It’s five straight losses and counting for the Bills against the New York Jets. Buffalo hasn’t beaten their AFC East rivals since an overtime win in the Meadowlands two years ago.
Running back C.J. Spiller sounds like he’s had enough. He told reporters in the Bills locker room the streak has to end.“These guys–they’ve had our number for awhile,” Spiller says. “It’s always going to be a tough challenge. We had an opportunity last year to go to their place and get a win, but fell short.”
The Bills lost 28-24 to the Jets at MetLife Stadium last November, their second loss to the Jets in a four week span. This year, the Jets bookend Buffalo’s season–the Bills play them in the opener this Sunday, and the Jets come to Western New York to finish the regular season on Sunday, December 30th.
With five losses to New York in a row, have the Jets replaced the Patriots as Buffalo’s biggests rivals ?
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson had Darrelle Revis' number last year, catching 11 balls for 159 yards and a touchdown in two games against the Jets. Revis didn't seem in the mood to talk about Johnson after being asked if he enjoys matching up with him.
"If that's my job, but I don't know that yet," Revis said.
Revis did say the Jets know what the Bills are likely to throw at them on Sunday as Buffalo returns 10 of 11 starters from last year's quad that liked to spread out opponents and then use short to intermediate routes. He also mentioned Buffalo's tough rushing attack.
KELLER 'BETTER ':
Jets tight end Dustin Keller believes he should be ready for the season opener on Sunday despite not participating Wednesday with a hamstring injury."I feel really good," Keller said. "I think I should be good for Sunday. You can only evaluate it day to day but it's feeling a lot better."Jets head coach Rex Ryan said the Jets would let Keller play Sunday even if he doesn't practice all week, but the tight end believes that's a tricky predicament.
Keller ran routes Wednesday."I think it's pretty tough to just turn it on on gameday," Keller said. "All the plays you have going in and the looks you're going to see. It's pretty tough to take that from just watching it on film and translate it into gameday. It that's something I have to do, I'll definitely do it. We'll see how it goes day to day."
DIXON BACK :
Being without a job the past few days almost made time stand still to defensive tackle Marcus Dixon."It might have been three days but it felt like two weeks," Dixon said.After being waived by the Jets on Saturday, Dixon was re-signed Monday. He had 1 1/2 sacks and 16 tackles last year. He was waived after the Jets were awarded Isaako Aaitui on waivers, but returned after Aaitui was injured and waived."I'm not going to lie it's definitely frustrating," Dixon said of being waived. "You're sitting out there, you're healthy, you're ready to go and you're looking forward to the opener and you get released, it's kind of mind blowing, I was frustrated."He added: "It feels good. I'm just glad to be back."
MALONE IN :
The Jets signed Robert Malone after releasing T.J. Conley. Ryan described Malone's workout as impressive as he hit the ceiling five times with his punts.
"I couldn't be happier," Malone said. "I'm excited to work with the specialists, coach (Mike) Westhoff, it's going to be good. I'm excited about it."
SCHILENS FINE :
Receiver Chaz Schilens has practiced the past few days at full speed and expects to be on the field Sunday. He missed the final three games of the preseason with a high ankle sprain but doesn't expect that it would limit his playing time Sunday."I expect to be playing and we'll see how it goes," Schilens said.
He was the poster boy of the dysfunction that ruined the Jets last season, but Santonio Holmes is taking it upon himself to be a leader -- and producer -- this year."I'm super excited about Sunday. It's go time," Holmes said Wednesday."I can't sit around and expect anyone else to be a leader for this team and to produce the way I know how to. The coaches are excited about what the plan's going to be for us as a team and I'm excited as well."As a leader, Holmes is going to have to pick up the pieces after last season's troubles. He was benched in the finale against the Dolphins as the Jets removed him from the game after making comments in the huddle, among other things. He also called out the offensive line after it had some rough games, which made Brandon Moore question the receiver.On the field, Holmes will have to bounce back from the worst year of his career. He caught 51 balls, just two more than his career low, and registered a career-worst 654 yards. After catching 79 balls for 1,248 yards in his final season in Pittsburgh in 2009, Holmes has managed just 103 catches for 1,400 yards in his first two season with the Jets.
