BUFFALO BILLS (5-2)
at NEW YORK JETS (3-5)
MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ
Kickoff: Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET
Line: Buffalo -3.0, Total: 43.0
The Bills will be trying to improve to an impressive 6-2 with a Thursday Night Football victory over the Jets.
Buffalo has shocked a lot of people with a 5-2 start to the season, and the team is red-hot coming into this one. The Bills have won four of their past five heading into Thursday, but the wins have been quite unexpected as well. Buffalo defeated Denver, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Oakland in those four games. All four of those teams had playoff aspirations heading into the season, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Bills are able to build on this start. They should feel pretty confident in their ability to beat a mediocre Jets team, but New York will give Buffalo everything it has. The Jets have been very competitive this season and they have now covered in five of their past six. The one non-cover also happened to be a push, so New York will definitely be an interesting play in this one. The last time these teams met in MetLife Stadium, the Jets won 30-10 as four-point underdogs. The Bills have, however, won-and-covered in three of the past five games played between these teams. One trend that stands out when looking at this game is the fact that the Jets are 19-6 ATS in home games off a home loss since 1992. CB Morris Claiborne (Foot) is, however, questionable for the Jets in this game, which could be an important factor in this one. He has been solid for New York and the team will miss him here.
After a slow start to the season, RB LeSean McCoy has seemingly found his footing for the Bills. Over the past two weeks, McCoy has rushed for 242 yards and three touchdowns for Buffalo. He also caught 11 passes for 53 yards in those games. He has been incredibly hard for opposing teams to deal with and he should be able to get it going against New York here. He will, however, need QB Tyrod Taylor to get the passing game going in this one. If Taylor is not throwing the ball well for the Bills then the Jets will be able to load the box and focus only on stopping McCoy. Taylor has been solid for Buffalo lately, but he really does not have many weapons to work with. WR Jordan Matthews is probably his best option, but Matthews has dealt with injuries all season and was new to the team to begin with. That has made it hard for him to get incorporated in the offense. With that being the case, Taylor must spread the ball around and just take what the defense gives him. It’ll be interesting to see if WR Kelvin Benjamin plays, as the Bills acquired him late on Tuesday. As for Buffalo’s defense, getting pressure on McCown will be key here. He has been great for the Jets this season, but he mostly does his best work in a clean pocket. The Bills can make it tough on him by forcing him to rush throws.
The Jets have lost two straight games, but they were competitive in both of them. Those games came against the Patriots and Falcons, so the Jets should be proud of the way they played. They now have a much more winnable game against a Bills team that has played well this season. New York will need to be ready to defend the run in this one, as McCoy and Taylor are both explosive out of the backfield. If the two of them are both having their way on the ground then the Jets will have pretty much no chance. They will also need a solid performance out of QB Josh McCown in this one. The 38-year-old has been great for New York recently, as he has thrown for nine touchdowns and only four picks over the past four contests. The Jets have looked explosive on offense, which is not something that could be said for the team last year. New York could also, however, use a good game from the rushing attack here. That means that RB Bilal Powell will need to be effective in this one.