Week 3: Bills vs. Jets
The new era Bills hit the road for the first time as EJ Manuel and Doug Marrone face a hostile environment in New Jersey against the Jets. Rex Ryan's crew is off to a 1-1 start and have a near upset of New England under their belt like the Bills do. It will be a reunion of Ryan and his good friend and former defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. The Jets defense is very solid and very similar to the one run by Pettine in Buffalo for obvious reasons.
Sunday, Sept. 22nd
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (1-1) vs. N.Y. Jets (1-1)
||Met Life Stadium
||Network: CBS; DirecTV: 714; Sirius: 93
||Marv Albert and Rich Gannon
||Jets by 2½
||Bills lead 54-50 (Bills 1-0 in playoffs)
||Bills Won 1
||Bills 28-9 in Buffalo (2012)
||Rush (12th); Pass (25th); overall (25th)
||Rush (t-4th); Pass (6th); overall (2nd)
||Rush (4th); Pass (23rd); overall (t-15th)
||Rush (30th); Pass (13th); overall (t-18th)
The Bills will again be without Marquise Goodman, Stephon Gilmore, and Ron Brooks as they remain out indefinitely with long term injuries. Jairus Byrd is improving but he is definitely very questionable with plantar fasciitis in both feet. Doug Legursky has returned to practice from a sprained MCL and has a shot to return this week but is likely a week away. Dustin Hopkins continues his rehab from a groin injury but will likely not be ready to kick this week.
The Jets should have WR Jeremy Kerley on the field as he returns from a concussion. DL Quinton Coples is working his way back from a hair line fracture in his ankle and has a shot to return this week. DL Sheldon Richardson suffered a shoulder injury but has a chance to play. WR Santonio Holmes is battling an ongoing foot problem but should play.
Check out our Bills Daily Injury Page throughout the week for the latest updates on the injured players.
QB EJ Manuel vs. QB Geno Smith:
Technically they don't face each other but everyone wants to see the battle of the first two quarterbacks taken in April's draft. Whoever performs better will likely lead their team to victory. This is the first of many matchups between the two talented players.
DC Mike Pettine vs. HC Rex Ryan:
The two men are like brothers and know each other very well. Whichever man comes up with a wrinkle that surprises the other, may give his team the edge in what looks like a very close matchup.
WR Stevie Johnson vs. CB Antonio Cromartie:
With his arch nemesis Darrelle Revis now in Tampa Bay, Johnson will be followed all over the field but another one of the top corners in the league in Cromartie.
DE Mario Williams vs. LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson:
Coming off a career high 4½ sack effort, the Jets will be watching Williams all over the field. He will likely move around but when he wants to attack from Smith's blindside he will have one of the best left tackles in the game to contend with in the veteran Ferguson.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Dealing With The Crowd: For the first time Manuel has to run the no huddle with a very loud crowd trying to disrupt him. Will he be able to communicate with his teammates and run the offense at the same pace and efficiency they did in Orchard Park?
2. Have Patience Offensively: The Jets have the second ranked defense in the league so things won't come easy on offense. The Bills must remain patient and not make mistakes. If they do that they should be able to have success later in the game when the Jets defense gets tired from the no huddle.
3. Get Off The Field: The Bills defense has played well through two weeks except on third downs where they are giving up conversions on nearly have the plays on that very important down. They need to get a less than stellar Jets offense off the field on third down plays.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
This is a battle of the two rookie quarterbacks and I think the Bills have the better one and the better team. The big issue is how they handle the hostile environment for the first time. I think Manuel will be ready since he basically practiced against the Jets defense all summer since it is basically Pettine's defense. I think the Bills pull out a nail biter because the Jets defense is very good and will keep them in the game:
Bills 14, Jets 13
Season Prediction Record: (2-0)
Season Record Against The Spread: (1-1)
Bills Blitz - Coming Sunday Night!
Gameday Grades - Coming Sunday Night or Monday Morning!