- John Hazelet
Jets vs. Bills Preview
If at the beginning of the season, you could have picked the worse week for Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills to visit the Jets, it would be this Thursday night. The Jets have been battling injuries all season but on this short week the Jets are as banged up more than any other part of their season. RG Willie Colon and K Nick Folk have both been placed on season ending IR, at the safety position Pryor and Bailey have both been ruled out, Cromartie and Powell are both listed as doubtful, Decker has been battling a knee all season and Ivory, Marshall and Fitzpatrick have all been under 100% as is Nick Mangold who may be the biggest name on this list. Rex and the Bills have seen their share of injuries this season as well but they seem to be coming in pretty healthy with McCoy and Watkins both being listed as questionable.
The story in this game is Rex Vs the Jets. We have already seen his typical bravado at work this week as he named IK (Mike Tyson) Enemkpali as his team captain for tomorrow night. Granted, Rex has traditionally had his game captains each week be former players from the team he is playing but the incident between IK and Geno Smith in training camp has certainly brought more attention to the coin flip. In typical Rex fashion, he puts the attention on him by making the coin flip captain a story this week. Honestly, have you EVER noticed who the captains are before each game? It’s usually not even televised unless it’s the Super Bowl.
Offensively, the Jets will need to get the running game back on track. Chris Ivory has been a shell of himself over the past 3 weeks which I am sure is a reflection of Ivory, Colon and Mangold being less than 100%. None the less, the Jets showed a heavy commitment to the run last week although they did not gain any yards on the ground, Ivory did have 2 short TD runs. Against the Bills, the Jets will have to do a better job of moving the ball in the run game to get the offense moving and to take pressure off of Fitzpatrick. The Bills like to blitz and have a very good front 7 but they have had a hard time sacking the QB this year, recording only 13 sacks over 8 games. Fitzpatrick will still need to get rid of the ball quick, so look for some quick timing routs to their WR’s.
On Defense, the Jets need some players to step up, specifically in the secondary. Dee Millner has been activated from IR and will make his season debut. Look for him to get some reps in Cromartie's spot along with Marcus Williams. Williams has shown some flashes of being a capable corner so far this year but has also been burned a few times (see the Raiders game). Tyrod Taylor likes to throw the long ball; no doubt he will be looking towards Watkins who has accounted for 92% of the Bills receiving yards this season. Charles Clay will also be a force. Traditionally the Jets don’t cover the TE well, look for Clay to be involved early and often. The key to the game for the Jets defense is to contain Tyrod Taylor. Don’t let him use his legs to gain first downs. Force him to stay in the pocket and hit him often.
Predictions for the game: The Jets are currently a 2.5 point favorite. I think this game could go either way. The only thing stopping me from picking the Bills to win is the fact that Rex teams always seem to lose games they should win on paper. I will take the Jets to win this game 27-24 but I could easily see the opposite...
BOLD PREDICTION: IK Enemkpali will get a roaring ovation when he comes out for the coin toss. Rex will use a time out in a strange spot and/or challenge a play that clearly will not go his way. Steven Ridley will see the field. Revis has a pick 6.