NFL Thursday Night Preview: Buffalo vs. New York

buffalo-bills-quarterback-tyrod-taylorTonight at the MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford, New Jersey two teams will come together to kick off the NFL’s Week 10 kicks. It should be a good old fashion AFC East rivalry game for Thursday Night Football when all fans’ eyes should be on them.

The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets will play a huge game that has a storied rivalry, and should provide for all the drama a fan could could ask for. For the Bills, it’s an important game for ranking since they haven’t made the playoffs since 1999. Their recent slump might just keep that drought going in Buffalo. The Bills unfortunately lost three of their last five games, and because of it a possible wild card spot is slowly slipping out of their grip. They probably won’t win the AFC East, but if they win tonight and get back on the track, they can still grab a No. 5 or No. 6 seeding.

Defensively, the Bills have suffered and come in below expectations. They rank 16th overall in total defense and 24th in pass defense. Tonight will be the Bills’ first game in a three game road trip. If they can win tonight, it will set them up well to travel to face the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs next which is not going to be an easy task.

Another element to the story is that Rex Ryan in the past had some great years with the Jets, and even lead them to two AFC Championship games. But tonigt he’ll be on the opposite side.

Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor has played surprisingly well this year for the Bills. Taylor has 10 touchdowns and four interceptions this year. The best part of this is, he is finally healthy. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins has also played great when on the field. He will most likely be lined up with Darrelle Revis.

The Jets have played a good game recently, getting a nice win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 9 which ended their two game losing streak. The Jets are 5-3 and 1-1 in the division so they won’t be beaten easily. Even after losing Ryan, who is known as a defensive mastermind, the Jets still n paper have a better defensive unit than the Bills.

The Jets defense ranks fourth overall in yards against and No. 1 against the run in comparison to the Bills. If the Jets can give the Bills trouble, it will be at the line of scrimmage. That pressure will force Taylor to throw further and more often than he probably wants to, whch will result in turnovers, guaranteed.

New York’s Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker so far this season, have been a great wide receiver combination. Marshall creates a deep threat while Decker is setting up for first downs in the slot area. Both have a combined 11 touchdown catches this season. Surprisingly enough, Ryan Fitzpatrick has surpassed all expectations this season at quarterback position. In all honesty, Fitzpatrick has had about one really bad game this year. That happened against the Philadelphia Eagles where he threw three interceptions. If Fitzpatrick can remain on the upswing and manage to keep his game under control, the Jets should be fine and get the win against the Bills.

The experts are favoring the Jets, and probably have some good reasons to think so. But don’t count the Bills out because they really need to win this game badly. A loss tonight pretty much puts the post season out of their reach. And they know it, so does Rex Ryan. So you can expect the offense and defense to finally start playing better together at the right time, when it’s needed most. This is the Bills chance to show everyone what they’re capable of on prime time television. There will be a replay of this game in Week 17 in Buffalo, but the Bills need it more, so we’ll back Buffalo tonight, and so should the smart bettor.

Our Pick: Bills over Jets, 27-21