Pregame notes: Jets-Bills
The National Football Post’s Matt Bowen breaks down his notes for tonight’s Thursday night matchup in Toronto between the Jets and the Bills.
T.O. and the game plan
Under Perry Fewell, the Bills are 1-1. But more importantly, Terrell Owens has started to show up in the box score. From my perspective, the combination of Fewell allowing the offense to take more chances down the field and the insertion of Ryan Fitzpatrick at the quarterback position has aided T.O.’s late-season run at wide receiver. But what about tonight? In Owens’ last two games, he has caught 14 passes for 283 yards and 2 TDs. However, the Jets are a pressure team, and beyond the 3-step fade route, deep routes don’t have time to develop against pressure teams. Add in the fact that Darrelle Revis will have some one-on-one matchups against Owens, look for the receiver to have a mediocre night in Toronto—as our own fantasy expert, Joe Fortenbaugh, wrote earlier today.
The Jets vs. the Bills front seven
New York is resigned to the fact that Mark Sanchez has to be monitored in terms of how many passes he throws within the Jets’ offensive system, and against the Bills front seven, don’t expect this to change considering that the Bills rank dead last in stopping the run—giving up over 165 yards a game. Look for Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene to get multiple touches in the run game and for the Jets to take their chances down the field when they have opportunities off of the play-action game.
Protect the Ball
One thing when playing the Bills and their Tampa 2 defense is avoiding the turnovers that keep them in the game. Buffalo has 21 interceptions on the season, and part of game- planning the Bills is protecting the ball in the intermediate passing game. Sanchez has thrown just two TDs compared to seven INTs in his last three starts—and the last thing the Jets want to do is give the Bills a short field to work with and an easy scoring opportunity. Sanchez has thrown 17 picks on the season, and for the Jets to stay in the wild-card discussion, protecting the ball and putting the game plan into the hands of Thomas Jones is the best way to approach the game for New York.
The Jets have to view this game as a season ender. Win, and stay alive for that final wild card spot, or lose, and get ready to see some major roster changes on the horizon. Desperate teams can be dangerous, and because of that, don’t be surprised to see Rex Ryan turn up the heat and do everything in his power to dictate the flow of the game to Buffalo. The last thing you want as a New York Jet is to have to win this game in the fourth quarter. Put the Bills away and grind out the clock with the running game in the fourth quarter to get back to .500 with four games to go—when anything can happen.
No home-field advantage
The game tonight is in Toronto—inside—and a far cry from the shores of Lake Erie and Ralph Wilson Stadium. By the Bills taking the money and heading to Toronto, they lose a major advantage playing a home game outside of The Ralph—where the wind and the weather can always play to Buffalo’s advantage. Although there will be plenty of Bills fans in attendance tonight, the Jets can approach this game as playing Buffalo at a neutral site—which works to their advantage.
Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41
While the Jets may be scaling back Mark Sanchez, this Bleacher Report article discusses the need for the Bengals to unleash Carson Palmer.