They don’t even play this week, but I figured that now is a perfect time to start evaluating the importance of Rex Ryan’s New York Jets completing a season sweep of their AFC East rival Buffalo Bills Week 11.
Gang Green will visit Ralph Wilson stadium hoping to start their first winning streak of 2013. They enter this game standing at 5-4, which is good enough to place them right in playoff contention. Tom Brady’s New England Patriots are hard to catch for the AFC East title, but a wild card berth remains a real possibility. Given that there are so many contests left, this designation of a “must win” may seem dramatic.
Conference competition however, places importance on this battle. The Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers are performing above expectations while contending for a playoff spot. These teams have displayed toughness and should not be ignored in this postseason discussion. Currently, both clubs are hanging around New York in terms of losses.
Road wins are also something that mark legitimacy. The Jets need to perform better away from Met Life Stadium as they are 1-3 in these games as of right now.
Their strengths of running and defense usually travel well. Judging by their record, Buffalo should be considered an underdog, but they are expected to have starting signal caller E.J. Manuel back under center. His mobility and big arm make him potentially dynamic. Despite facing Manuel, New York must establish consecutive wins while continuing momentum after beating the New Orleans Saints.
It will be on head coach Ryan to make sure his team is ready to compete coming off their bye week.