Holmes appears to be saying all the right things entering Sunday's big game against Buffalo, talking up what needs to be done as a team to win games. He added that he's not looking to prove any doubters wrong after being written off after last year."I play the game for the New York Jets and this football team and to win as many ballgames I can help this team win," Holmes said. "To catch as many balls as they throw to me and to score as many touchdowns as I can and keep these guys super excited because I know our defense really gets excited when we as receivers make big plays and they feed off that intensity. As long as I'm here, that's going to be my motif, to help this team."As Holmes tries to show he's still a top receiver, his chances could potentially be limited this year with the team's commitment to running the ball and the new Wildcat packages. The offense struggled heavily during the preseason, but Holmes believes this week's game plan has potential for big plays and there will be chances for the receivers."On Sunday everything is going to be put on the table. There's no holding back anything from running the ball 30 times to throwing it 50 times," Holmes said. "We're going to have as much fun as we can have but we gotta do it the right way. That's by getting first downs, keeping the drives going and it's by catching the ball, it's by running hard and having our offensive line just dominate every team we play this year. And that's going to be the focus."
New York Jets football is back ! The 2012 regular-season home opener is finally here and we’re counting on you to help fuel the Jets. Sunday afternoon’s game vs. the Buffalo Bills at 1 p.m. is presented by JetBlue, PrimeSport and Toyota.Dust off your grill, grab your favorite Green & White gear, paint your face and start practicing your loudest J-E-T-S chant. Come celebrate Curtis Martin, Jets great and 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, and wave your free rally towel in the stands to show your support. Don’t miss out on all the opening-day action — be sure to get in your seats early for player introductions, a full-field American flag and the National Anthem performed by Glee star Jenna Ushkowitz. This is a game that you won’t want to miss from start to finish ! Just remember : Get in early. Get LOUD. Get ready to kick off the 2012 season.
Here are a few details that you should know :
■ This game is the first regular-season home game. Please be sure to bring Bills Game 1 parking pass and tickets.
■ Parking lots open at 8 a.m.
■ Will Call opens at 10 a.m. General Will Call is located at MetLife South Will Call and Suite Will Call is located to the right of General Will Call, at the trailer adjacent to the Club/Suite entrance lane.
■ Stadium gates open at 11 a.m.
■ As a reminder, there is a fan walkway between the Pepsi and Bud Light Gates allowing access all the way around the exterior of the stadium. Note that your ticket allows access to any stadium gate for entry.
■ Player warmups start at about 12 p.m.
■ Be at the gates by 12:15 p.m. to ensure you are in your seats by kickoff.
■ The National Anthem will be performed by Jenna Ushkowitz from Glee and halftime will feature a special ceremony for Curtis Martin, including the retirement of his jersey, number 28.
■ Kickoff is at 1 p.m.
Curtis Martin Day presented by JetBlue, PrimeSport and Toyota
Jets great and Hall of Fame inductee Curtis Martin will be honored in front of thousands of his fans on Sunday. When the gates open at 11 a.m., head in the Train Gate and check out Curtis’ official bust flown in from Canton and grab some photos! Curtis’ Hall of Fame celebration continues on with the retirement of his jersey, number 28, during a special halftime ceremony. To help showcase your pride, make sure you pick up a free rally towel at the gates upon entry (subject to availability). Plus, check out the videoboards throughout the game to catch special tributes from Jets fans congratulating Curtis.
Our goal every game is to ensure you have an enjoyable and unforgettable gameday experience as well as a safe one. We are always on the lookout to keep your gameday safe and tackle bad behavior but we can use your help! To report an issue anonymously on gameday, text the word JETS to 78247 or call the Jets Guest Services Hotline at 201-559-1515.
One Car, One Spot Parking Policy
Tailgating is an exciting ritual on gameday and is permitted provided guests tailgate in the same space occupied by their vehicle. Please be courteous to your fellow fans — open parking spaces should not be used for tailgating. This season MetLife Stadium and the Jets will be actively monitoring all lots with additional security and patrols in bright green vests enforcing the One Car, One Spot policy.
