When: Sunday November 17th, 1:00 p.m. ET
Where: Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY
The Line: Buffalo (-1.5)
The Bills have always struggled against the Jets offensively. The last time they played, the Jets got after E.J. Manuel early and often, leading to a really long day for the rookie quarterback. Those things happen from time to time, and the Bills just have to make sure it doesn’t become a regularity.
The Jets have signed free agent safety Ed Reed, but it seems unlikely that he’ll see the field. Still, things look problematic for the Bills in terms of a matchup on Sunday. Their top two receivers – Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods – both seem unlikely to suit up for the Bills as both have been banged up for a while, and Woods’ ankle is still giving him significant trouble.
What does that mean for the Bills? Pain.
C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and the running game will be counted on even more, and the Jets are likely to sell out to stop the run, meaning Manuel will have to make something happen with his remaining receivers if the Bills have a hope of walking away with the win. That could be very bad given how the first meeting went. The Bills need to handle the extra pressure that is sure to be sent at Manuel, or this could get really messy.
Key: Offensive line vs DOOM
Bills’ defense vs. New York
On paper, this seems like a matchup that should favor the Bills. Geno Smith hasn’t been playing well and is missing Jeremy Kerley due to injury. But, the last time these two teams met, Smith lit up the Bills. He went for a season-high 331 yards passing and three touchdowns in the Jets win. Getting to Smith, rattling his cage and making him second-guess things will go a long way.
Of course, the Bills also have to stop the run, and that’s been an issue for them at times this year. Chris Ivory was huge in the Jets’ win over the New Orleans Saints a few weeks back, rushing for a season-high 139 yards and a touchdown against his former team. Letting him run free only takes pressure off of Smith.
The big difference between then and now, though, is that the Bills’ defense is healthy and playing at a much higher level. They look confident and strong, they rush the quarterback well and dare I say, they have a strong secondary now that everyone is back from the infirmary.
Key: Rattled Geno Smith vs. confident Geno Smith
Prediction: New York Jets 20 — Buffalo Bills 10