This game has a story that hasn’t been talked about very much. Week 17 of last year the Jets were primed for a playoff appearance. The team looked good and all they needed to do was beat up on a injured and hopeless Bills team. But not so quick. When games matter the least, Rex feasts. The Bills won that game. Ryan Fitzpatrick was the main source of blame. His solid season collapsed all in one game and one quarter. The Jets were down 19-17 with 10 minutes left on the clock. Then… Fitzmagic happened, or at least what we thought Fitzmagic was, 3 interception in the 4th quarter. A heart breaker. The Jets were gone. Brandon Marshall fails to make it to the playoffs once again.
That left a bad taste in the Jets mouth. This is a vengeance game. Much in the way that the Panthers vs Broncos game had developed. This is about a QB seeking redemption and getting revenge. We found out that Cam still couldn’t conquer his demon from the mile high city, but can Fitzpatrick get one back on the Bills mafia? Let’s look deeper.
Location: New Era Field: Buffalo, New York
To get revenge the Jets don’t get to play at home. This one is going to take a big effort on the road. The Jets haven’t won in Buffalo since 2011, the Bills mafia certainly has an affect on their hometown team.
Keys for the Jets offense:
Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Five catches. That is unacceptable. Plain and simple, for the Jets to have any shot in this game, that dynamic duo needs to get their stuff together and quick. Hopefully for Jets fans last game was just some great veterans shaking off the rust and not a sign of regression from both the receivers and Fitzpatrick himself. For now let’s just call it a bad week 1 that can’t happen here.
Former Bear had a good game in New York as he had 150 all purpose yards on Sunday. If that Matt Forte can show up once again, the Jets will have every opportunity to get Decker and Marshall back on track. Forte is one of the most consistent guys in the league, I don’t think we need to worry about him.
Keys for the Jets Defense
The Jets might be getting the biggest gift of all with Sammy Watkins not at 100%. Watkins is an oft-injured talent but a elite talent when healthy. While Watkins is set to play as of writing this, there is no telling how often he will be on the field and how effective he will be when is on it. Right now the Bills look to have a decoy in Sammy Watkins so the number one key? LeSean McCoy. McCoy wasn’t great in the opener but grinded out good yards for the Bills and found his way into the endzone. If the Bills are going to have any hope of running an efficient offense, it is going to be based all off McCoy.
Keys for the Bills Offense
Get the option game going and early. With Watkins not at 100% there is no telling what the Bills can count on in their WR core. Tyrod Taylor and Shady need to play their best game of the season to get the offense going. If Shady can find a way to run wild or even force another guy into the box, Tyrod might be able to get something going in the passing game. There’s not many teams that have a good offense without setting up the run but this is the ultimate example of that addage. It feels like run or bust for the Bills.
Keys for the Bills Defense
Don’t let the passing game get going for the Jets. The Jets are already not feeling great about throwing the ball but if the Bills can come out early and manage a pick or even just limit Marshall and Decker to minimal gains, it could drain the confidence of that team. If I’m the Bills I make my priority stopping these WR’s. I’m fine with Forte grinding it out getting first down after first down at worst. He certainly doesn’t have homerun speed and was not great after contact. The Bills want to play that slow methodical grind it out type of game. If the right kind of Fitzmagic finds its way into this game, the Bills could be in for a long night.
Prediction: Bills 20 – Jets 27
(Bonus Gambling Section)
Line: PK – Love the Jets to win straight up which is where the line is at.
Over/Under: 40 – Even though my prediction is the over, these two have a reputation for running and defense. The safer bet is the under but this is an avoid for me.