Finally, a Thursday night match-up loaded with intrigue and fun storylines as Rex Ryan takes his 4-4 Buffalo Bills into New York to do battle with his old Jets squad. After an ugly loss in England, the Bills have rebounded and got the attention of the league last week in a dismantling of the rival Dolphins. With Tyrod Taylor back under centre, this is clearly a different football team, perhaps even the playoff one many suggested they were at the outset of the season. They’ll be looking to keep the momentum going on Thursday night against a Jets team that has struggled in recent weeks. For New York, their recent play the past couple of weeks has to be alarming. Last week they narrowly squeaked by the lowly Jaguars, while the week before they were destroyed by Oakland. It seems as if the rest of the league is catching up to the Jets, but can they hold off on the charging Bills for another week in the AFC East? Read on below to find out, with a detailed game breakdown and the official selection for the first game of Week 10.
Bills vs. Jets Betting Odds:
Buffalo Bills +3 (-120)
@ New York Jets -3 (+100)
Over 43 (-110)
Under 43 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bills vs. Jets Pick:
Aside from Rex Ryan returning to New York, another huge storyline is the current health of Jets’ starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. It had been announced that he’d need quick surgery on his thumb following last game, and you have to wonder how effective he’ll be on his throws against the Bills’ defense. Even though the Jets did have success throwing against the Jaguars secondary, it’s not going to come easy on Thursday night against Buffalo’s.
Making matters worse is the fact that it looks like key Jets centre Nick Mangold could be very limited for this clash. Already hurt, Mangold played last week but was forced out of the game early. With a short turnaround it seems unlikely that he’d be able to suit up at 100 percent on Thursday vs. Buffalo. If that’s the case the Jets will struggle moving the football. He’s a force on New York’s offensive line, often moving people at will. Look for the rushing attack to suffer along with Chris Ivory’s statistics. Ivory hasn’t rushed for more than 2.4 yards per carry in any of his past three games, and without Mangold it’s hard to see that figure improving. Even if Mangold does play, he’s clearly ailing and like Fitzpatrick, you have to wonder about his effectiveness going forward.
With the Jets offense facing all kinds of questions, the same is not true in upstate New York with the Bills. Tyrod Taylor is back healthy and has this offense clicking. He was precise vs. the Dolphins, and now has the luxury of taking on a New York secondary with some injuries to contend with. It’s believed that Antonio Cromartie will be out of this game for Jets, opening things up for Buffalo’s talented wideouts. It also seems like LeSean McCoy will suit up as well for Buffalo after getting injured in Week 9. The Jets are stout vs. the run, but the duo of McCoy and Karlos Williams should be able to produce some big plays.
I lean toward the Bills in a tight, back-and-forth affair. The Bills enter as the better of the two teams right now and are finally playing to their potential. You can bet Rex Ryan will have his team fired up for this one, and with the Jets current injury situation it’s hard to back them given all of the uncertainty. Look for the Bills’ improved offense to be able to make key plays through the air, en route to a victory on Thursday night.
PICK = Bills +3 (-120)