1-4 Buffalo @ 3-2 Jets
Sunday October 18th, 4:15pm CBS
by Joe Grinwis
This Sunday the Buffalo Bills, fresh off a 6-3 home loss to the Cleveland Browns, who didn’t have a win before last Sunday, come into the Meadowlands. The Bills have lost three straight while the Jets are coming off their second straight loss of the season with a 31-27 defeat at the hands of their arch rivals, the Miami Dolphins last Monday at Landshark Stadium in Miami, FL.
Buffalo’s defense is one of the worst against the run, allowing 154.6 yards per game ranking them 29th in the league. They are 19th (340.2) in total yards and 20th (23.2) in points allowed as well. On offense, it doesn’t get much better as the Bills are 26th (15.4) in scoring and 25th (172.6) in passing. The one bright note is they are 10th in the league in rushing averaging 117.6 yards per game, in large part due to surprising 3rd year RB Fred Jackson (83 carries, 364 yards, 4.4ypc). However, Jackson does not have any rushing touchdowns on the season and over the past three games the Bills have only scored one offensive touchdown.
The Jets, after the Miami performance, saw their numbers on defense drop a bit after the horrific 4th quarter, and overall game performance by Bart Scott and company. Still, the numbers are fairly decent. The defense ranks 9th (304.8) in yards allowed, 8th (194.4) in pass yards allowed and 8th (17.6) in points allowed. However, the rush defense continues to struggle, as shown by Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams on Monday, and the Jets are 19th (110.4) in that column.
Switching it over to the offensive side of the ball, Mark Sanchez’s new toy Braylon Edwards (5 receptions, 64 yards, TD), had an impressive debut after only having three days to work with the team and the new hot shot rookie Quarterback. Look for Edwards and Sanchez to grow a strong rapport as the weeks move foward which will help the Jets 26th ranked pass offense (167.6 yards per game), blossom by December.
RB’s Fred Jackson/Marshawn Lynch vs. Jets Defense
The Bills, even more so than the Dolphins, are a one trick pony on the offensive side of the ball. They run it and they run it well. Problem for the Jets is the one thing their defense does not have consistent success against is the running game. The weather on Sunday calls for rain, at the least, so a ball controlled ground and pound type game, the type of game Rex Ryan loves, is the game you should expect to see. If the Jets expect to win, they have to take care of the run or else this game will have a similar feel to Monday’s. Wildcat or no Wildcat.
WR David Clowney vs. CB Drayton Florence
With fellow receivers Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) and Brad Smith (quad) both missing the first two days of practice, it looks unlikely that either will suit up and play, forcing Clowney to make his first career NFL start. For the first time ever Jet fans saw Clowney succeed on Monday (4 receptions, 72 yards) in something rather than a meaningless Preseason game. If Clowney does indeed get this start, he is going up against a man in Florence who gets beat repeatedly by less athletic than Clowney. As long as he is able to create some sort of seperation he should be able to blow past Florence for at least a couple of big plays down the field, setting up RB’s Thomas Jones and Leon Washington in the run game.
Bills Special Teams vs. Jets Special Teams
These are two of the very best special teams unit’s in the league led by two of the very best special teams coaches. The Jets have K Jay Feely who with one more FG will break Pat Leahy’s franchise record of 22 consecutive made field goals, as well as dynamic KR Leon Washington. The Bills field arguably the best punter not named Shane Lechler in Brian Moorman as well as consistent K Rian Lindell. Both these teams very rarely make mistakes on special teams, but if someone does in division match-up like this one, it could cost either team the victory.
I was going to give the Jets the benefit of the doubt and predict a 2 or 3 TD victory over the struggling Bills. But, with the weather forecast the way it is and how the Jets have struggled against the run and the way Buffalo has succeeded with it, I think this game is going to be close than most believe, but the Jets will get back on track with a W at home:
Bills – 16
Jets – 23