Official Jets App
Take your gameday to the next level and download the official Jets App on your mobile phone for free! Get replays, roster and stats plus maps of the stadium and ability to report an issue. Visit www.newyorkjets.com/app to download.
When you sell tickets on NFL Ticket Exchange or forward them using Jets Account Manager, the original barcodes are canceled and new ones are issued immediately so there’s only one set of valid tickets available at a time. If someone tries to get in using the original tickets with canceled barcodes, we’ll flag your account and may suspend your selling and forwarding privileges while we investigate.This is part of our aggressive efforts to protect season ticket holders and other Jets fans from ticket fraud and provide a great gameday experience. Please don’t try to use your tickets or give them to friends or family after you’ve sold or forwarded them, and destroy them to make sure they don’t get lost or stolen.Remember : Once you sell or forward, shred 'em and forget 'em! For more information click here.
Take the Train to the Game
Whether you're coming from NYC, New Jersey, Rockland, Westchester, Long Island or even Connecticut, simply take transit to NYC Penn Station (transfer at Secaucus), Secaucus Junction or Hoboken Terminal. From these locations, connect to the Meadowlands Rail Line. The train station is located at the Train Gate, just steps from the stadium.Click here for more information.There are three trains from NYC Penn Station in the first 15 minutes of each hour to Secaucus Junction. If you miss the trains in the first 15 minutes of the hour, the next train will typically not be available for 45 minutes, which is the start of the next hour. The Hoboken train runs about every 10 minutes to the stadium. PATH trains at 34th Street–Herald Square run about every 10 minutes from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., then about every 20 minutes in the evening.
Note that the NJ Transit Schedule is subject to change. For more information click here.
Take the Bus to the Game
Another popular option is the Coach USA Bus Service, which offers the No. 351 direct bus service from the Port Authority Bus Terminal to the MetLife Sports Complex for all Jets home games. The 351 bus service will begin at 10 a.m. and will continue to run until 1:30 p.m. from Gate 207. The 351 bus line will be operational for 30 minutes after the conclusion of the game. Dropoff and pickup at the stadium is located near Parking Lot K, same as the 2011 season. A roundtrip ticket costs $10 and a one-way ticket is $5 (exact change is required).
For more information click here or call (800) 877-1888, Ext. 3.
Or park remotely
Need a place to park and don’t have a season parking pass? Two popular independently run parking alternatives are Secaucus Park & Ride and Murray Hill Parkway. Secaucus Park and Ride is located at 675 New County Rd. at Seaview Drive in Secaucus and costs $20 on Sunday, $28 on weeknights and $165 for 8 game passes — park your car, then hop on the NJ Transit train. Or use Murray Hill Parkway’s satellite parking, off of Paterson Plank Road and Union Avenue in East Rutherford. The parking lot opens four hours prior to kickoff and closes one hour after the game ends and costs $35/game, which includes parking and transportation. Tailgating is permitted. The bus dropoff/pickup location on the MetLife Sports Complex is located in Lot G near the Pepsi Gate. Click here for more information on both options.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PLAZA
Don’t forget, if you ever have a question, concern or comment about anything related to your game experience, look for a member of METLIFE STADIUM GUEST SERVICES or NEW YORK JETS CUSTOMER SERVICE who can either assist you on the spot or help you find someone who can.Leave plenty of time to get to the game and explore the Plaza, which opens at 11 a.m.
MetLife Central : Visit the reinvented MetLife Central on the west side of the stadium located through the new official MetLife Gate. Before coming to the stadium visit metlifecentral.com and sign up for the MetLife Countdown Card or download MetLife Pocket Pass app for Android and iPhone. If you don’t download before gameday, just pick up your card at the stadium or download on site! With the MetLife Countdown Card or Pocket Pass you will have an all-access pass to MetLife Central on gameday! Test your football skills on the MetLife turf field, be eligible to win once-in-a-lifetime prizes, greet Jets alumni and meet Snoopy. Be sure to visit MetLife Central so you don’t miss out on these exciting pregame experiences!
Verizon Corner : Visit the Verizon Studio all season long in the Verizon Corner to experience the latest devices and technology from Verizon and enter for a chance to win amazing Jets prizes. Did you get your free Jets T-shirt in the Verizon Studio yet this season? Bring the coupon you received with your season tickets and redeem your premium season ticket holder Jets Verizon T-shirt at the Verizon Studio on the 100-level concourse. Don’t forget to follow the Jets with FiOS Internet and NFL Mobile, only from Verizon!
