Jets vs. Bills: Meet the Bills

By Marc A. Greenberg

When was the last time you heard this sentence:  The New York Jets will travel to Buffalo this week to face the first place Buffalo Bills.

It just sounds weird, but the Bills are leading the AFC East with a 5-2 record. With a decent schedule the rest of the way, the two meetings with the Jets will be the difference as to makes the playoffs and who doesn’t.

Quarterback:  Harvard man, Ryan Fitzpatrick is the sixth-leading passer in the NFL (97.8 rating, has a 67.7 completion ratio and has 14 TDs with 7 Ints.  Not bad and he’s developing into a solid QB this year.

AP Photo/David Duprey

Running Back: Fred Jackson is having the type of year (721 yards, 5.5 ypc) that Buffalo has been waiting for.  With five 100-yard rushing games this season, the Jets will have their hands full.

Wide Receiver: Little Stevie Johnson leads the way with 39 catches for 439 yards and 4 Tds.  David Nelson is next up with 31 catches for 366 yards.  Watch out for the Bills offense; they have a nice balance of run-pass (ratio is 45-55), and like to use 3 and 4 receiver packages.  That means extra work for Antonio Cromartie this week.

Defense: Despite shutting out the Washington Redskins last week, 23-0, the Bills defense has been abused this season.  Allowing at least 400 total yards in five straight games, the run defense is their weakest link, allowing 4.9 yards per rush. Can you say Shonn Greene time?  The Bills rely on the turnover to win games (they lead the NFL with 18 takeaways, so Mark Sanchez and company need to be careful this week.

Special Teams:  Welcome back, Brad Smith….sort of.  The game, while being played in Buffalo, will be Smith’s first against the Jets.  Smith has been quiet this season on offense (30 touches — 0-for-1 passing, 19 rushes for 84 yards) and has 5 kickoff returns for a 20.6 average.

Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images North America)

For now, the Jets decision to go with Joe McKnight has been gold, with McKnight third in the NFL in kickoff yards with 520 (Leon Washington is first with 539 but has 10 more attempts), and first in average at a whopping 40 yards per return (Randall Cobb of the Packers is second with 30.5).