keep that Jets pass rush honest.
Having home field advantage is going to be big for the Bills in this game. The first week in November not only signals that playoff push is almost underway, but it is a sign that the weather will start to change. The forecast for this week is rainy and chilly for Sunday. Factor in the wind off the lake, and it won't be fun for the Jets on Sunday. With a crowd that finally has something to cheer for, the Ralph is going to be rocking like it was back in the 90's.
This will be a huge AFC East game with division and playoff implications. If Buffalo wins, they will be 6-2 and in control of their own destiny in the AFC Conference. If the Jets win, it will be a three team race to the finish in the division. The opening NFL odds for the game is Buffalo favored by a point.
|NFL OFFENSIVE RANKINGS||TOTAL||Passing||Rushing|
|NEW YORK JETS||29||300.1||22||207.7||28||92.4|
|NFL DEFENSIVE RANKINGS||TOTAL||Passing||Rushing|
|NEW YORK JETS||8||323.6||7||196.7||25||126.9|