Bud Light : Come listen to great music by The Replicants and DJ Prime from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Bud Light stage. Don’t forget to stop by the Bud Light Beer Garden to witness the preliminary round of the Bud Light Carne Asada tailgate cookoff contest. Contestants have a chance to win a trip to the Bud Light Hotel in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII.
Flight Crew : Check out the Flight Crew Cheerleaders from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. at the ESPN Radio tent, the large Toyota display right inside the MetLife Gate, and the Kumho Tires activation area and see the Show Team perform at the Verizon stage.
Broadcasting : Come listen to the ESPN New York 98.7 FM live pregame radio show with Don LaGreca and Greg Buttle beginning at 11 a.m. at the ESPN New York 98.7 FM stage located between the MetLife and Verizon Gates.
Jets Gear : Get the all new Nike jerseys and New Era caps at the Jets Shop Flagship Store adjacent to MetLife Central. The Jets Shop Item of the Week is the New Era 5950 Sideline Cap, originally $35, Sunday $30.
Home Food Advantage : This week’s Home Food Advantage Item of the Week is the Nachos Grande, originally $10, Sunday $7.50.
Toyota : Check out the Toyota vehicle displays on the plaza around the stadium for information on the vehicles displayed and free merchandise. Don’t miss members of the Flight Crew at the large Toyota display at the MetLife Gate at 11:30 a.m. and get a photo or autograph!
The Record : Be sure to visit The Record tent in Parking Lot F to purchase your Sunday paper and receive a collectable Jets player poster. This week’s player on the poster is Nick Mangold.
Super Bowl XLVIII : Look for the Super Bowl Host Committee in the parking lots who will be searching for volunteers for when MetLife Stadium hosts the 2014 Super Bowl! To read more on the big game, visit nynjsuperbowl.com.
Tailgaters : Grill out with Weber/Lobel’s as they make sandwiches to your liking near the Verizon Gate.
Tables & Chairs : Take a seat and enjoy the plaza with the green-colored tables and chairs scattered around.
Premio : Visit their trailer outside the Train Gate for some free sampling of Premio’s quality sausages.
~ ~ Sanchez must perform : Perhaps no starting quarterback in the NFL faces more pressure to perform in Week 1 than Mark Sanchez. His job security has been in question from the day the New York Jets traded for the popular Tim Tebow. Then Sanchez failed to lead the Jets to a single preseason touchdown. There is no way around it: Sanchez enters the season on a short leash. He must play well against the Buffalo Bills at home Sunday or questions will increase about his job security.
Statement for Jets' D : New York talked this offseason about the potential of having the best defense in the league. The Jets can go out and prove it Sunday against the Bills. New York -- particularly at cornerback -- has matched up well against Buffalo’s multi-receiver offense in recent seasons, winning five consecutive games in the series. The matchup between Pro Bowl corner Darrelle Revis and Bills No. 1 receiver Steve Johnson, if healthy, will be huge. Johnson has done well against Revis in the past but is nursing a groin injury. Johnson said he expects to play but is listed as questionable. Meanwhile, Revis will be motivated to start the season strong.
Fitzpatrick crossroads : Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick enters a pivotal year in his career. The Bills will go as far as Fitzpatrick takes them this season. He is one of the streakiest quarterbacks in the NFL. At his best, Fitzpatrick can get hot and beat any team. But at his worst, he's prone to multiple turnovers that are difficult to overcome. Fitzpatrick has worked on fundamentals and consistency, and he will need it on the road against the Jets' excellent defense.
After months of anticipation, the Jets open the fourth season of the Rex Ryan era Sunday against the Bills. The last time we saw them in a real game was New Year's Day, and they were fighting among themselves in Miami. The team hasn't changed much since then, but the attitude is better (so they tell us) and they have Tim Tebow as their backup quarterback/Wildcat quarterback/personal punt protector/publicity stunt. (Joe Namath made me add the last one.)
