NFL New York Jets

6 Difference Makers in New York Jets-Buffalo Bills Week 3 Matchup

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6 Difference Makers in New York Jets-Buffalo Bills Week 3 Matchup

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

It is still early in the 2013 season, but each week brings its own intrigue. Two AFC East rivals do battle Sunday as quarterback Geno Smith’s New York Jets host fellow rookie E.J. Manuel’s Buffalo Bills. These teams both enter with a 1-1 record. Winning another contest pushes an organization slightly closer to their goal of reaching the NFL Playoffs.

Plenty of football has yet to be played, but starting strong provides room for error later. Of course, 22 men are on the field at once. Often, though, there are those select few that make the most impact. These franchises are basically considered evenly matched, so chances are this game could be close.

Buffalo may have certain advantages when it comes to analyzing both offenses. An exciting pair of running backs possess the ability to create big-time opportunities. One receiver specifically offers them explosiveness.

The Jets conversely still have some issues in such areas. Their receivers must do a better job consistently catching passes. Two running backs are capable of contributing greatly, however, constant success is also needed there. Tight end Kellen Winslow stepped up and helped Week 1. He seemed to struggle last week and his impact provides great help.

Both defenses boast some players who can make a difference. Buffalo’s secondary is led by a solid safety. Jarius Byrd may not play as his position on the injury list is tenuous. Despite a sense of low expectations for both teams, there are several capable playmakers on both sides. Here are six performers who can make an impact on Sunday’s contest.

Nick Mamary is a New York Jets writer for Follow him on Twitter @NickMamary1, Like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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E.J. Manuel

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

This young signal caller has gotten off to a pretty solid start over his first two weeks. E.J. Manuel engineered a great comeback win last week albeit with some help from Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechley. He brings exciting speed, and his 6-foot-5 build also makes for an intriguing player. There could be success for Manuel against New York's secondary.

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Stevie Johnson

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Stevie Johnson offers Buffalo their best receiving option. Despite being largely underrated, he possess dynamic playmaking ability. Going against cornerbacks Dee Milliner,Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie will be a challenge as Johnson looks to continue his hot start of two touchdowns in as many games.

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C.J. Spiller

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

A current career average that stands over eight rush yards per carry tells the story. Running back C.J. Spiller has potential to score any time he touches the ball. Their opponents can be tough up front, but this element will give them reason to have concern.

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Santonio Holmes

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Health appears on the rise for Jets receiver Santonio Holmes. He still is their best receiving option and his presence gives hope. Starting a rookie quarterback means consistency becomes even more important. Holmes constantly brings in big receptions and will be counted on once again.

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Muhamad Wilkerson

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Gang Green’s defensive end appears healthy heading into the game. Muhammad Wilkerson demonstrates ability to generate pass rush. Past seasons saw the Jets allow opposing quarterbacks to pick them apart. The Jets so far this year have shown improvement and getting to Manuel will make all of the difference.

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Geno Smith

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It should prove no surprise that football’s most important position gets tremendous attention in the country’s largest media market. Smith continues his development entering Week 3 where pressure is starting to mount. Throwing three interceptions after an impressive debut was a step backward and Jets head coach Rex Ryan is fighting for his job, so every game counts. I expect Smith to bounce back though using both his legs and great passing potential.