I do have faith in this Jets team when it comes to facing the Bills, but games always get tricky within the division, and usually teams split wins precisely for that reason. The Jets-Bills rivalry will be no exception. Of course, I am now predicting the latter half of the season and there is room for change with injuries, but if the teams hold the same, the Bills will circle the wagons.
Just call me Jerstradamus.
But enough horn-tooting, let’s get down and dirty with the factors.
Offensive Factor: Stephen Hill. For those of you who read my bye-week numbers predictions article, Hill will be having a break-out season of sorts. He will fall short of 1,000 yards, but he will be finding the end-zone. Given the way he played in last season’s opener, that may be compounded against the Bills, whose secondary is far from special. And by far from special, I mean, has more holes than the plot to Inception.
Defensive Factor: Quinton Coples. I firmly believe that by this point in the year, Muhammad Wilkerson is going be having himself a good season. Like Pawn Stars good. And if this is the case, then teams will be taking note of him well before week 11. Thus it will be up to Coples, who is now in his sophomore season, to come into his own and supplement the pass-rush. There are few players who can single-handily dominate the line of scrimmage. Not everyone can be Jason Pierre-Paul (or as I liked to call him the past few years, “the reason I lost all my bets with New York Giants fans”).
X-Factor: E.J. Manuel. In line with what my colleague Matt Ploss wrote, I believe Manuel to be a solid improvement over former Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, and quickly at that. However, it will be up to Manuel to see this game through, as the Jets will have a top-10 defense and the hunger to win.
Quarterback Watch: Oh look, Mark Sanchez will still be sitting on the bench looking like a bum.
This game is going to be vicious, no two ways about it. I will be tricked into thinking the Jets have it two or three times, just for my hopes to be dashed. It may even see an injury or two. But in the end, the Bills will come out on top.
Final Score: Bills – 24, Jets – 21
Coming Up: The Jets face off against the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens… Yay.
Jeremy is a Jets writer for RantSports.com. Follow him/her on Twitter JeremyGoldstei1, “Like” him/her on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.