Week 3: Bills vs. Jets
The Bills and Jets were suppose to battle it out for last place in the AFC East but two games into the season both teams look much better than advertised. The Bills come in to this game flying high after an upset win in Miami and a close call loss in New England. The Jets won their opener in Tennessee and came from behind to give the Patriots a scare last week. The winner of this game has a shot at a share of first place.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (1-1) vs. N.Y. Jets (1-1)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Dick Enberg and Randy Cross
||Bills by 5½
||Bills lead 50-41 (Bills 1-0 in playoffs)
||Jets Won 1
||Jets 30-26 in New York (2005)
||Rush (t-26th); Pass (3rd); overall (8th)
||Rush (19th); Pass (22nd); overall (24th)
||Rush (t-15th); Pass (31st); overall (31st)
||Rush (25th); Pass (t-7th); overall (16th)
The Bills have two major injuries to worry about in this game. Matt Bowen hasn't seen the field since the first preseason game when he injured his lower leg. Takeo Spikes has missed all but two series of the first game with a hamstring injury. Troy Vincent was placed on the minor injured reserve list with a hamstring injury.
The Jets are a bit banged up. Former Bill Trey Teague has been out all preseason and the first two games with an ankle injury and is doubtful. If he can return this week, he would play some left guard. WR Tim Dwight has been out with a thigh injury and is questionable along with OG Pete Kendall, who remains out with a hamstring injury. WR Laveranues Coles has a calf injury and is also questionable. CB David Barrett has a hip injury and may not be able to go.
Bills Daily Injury Page
FS Ko Simpson and SS Donte Whitner vs. QB Chad Pennington:
The Bills rookie safeties can expect to be tested this week by Pennington. He looks fully recovered from two shoulder surgeries in the last two years and is an early candidate for comeback player of the year.
CB Nate Clements vs. WR Laveranues Coles:
Clements has been a lockdown corner the first two games like he has been most of his career. Coles is the biggest offensive weapon for the Jets. If they can shut him down it will be tough to move the ball for the Jets.
CB Terrence McGee vs. WR Jerricho Cotchery:
McGee will line up against the Jets other wideout. Cotchery is coming off a breakout game against New England. If Coles isn't open, Pennington will go to his new toy.
WR Lee Evans vs. CB Justin Miller:
Evans needs to have a breakout game and some home cooking may be all he needs to get it this week against a relatively young secondary.
DE Aaron Schobel vs. LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson:
Schobel was the only end not to have a big game last week against Miami. He gets to test the highly touted rookie in this one and he should be able to teach him a thing or two over the course of the game.
RB Willis McGahee vs. LBs Jonathan Vilma and Eric Barton:
The Bills know they need the running game to win in this league. McGahee has had success against the Jets in the past but this is a new defense. Barton and Vilma are the leading tacklers and his good friend Vilma will be talking smack in this one.
QB J.P. Losman vs. FS Kerry Rhodes:
Eventually the Bills will need some success with the deep ball to win this year. This could be the week as Losman will have to watch for Rhodes who is a bit of a ball hawk when he goes downfield.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The Jets defense isn't that strong and they don't get a good rush on the passer especially without John Abraham there anymore. That means the Bills may sit back and try to get the ball downfield more, especially since they won't have to deal with crowd noise this week. That should open up draw plays for the running game this week.
When The Jets Have The Ball: The Jets offensive strength also happens to be the Bills strength defensively. The Jets are one dimensional, they have to throw the ball to win with very little happening in the ground game. The Bills will look to play smart with the young players on defense and to put pressure on Pennington who isn't very mobile. That would keep the Jets from getting the big play through the air. The run defense should be better this week against the anemic attack of backs Kevan Barlow, Cedric Houston, and Derrick Blaylock.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
On paper this should be a relatively easy game for the Bills. Nothing is easy in the NFL however, and the Bills aren't good enough to think anything will be easy. The fact that the Jets aren't a good running team will help the Bills poor run defense. The fact that they are home and should have the momentum from the crowd on opening day should be an advantage as well. The Jets, like the Bills, are better than people expected so they will fight hard to the very end:
Bills 17, Jets 14
Season Prediction Record: (1-1)
Season Record Against The Spread: (1-1)
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