Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gameday Deciding Factors: Jets at Bills


It's hard to know exactly what this game means to New York Jets (6-9) and Buffalo Bills (10-5) coaches and players. Pride? A last-gasp effort to prove worth before getting fired? Just staying healthy?

No matter how you slice it, both teams look to put their respective tumultuous seasons to rest. The Jets blew out the Bills 48-28 in Week 1, but a 17-week gap and lots of misery in between makes this one anyone's guess. (photo: Matt Britt, Flickr)


Monday looming. We can talk about the game, but fans, media and members of the organizations themselves are mainly wondering who will be issued pink slips in less than 24 hours. Both teams are expected to make some major changes with players, coaches, and front-office personnel alike. Among a handful of other moves, Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum is expected to be demoted, and Bills coach Chan Gailey is a likely candidate to be looking for a job this week.

Turnover clinic. Buffalo turned the ball over four times against the Jets earlier this season, thanks mostly to three interceptions from Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitz got a couple touchdowns in garbage minutes last time around, but New York has been pretty good against a 30-year old journeyman who could very well be on another journey in the coming weeks. (Photo: Matt Britt: Flickr)

Sanchize Quarterbackup. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez had his best day of the year in that Week 1 AFC East contest, throwing three touchdowns and completing just over 70 percent of his passes. But a deteriorating surrounding cast and crumbing confidence put Sanchez on a downhill spiral since, and he's now only getting the start this week because Greg McElroy, who got the nod last week, is out with a concussion. It's too late to salvage anything, but Sanchez could use a little pick-me-up before the season commences.

Spiller/Greene. Bills tailback C.J. Spiller amassed 169 yards and a touchdown on the ground Week 1 against the Jets. All it took was Spiller to get level with the Jets' linebackers on a pair of long runs, and it was over. Rex Ryan's defensive squad will try to not be humiliated with such plays, which it has been susceptible to this year (see Chris Johnson two weeks ago). Meanwhile, Jets tailback Shonn Greene looks to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight season. He needs just 11 yards to do so. Spiller has 1,185 despite being limited because of Fred Jackson's presence.
A week in Bills and Jets posts at

Around-the-Web AFC East power rankings: Week 17

Bills' Chopping Block Trio: Gailey, Fitzpatrick, Nix

That. Just. Happened. McElroy out, Sanchez to start

Quick take on AFC East's 2013 Pro Bowl selections

Lineman Levitre has been 'Steady Eddie' for Bills

Fitzpatrick: Hard to block out 'uncertainty in the air'

Wilkerson's stellar season may be over a week early

Edwards: Don't assume sack debacle is all OL's fault