After an inspiring 2-2 start, the Buffalo Bills have plummeted to a mere 3-7 record. Coming off the worst loss of the season in Pittsburgh, the Bills will have their chance to redeem themselves at home against the Jets. Frustration is beginning to rise in the fan base, and if the Bills can’t come out with a win, then they could experience a torrential storm of anger.
What it Means
Things have not been favorable to the Bills the last few weeks. They have fallen to 1-5 in the last six games and their last one being the worst loss of the season. EJ Manuel struggled mightily against an old Steelers defense, creating chaos amongst the fans. The Bills have already played the Jets this year and it was quite a loss as the Jets dominated every facet of the game. Buffalo will be the spoiler and vengeance will be on their mind as they hope to narrow the Jets chances of getting a Wild Card spot.
Geno Smith and the Jets have been rolling and are now sitting at an impressive 5-4. The Jets are looking to start a playoff push supported by a staunch defense and solid play from the rushing attack and Geno Smith. The Jets have dominated the Bills once this season and will expect to do so in their chase for a Wild Card Spot.
Matchups to Watch
Erik Pears vs. Muhammad Wilkerson
The last time these two teams played, Wilkerson registered two sacks and created a multitude of opportunities for the rest of the linemen. He is a versatile player who will move along the line so communication will be key to prevent him or the other linemen from disrupting Manuel.
Leodis McKelvin vs. Stephen Hill
McKelvin was forced out of the game on the first drive resulting in Justin Rogers’ appearance on the field. Hill consistently burned Rogers and the Bills greatly struggled against the pass. Hill only had 3 receptions but for 108 yards and 2 TDs. McKelvin is lightyears ahead of where Rogers is in terms of talent, and he’s playing the best football of his life now. This matchup should prove to be an important one.
Scott Chandler vs. Antonio Allen
With both Robert Woods and Stevie Johnson out, this will likely be the one of the few mismatches the Bills will have. Allen had great success containing the league’s best tight end in Rob Gronkowski and will certainly look to do the same against Chandler. Similarly, Allen will now have a personal tutor in Ed Reed so look for some comparable playing styles this weekend. If Chandler can’t get open, Manuel will be ineffective. He was harassed by the Jets, and if he can’t get the ball to Chandler, it will be a long day.
The Bills Will Win If…
They can effectively rush the football. Compared to 109.6 yards rushing the road, the Bills average 171.8 at home. Manuel struggled against the Jets and especially last week against the Steelers so the run game will be essential if the Bills hope to win. Similarly, the Bills need to force turnovers to help the offense. Finally, the Bills are second in the NFL in sacks with 33. If the Bills pass rush can get to Geno Smith, only good things can happen.
The Jets Will Win If…
They can stifle the rush. The Bills only reached 100 yards on the ground because of Fred Jackson’s miraculous 59 yard run. Spiller was held to 10 yards on 9 carries. Manuel played one of his worst games of the season because of the pressure. If the Jets can stop the run, they can play all out on the pass and that would most definitely not bode well for the Bills. Finally, if the Jets don’t penalize themselves up the wazoo like they did last game, then the Bills should not stick around for long.
With Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods out, I can’t imagine the Bills having too much offensive firepower. The Jets have a strong defense and will look to exploit Manuel. The Bills will be at home and this will be advantageous, but the Bills don’t have the offensive capabilities of getting it done against the Jets. However, Bills fans must stay optimistic because the future is very bright for this team. There’s a lot of young talent and they will continue to improve.
Jets Win 24-13.