Bills vs. Jets Preview: Buffalo’s Five Key Players


It’s a team game and all that, but who are the five most important players for Buffalo in the coming week’s game? Each week we’ll take a look in a feature called Five Key Players.

Buffalo finds itself in an absolutely huge game this weekend against its AFC East rival the New York Jets…and I can’t lie – this game positively terrifies me. I’m very concerned the Bills don’t match up very well against the Jets at all, and it could be a long day for Buffalo on offense. Of course, I thought the Bills were in big trouble against the Patriots too, and that turned out pretty well.

In any case, it’s gonna take a huge effort from everyone to beat the Jets this weekend. But who especially needs to step up and play well?

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick – For the great season Fitz is having, he’s suddenly gotten a little bit too turnover happy these past few weeks. Worse, all four of his turnovers in the past two games (the two picks against the Giants plus his interception and fumble against Washington) have been really inexcusable. The two INTs Fitz gifted to Corey Webster of the Giants were just terribly underthrown balls, his interception in the endzone against Washington was an awful decision, and the fumble in the same game wasn’t even forced. This week there won’t be a margin of error that big, so the Bills just can’t turn the ball over, especially in the red zone. If Fitz throws picks, the Bills are going to lose. Period.

OL Andy Levitre and/or Chris Hairston – Both this guys are dealing with injury, so it’s unclear if one or both of these guys will be able to play Sunday. Levitre seems confident he’ll be able to go, and he’ll play left tackle if Hairston isn’t quite ready to play. In any case, they’ll need to be on their game to hold back a fearsome Jets pass rush. As well as he played last week, you have to wonder if Levitre can hold up at tackle again with an injury.

WRs Donald Jones, David Nelson, and Naaman Roosevelt – With Stevie Johnson likely stranded on Revis Island, the other Bills receivers need to make some plays in this one. Fitz is going to throw it quick no matter what, so it’d be helpful if someone is open.

NT Marcell Dareus – With Kyle Williams likely either out or not 100%, Dareus will likely be the man in the middle again.  The Jets are running their mouths about “getting back to ground-and-pound” football, and you have to believe they’re going to try to run it down the throat of Buffalo’s 20th-ranked rush defense. If Dareus can blow up the middle of the line like he did against Washington, the Jets aren’t going to find much success there.

P Brian Moorman – This could end up being a field position battle. Moorman’s having a good season so far, and he might be needed in a big way on Sunday.