The Buffalo Bills are feeling alright after winning another game to put them in a tie with the Patriots in the AFC East. The Bills and Pats haven’t played yet, so they are dead even at 5-2, with no team owning a tie breaker at the moment. The Patriots are going to pull away, right? They should, but the Patriots haven’t looked like their overly dominant selves this year. In other words, more than ever, the Pats look like they’re beatable.
The Bills improved on offense at the deadline, acquiring Kelvin Benjamin to give Tyrod Taylor a new toy. Benjamin has been useless for the Panthers since returning from his season ending knee injury a year ago. He has shown the ability to take over games, but that was before the injury. At a minimum, though, Benjamin will see more targets from Taylor in the Bills’ offense.
If Benjamin plays against the Jets on Thursday night, it’s going to be for select plays on a limited basis. He doesn’t have enough knowledge of the playbook to go through a complete game. I’m interested to see if he can revive his career in Buffalo, though. They haven’t had a major threat since Sammy Watkins left town. Watkins was always injured, so he wasn’t much of a threat sitting on the sidelines.
The Bills are coming off a big win over the Raiders at home on Sunday. Buffalo was able to take advantage of several Oakland mistakes, as they cruised for most of the afternoon to a 34-14 win. It wasn’t much of a game after the Raiders took a 7-0 lead. The Bills took control from there and didn’t fold up like you tended to see from them in the past.
Behind Tyrod Taylor’s steady hand, the Bills’ offense has been getting by better than expected. Following Watkins getting dealt and Boldin retiring, the Bills were left thin at receiver, something no one were expecting they could overcome. Here they are tied with the Patriots for 1st in the AFC East. Trap game for the Bills? Head below for our free Bills vs. Jets pick for Thursday night.
Buffalo Bills vs. N.Y. Jets Betting Odds:
vs. Jets +3.5(-115)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bills vs. Jets Pick:
Tyrod Taylor continued to lead against the Raiders. He passed for just 165 yards and a touchdown, but again, Taylor failed to throw an interception. Taylor also rushed for a touchdown. His ability to avoid making mistakes is the best part of his play on the field. He isn’t just a game manager, either. On the year, Tyrod has passed for 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions with a 63.8% completion percentage.
Come 2018, he will be set to get paid an extra $6 million a year if he keeps playing like this. The Bills will be left with a decision to make in the offseason. Considering the dumpster fires they had at quarterback years prior, letting him walk would be surprising. He’s the best QB they’ve had since Drew Bledsoe, and that was when Drew was in the twilight of his career.
He is doing it without many weapons at his disposal, either. This is of course if he maintains this level of play throughout the year. Tyrod will have a tricky matchup in Week 9 against the Jets. They may not put up stellar numbers, but they have been good in spots. Notably, the Jets played well against the Patriots and Falcons last week. The Falcons’ offense has been a bit out of it in 2017, but there are still ample weapons to shut down.
It’s a good thing that the Bills acquired Benjamin, because their receiving core took another blow last week. Their leading receiver, Jordan Matthews, will be absent for weeks with a broken thumb. Also, tight end Charles Clay who was becoming one of Taylor’s favorite target will be out again. Left are Zay Jones, Andre Holmes, and Philly Brown. LeSean McCoy will draw attention in the backfield, though. Other injuries to the Bills include cornerback EJ Gaines and Jordan Poyer.
The Bills didn’t need Gaines or Poyer this past Sunday, but on a short week, are all of these injuries going to catch up to the Bills? The Jets are 23rd in the league with 307.9 yards per game, which is a couple of spots above the Bills. You aren’t going to see a high-octane attack from Josh McCown and the Jets, but you might see them exploit a unit who spilled out a lot of energy against the Raiders. To answer the original question, this does look like a trap spot for the Bills. On a short week, I can see them getting too complacent after taking down the Raiders. Getting points on the Jets at home looks good.
PICK: JETS +3.5 (-115)