Sunday, September 22, 2013

Four Point Stance: Bills at Jets


Must-win situations don't exist in Week 3. But the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets' divisional bout is as close as it gets, as the loser will fall to 1-2 and 0-2 in the division. That's not back-breaking, but with the New England Patriots at 2-0 with games in hand over both teams and the Miami Dolphins also unbeaten, neither the Jets nor the Bills can afford to fall too far behind early.

Sunday afternoon's contest is chock full of storylines: the first two quarterbacks taken in the draft dueling it out, Rex Ryan taking on his protege in Mike Pettine, the smack talk between locker rooms, etc. But as Ryan and Pettine repeated throughout the week, the game will be decided squarely by execution on the field, not the sidelines. (photo: Matt Britt, Flickr)


Rex and rooks. As the Jets' head coach, Ryan boats a 5-2 record against rookie quarterbacks. He'll look to make good on that trend Sunday the same way he's done it in the past: throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the youngster and see how he responds. The Jets gave Tom Brady hell in Week 2, so they're certainly tuned up for a less experienced E.J. Manuel. Gang Green is allowing a league-low 48 percent of passes to be completed against them.

Spill your guts. C.J. Spiller amassed more than 300 yards in two games against the Jets last year, and Buffalo will lean on him now more than ever. Manuel is throwing more than half of his passes to his tailbacks and tight end, and he'll do the same against an extremely aggressive defense that will try to bait him into costly mistakes. Spiller and Fred Jackson will continue to be Manuel's crutch.

Chess match. The Ryan-Pettine dynamic has been well-documented, and it will finally be on display Sunday afternoon. Both coaches downplayed the role they played in preparing their respective offenses for each other's defenses, but some of that will come into play. Keep in mind, both offenses see a variation the same defense every day in practice.

Hanging tough. Geno Smith doesn't have the best-looking stat line through two games, but he's shown a lot of toughness hanging in the pocket and delivering some nice throws despite taking big hits. Buffalo's defensive front, led by Mario Williams, will fiercely attack an offensive line that has already given up nine sacks. Smith will need to keep his head on straight throughout.
A week in Bills and Jets posts at

Week 3 AFC East game picks: Bills at Jets

Holmes impressed with Geno's delivery taking hits

Injury report: Byrd questionable, Jets healthier

E.J. Manuel looking to hush Jets' crowd early

Pettine: It's Bills vs. Jets, not me vs. Rex

Stevie Johnson: 'I like our guys over theirs'

Web-wide AFC East power rankings: Week 3

Aqib Talib says Nick Mangold's hit wasn't dirty

Vet Spiller hopes rookies don't get complacent

Richardson tells Manuel Jets 'are after him'

Geno Smith still believes in his receivers

Wood: Willful drop 'shows type of dude Fred is'

Jets swap Malone for training camper Quigley

Mario Williams capitalizes on third down

Report: No suspensions for Jets-Pats scuffle

Stevie: E.J. 'locked in' on game-winning drive

Dan Carpenter redeems himself in a big way

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