Here's a breakdown of Jets-Bills :
1. Where's Tim ? It wouldn't be a surprise if Tebow gets on the field for 18 to 20 snaps, counting offense and special teams. The most drama, of course, involves the Wildcat. They're capable of using Tebow in any number of ways, but they're counting on his running/improvisational ability to spark an offense that managed only one touchdown in the preseason. Look for Tebow in the red zone and in short-yardage situations, another bugaboo from the preseason. At times, QB Mark Sanchez will come off the field. They won't hesitate to let Tebow throw. If he gets a zero-coverage look -- no safety in the deep middle -- Tebow will let 'er rip.
2. Super Mario. RT Austin Howard makes his second career start. In his first start, a meaningless game for the Eagles in 2010, he had to block the Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware -- and he allowed two sacks. This time, he gets DE Mario Williams -- another killer. What's next, an oldtimer's matchup against Deacon Jones? There's a lot riding on Howard vs. Williams -- the game and GM Mike Tannenbaum's reputation as a talent evaluator. Howard might surprise. He's a powerful man and could neutralize Williams' bull rush. But Williams is remarkably quick off the ball for a 292-pound man and he will cause problems with his outside rush. Tony Sparano can't leave Howard on an island or it could wreck the game.
3. Marksman. The Jets, no doubt, will look to establish their ground game, but Sanchez can't ignore the Bills' young corners, Aaron Williams and rookie Stephon Gilmore. They like to play aggressive, press coverage, so it'll be critical for Santonio Holmes and rookie Stephen Hill to beat bump-and-run at the line. Sanchez will go after Gilmore, especially if it's a Gilmore-Holmes matchup. Gotta keep Holmes happy; they don't want a repeat of last season. If Sanchez gets time, he should be able to do some damage. In his last four games against the Bills, he has eight TD passes, only two INTs.
4. A return trip to the island. You think Darrelle Revis will be motivated for this game, or what? He'll see a lot of Stevie Johnson, who enhanced his reputation last season with two good, but hardly great games against Revis -- a total of 11 passes for 159 yards and one TD. The Jets say Revis won't be matched exclusively against Johnson, but we'll see. By far, he's their No. 1 threat in the passing game. It makes sense to put Revis on him and let everyone else key on RB Fred Jackson, the cog in the Bills' AFC-leading rushing attack.
5. The oh-no-huddle. The Jets expect to see the no-huddle from the Bills. Makes sense. In their first preseason game, the Bills went no-huddle and didn't run the ball for the entire first quarter. This poses two potential problems for the Jets, who struggled last season against no-huddle attacks: Obviously, conditioning could be an issue, especially in the September heat. Secondly, it could allow the Bills to exploit certain matchups, especially if they use Jackson and RB C.J. Spiller at the same time. Spiller, who has receiver-quality skills, can split out -- and that would be a real headache for the Jets, whose linebackers and safeties have trouble in space.
The Jets return from a lackluster '11 season with a Sparano-designed Tebow-centered Wildcat offensive option. For more coverage, visit :
ANALYST PREDICTION WINNER
Cimini JETS 20, BILLS 17
The Jets' Wildcat is better than the Bills' Wildcat, and they'll find a way to block Mario Williams.
O'Connor JETS 20, BILLS 17
This game has a chance to be really ugly. I'm not a big believer in Ryan Fitzpatrick, and I think the Jets defense will set up a big score off a turnover.
Youngmisuk JETS 17, BILLS 13
Forget about Tebow and the Wildcat. Rex's defense saves the day.
Darcy BILLS 17, JETS 9
Gang Green's ineptitude on offense will extend into the regular season. The defense will keep the Jets within striking distance, but that's about it -- perhaps the story of the entire season.
McManus BILLS 17, JETS 10
The Jets have looked frazzled in the offseason. Can the wildcat magically spur on their offense? Probably not in Week 1.
Smith JETS 21, BILLS 16
The home opener, Tebow-mania and their defense should propel the Jets to victory -- right before they lose three of the next four games.
Ruocco JETS 23, BILLS 13
The Jets defense is built to handle spread offenses more than most.
Max JETS 20, BILLS 14
Sanchez and Tebow will both account for TDs. The defense will sack Buffalo.
