On Sunday the New York Jets (5-5) take on the Buffalo Bills (5-5) at MetLife Stadium (1 pm EST). The New York Jets are coming off of a disappointing loss to Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos, while the Bills are in the midst of a free fall as they have lost three in a row. Lets take a look at some of the keys to the game from the Jets perspective.
Mark Sanchez- On Sunday the spotlight will be on quarterback Mark Sanchez who has struggled recently. The young signal caller must get off to a quick start in order to regain the confidence of his teammates and to prevent a “boo fest” in MetLife Stadium. I would not be surprised to see the Jets offense start out with the short passing game utilizing slants and screens in order to get Mark Sanchez in rhythm early. Tight end Dustin Keller could be a target early and often exploiting the middle of the Bills defense. Note: The Bills defense will be without starting cornerback Terence McGee and safety George Wilson due to injuries.
Offensive line- The New York Jets offensive line must take advantage of a battered and bruised Buffalo defense that is yielding over 372 yards a game. The Jets line must dominate the battles in the trenches and contain defensive tackle Marcell Dareus who is having an excellent season. Right tackle Wayne Hunter must improve in pass protection.
Running back by committee– There is a very good chance that the Jets will use a running back by committee approach on Sunday as LaDainian Tomlinson will probably miss the game due to injury and Shonn Greene is battling a rib injury. Joe McKnight could see quite a few snaps if Greene cannot go, with rookie Bilal Powell getting some reps as well.
Note: Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley will be a game time decision on Sunday. If Kerley cannot go Patrick Turner will take over the third wr spot.
Set the Tone- The New York Jets defense must set the tone of the game on Sunday by coming out physical and aggressive. The Bills offense is struggling (outscored 106-26 last 3 games) therefore Gang Green’s defense should send an early message to Buffalo that it is going to be a long game. The Jets defense cannot afford to give up big plays early on, especially if the offense gets off to a slow start.
Jackson out, Spiller in- The Buffalo Bills will be without their best playmaker on Sunday as running back Fred Jackson is out for the year with a fractured fibula. C.J. Spiller will fill in for Jackson and the Jets must be prepared for the dynamic back. Spiller is a dangerous threat out of the backfield and can make some big plays if the Jets become lazy with their tackling.
Frustrate Fitzpatrick- Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has come back to reality throwing 11 interceptions in his last 6 games. The Jets must get consistent pressure on Fitzpatrick and force him into bad decisions. There is a good chance that Gang Green’s defense will shut down the running game therefore the unit’s success will be contingent on frustrating the Bills quarterback. Linebacker Aaron Maybin could have a huge day with his pass rushing abilities.
The Jets enter this game a team searching for answers, especially on the offensive side of the ball. In my eyes the Buffalo Bills are just what the doctor ordered to remedy the Jets woes. The Bills come limping into MetLife Stadium without key playmakers on both sides of the ball. Gang Green will come out inspired, knowing that their season is on the line and that they cannot afford another conference loss. Mark Sanchez will silence his critics (for a day or two at least) with a big day. Jets 28-9