Saturday, November 1, 2008

Jets vs Bills Preview

The New York Jets travel up to Buffalo for a key divisional matchup Sunday at 1:00. Win, and all is forgiven for the last three weeks, and the Jets are either tied or a game out of first, depending on what New England does Sunday night against New England. Lose, especially badly, and you bet fans will start (or continue) to jump off the bandwagon.

Clearly, the most important reason for the recent sluggishness is the -8 turnover ratio. Posting another -2 or -3 performance will surely lead to defeat because Buffalo is on a whole other level than Kansas City, Oakland, or Cincinnati. The Jets currently sit at 5.5 point underdogs in Las Vegas as the Bills have shown more in beating teams that they should beat. They did lose to Miami 25-16 last week, but Buffalo is always a more formidable opponent at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The Bills now sit at 5-2, tied for the division lead with the Patriots, but they are just 0-1 in the division. A win would give the Jets a 2-1 record in the division with two home games left against Miami and Buffalo and one road game at New England two weeks from today. Any reasonable fan would have taken 5-3 with a 2-1 divisional record, especially if the Pats lose Sunday night, creating a three-way tie on top of the division.

But it is folly to assume a victory. The Bills do everything you can ask for from a football team, as they can do everything offensively and defensively. On offense, they can hurt you deep with Lee Evans (remember last year’s game with Abram Elam taking out Darrelle Revis for an 80+ yard touchdown?), and Trent Edwards being efficient. He can be rattled a little by pressure, so that will be a priority as usual.

This is a huge statement game for the Jets. If they play the way they have the previous three weeks, they won't win. Gang Green needs to prove that the Arizona game wasn't simply a Cardinals team self-destructing in all aspects. Win and all is forgiven. Lose and 4-4 with a revitalized St. Louis team coming in before trips to New England and undefeated Tennessee, and the season could quickly fall apart. All the players have shown flashes of playing very well at times, but there has been little consistency by either the players or the coaching staff. A win is certainly not out of the question, but I need to see more before I can predict a big road win. My heart says yes, my head says no.
Bills 24, Jets 22

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