McEnroe JETS 23, BILLS 17
The Jets with play with a chip on the shoulder and Tebow will run it in from the red zone
Page JETS 15, BILLS 12
Touchdowns will be at a premium. Actually, they'll be non-existent.
Daughtry JETS 20, BILLS 17
There are too many unanswered questions on offense, but solid D will keep the Jets in the game and score for the win.
After being responsible for most of the playcalling on defense last year, coordinator Mike Pettine acknowledged that Rex Ryan will be more involved with those duties in 2012."We used the word collaboration and that's the way we do it. There are some opponents that I have a better feel for, that I'll do the bulk of it and vice versa. Sometimes it's during a game, we'll switch it in game, we'll always talk and have a plan for it," Pettine said. "I think that's the strength of what we do is that we have the ability to bounce calls off of each other. When the offense is up, almost have like a gameplan meeting over the headset. ... We bounce it back and forth and I think it's worked for us."After Ryan was responsible for the calls in his first two seasons with the Jets, he ceded the duties to Pettine last year. In the offseason, Ryan said he was going to be more involved with the all units of the team, including the defense and the playcalling. Pettine believes Ryan has been more involved with the offense and special teams so far than the defense.The coordinator added that calling the game is sometimes like being on autopilot as there are predetermined calls and it's just a matter of reading that play off a script. He added that the team didn't feel it had a broken system so they weren't looking for an overhaul."I think that's a little overblown," Pettine said of Ryan's involvement. "It's basically what it's been. It will depend on the opponents and sometimes it's in-game. Sometimes it's I'll take first or second down, he'll take third down or vice versa or 'Hey, it's a two minute, you take it.' We're ego free when it comes to that."
SCALE DOWN : As the Jets try to implement new players into their defensive system, particularly at safety, the team has scaled down some of their packages. Safeties LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell were signed this offseason while rookie Josh Bush is in the mix. Rookie defensive end Quinton Coples also will be seeing playing time in the trenches."I think a big part of what we wanted to do was get the new safeties acclimated and I think we've done a great job of that," Pettine said. "Between Dennis Thurman and Jimmy O'Neil, Brian Smith, I think they've put in a lot of extra time with those guys getting them up to speed, especially LaRon, who was not here and was rehabbing off site in the offseason. A credit to those players as well that they've put in the time. That to me was the biggest concern, getting those guys up to speed and we have a lot of things that have some moving parts."
REVIS-JOHNSON : Darrelle Revis will get his shot at Stevie Johnson after the Bills receiver caught 11 passes for 159 yards and one touchdown in two games against the Jets last year. Bell believes Revis will have revenge on his mind."As a competitor in this league, anytime anybody does something special and people make a big deal out of it, you want to go out and shut it down," Bell said. "As a player, we tend to take matchups as a personal challenge."
Bills QB/WR Brad Smith completed another day of practice coming off his groin injury and according to head coach Chan Gailey will be playing Sunday.“No question he’s ready to go,” said Gailey. “We were able to time up our Wildcat so he’s ready to go.”Smith is listed as probable for Sunday.
~ ~ Here is the final Week 1 injury report for the AFC East :
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets, 1 p.m. ET Sunday
Out: CB Ron Brooks (foot)
Questionable: WR Steve Johnson (groin)
Probable: G Kraig Urbik (back), WR Brad Smith (groin)
Out : S Eric Smith (hip, knee), OL Dennis Landolt (knee)
Questionable : DT Sione Pouha (low back), DT Mike Devito (calf), TE Dustin Keller (hamstring)
Probable : WR Chaz Schilens (ankle), WR Santonio Holmes (ribs), DE Ellis Lankster (quad), LB David Harris (ankle), S Josh Bush (concussion), LB Nick Bellore (shoulder), RB Joe McKnight (hamstring), WR Stephen Hill (calf), G Brandon Moore (hip), LB Bryan Thomas (ankle), S LaRon Landry (heel)
The questionable players are key. Steve Johnson says he will play through his groin injury Sunday. The Bills need Johnson badly, because he's their only proven receiver. For the Jets, Sione Pouha is most likely to sit with a bad back. Mike Devito and Dustin Keller are both expected to tough it out against the Bills.