Game Preview: Bills at Jets


On Sunday afternoon the Buffalo Bills will travel to New Jersey to play the New York Jets at Metlife Stadium. The Bills (4-3) are coming off of their miraculous come from behind win against the Vikings, while the Jets (1-6) are coming off of their sixth consecutive loss last Thursday night against the Patriots.

Last week the Bills came from behind and won the game with 1 second left on the clock. Kyle Orton lead a comeback drive for the ages and the Bills were able to grasp victory from the jaws of defeat in a game where they turned the ball over 4 times (2 in the red zone) and lost their top two running backs. The Jets on the other hand, played their best game of the season last week and lost to the Patriots when their last second field goal attempt was blocked. This goes to show you that in the NFL sometimes it does not matter how good or bad you play, but rather what matters is the wins and losses.

A win on Sunday would be huge for the Bills and would send them into the bye week with a 5-3 record and secure their spot in at least second place. If the Chicago Bears manage to defeat the Patriots then the Bills could find themselves tied for first again. Either way, it would be huge for the Bills to head into the bye week after a win, and with a 5-3 record. The Bills cannot afford to take the Jets lightly just because they are 1-6. They need to approach them as if they were 6-1. You can never let yourself play down to the level of your opponent.

Yes, the Bills are without Spiller and Jackson, but they have to very capable backups in Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon. Dixon showed us last week that he can perform at a good level, and the Bills traded a 4th round draft pick for Brown. While he was in Philadelphia Brown showed that he can be an explosive play maker and he get’s his chance on Sunday to show us why the Bills traded for him. If the Bills offensive line can open up some holes for the backs they should be able to run the ball just fine against the Jets.

So, what will it takes for the Bills to escape New Jersey with a win on Sunday? Let’s take a look at a few keys to victory:

1) Pressure Geno Smith. If the Bills defensive line can make a habit out of hitting and hurrying Geno Smith, than the Bills should be able to force a few turnovers. In the past Geno has shown that he is prone to making mistakes when he is hurried and hit. Last week was Geno’s first error free game of the season. In my book that means that he is due to make a couple mistakes this week. If the Bills can pressure Geno, they will surely walk away with a couple of turnovers.

2) Attack the Jets secondary. The Jets are very vulnerable in the secondary and the Bills need to exploit that and attack them down the field. This means using Sammy Watkins in a similar role as he was used last week, and also using tight end Scott Chandler often. The Jets are one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to covering tight ends, and the with Kyle Orton and Scott Chandler developing good chemistry over the past few weeks, Chandler could be in store for another big day.

3) Don’t turn the ball over. Last week the Bills turned the ball over 4 times and they were lucky to win the game because of it. The Bills need to hold on to the football and not give the Jets any more possessions. Last week two of the Bills fumbles came in the red zone, taking points off the board. The Bills cannot do the same thing on Sunday because you just don’s normally win those types of games.

4) Get an early lead. If the Bills are able to get an early lead on the Jets and force Geno into a turnover or two than the Bills will take the Jets crowd right out of it and likely turn the crowd into a bunch of  boo birds. The Jets are 1-6 and essentially out of the playoff race. This means their fans are already pissed off, and if they fall behind early their home field advantage could turn into a home field disadvantage really quick.

5) Watch out for the trick play. The Jets have nothing to lose and with their acquisition of Percy Harvin they now have an explosive play maker on their side. Don’t be surprised if the Jets take some chances at a trick play or two this week and use Harvin in just about any way imaginable. The Jets have nothing to lose, so the Bills need to be on the look out for that.

With all that being said, this is a game that the Bills NEED to win if they want to make a run at a playoff berth and NEED to win if they want to continue to put heat on the Patriots in the division race. The Jets are 1-6 for a reason, they are not a very good football team. The Bills need to go on the road, win the game, and return home for the bye week at 5-3. No excuses for losing this game because the Bills are the better team, even without Spiller and Jackson. They need to play MUCH better than they did last week or they will lose. I expect a better performance from the Bills this week.

For my prediction, I am predicting a big game from Kyle Orton and the passing offense. The Jets have a porous secondary and the Bills play makers should be able to capitalize on that.  I also expect a big game from the Bills defense, and I expect them to get at least two turnovers off of Geno. Don’t be surprised if Geno forces the ball to Harvin a time or two and the result is an interception. It’s the first game action they will see together and it’s doubtful they will be on the same page already. Anyway, I expect a Bills win, and a 5-3 record at the midway mark of the season.

Bills 27, Jets 14.