By Rich Forestano
Jets Staff Writer
October 31st, 2008
Bills QB Trent Edwards had his way with the Jets last year as they swept both games.
Bills QB Trent Edwards had his way with the Jets last year as they swept both games.
Well...this is the game. This is the game that will show whether or not the Jets have what it takes to make a run at this division or wild card spot. Gang Green faces the Buffalo Bills this Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium and has a long game to play if they perform the way they did against the Kansas City Chiefs. However with the Bills coming off a huge loss against the Dolphins, the Jets may be poised to kick them while they’re down.

At the start of the season, “experts” would say that this was going to be a two-team race between New England and the Jets (mostly because of Favre). As of this week, the Bills are in a first place tie with the Patriots (NE gets top spot due to tiebreaker) and Jets right on there collective tails. The Bills have been the surprise of the AFC this year. When S Donte Whitner predicted that the Bills would go 10-6 and a playoff spot everyone did a double take. Many have said that it’s just a matter of time for the Bills to slip up. Others say different.

“They are no fluke,” QB Brett Favre said. “It will be a difficult game for us, no doubt about it. It has been in the past. I had gone to Buffalo numerous times and it's a hostile environment.”

Hostile indeed! The crowd can be pretty tormenting to opposing offenses and defenses. The Jets will have to attack early and often to keep them quiet if they want a chance to gain some ground in the AFC East. The home crowd gets the Bills amped up, especially against division rivals.

But the Jets are no slackers either. They’re ranked fourth against the run which could aide them in stopping the run-first Bills and make its QB Trent Edwards beat them. But don’t forget that he has WR Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish to throw to.

“Defensively, it is a high-motor team,” head coach Eric Mangini said. “It’s an intense team. They get a lot of people to the ball. They do a good job of stopping the run. They’ve created the fourth-most negative plays for anybody in the NFL. They are creating those a lot of different ways.”

The Jets definitely have a handful to stop this Sunday. RB Marshawn Lynch is as threatening as a running back can be (he has six rushing touchdowns and 24 receptions) and Evans is sixth in the league in receiving.

“On offense they have been doing well,” DE Kenyon Coleman said. “They have a pretty good offensive line. They have a good running back (Marshawn Lynch) and their quarterback (Trent Edwards) has been playing well. It’s going to be a challenge.”

The Matchups

Jets “O” vs. Bills “D”

Lets see. The Jets are ranked 15th in passing and the Bills are ranked 13th against the pass. It’s kind of even here but with Coles, Cotchery and Baker limited in practice so far this week; it’d be interesting to see how Favre responds if he doesn’t have his go to target (Cotchery) to look for. But it’d be hard to imagine Cotchery not playing. The run defense of the Bills is full of tank-sized lineman in DT Marcus Stroud and Kyle Williams to name a few. But Aaron Schobel hasn’t practiced all week due to a foot injury. However, the secondary of the Bills has some of the best young talent in the league in CB Terence McGee, Leodis McKelvin, Donte Whitner and Jabari Greer.

Edge: Even until further notice

Jets “D” vs. Bills “O”

Again, dicey as well. WR Josh Reed has been out with an ankle injury but expect RB Marshawn Lynch to create serious problems if NT Kris Jenkins decides to have an off game on Sunday. Jets LB David Harris has not practiced this week due to a groin injury and his playmaking ability is CRUCIAL on Gang Green’s defense. Also, S Eric Smith has been out with what’s called a “head” injury. Could the lingering affects of the concussion be hindering his performance? We’ll see in a few days.

Edge: Bills

Prediction:With the way these two teams played last week, this game could go either way if one team gets hot real early. But I think Lynch and WR Lee Evans may be too much for the Green and White to handle.

Bills 28 Jets 14

Game time is at 1PM local time on CBS TV. Local radio is on 1050 AM ESPN and 103.9 WRCN Long Island. Be sure to log on to JI after the game for a complete recap!


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