Let the record show it took every ounce of willpower not to put “vs. New Jersey Jets” in the title of this post. I realize that our AFC rival the Jets represent New York but let’s be honest here Bills fans, there’s only one New York football team, only one team that plays in this great state. It’s not the 1-6 Giants and it’s not the 3-5 Jets. It’s the 5-2 Buffalo Bills, the surprise team for a lot of people in the first half of the season. Have you jumped on the bandwagon yet? Approach with caution, there has been multiple reports of buffalo circling it.
SHORT WEEK ALERT! If you’re a fan who enjoys reading a plethora of columns/blogs you’re probably going to see that a lot this week. “Short week!” or “Quick turnaround here!” That win against the Raiders was a big one we now hold the tie breaker over a team that will most likely be in the wildcard hunt at the end of the year. However, it’s now time to reload and refocus as the Buffalo Bills travel down to New Jersey for some Thursday Night Football. Who are the players to watch on this short week? Well friends, that’s why I’m here. Buckle up, we’re Jersey bound!
Some may argue against this one as he certainly has not been the reason they’ve strung together these wins to start the season, however, any time there is a player touching the ball every play on the offensive side, I think it’s fair to say he’s a player to watch. (If only because you’re kind of forced to.) This past Sunday Tyrod completed 20 of 27 passes for 165 yards. For those of you who don’t have a calculator handy that’s a whopping 8.25 yards per completion. That’s absurdly low but hey, a wins a win, the weather was atrocious and Tyrod is a guy that doesn’t turn the ball over with careless deep balls or gun slinging it into triple coverage. Many fans are frustrated with the guy but he’s a fine manager of the game. He’s not going to lose it for you. The Bills are currently leading the league with a turnover ratio of +14. Yes, the defense deserves a lot of praise for this, but if we had a more turnover happy quarterback in our backfield, that number wouldn’t be nearly as high. Remember EJ Manuel? Remember his game against Jacksonville in London a couple years ago? *shudders* alright, moving on…
Where’s Buffalo’s pass rush been? They failed to sack Derek Carr this past Sunday after only taking down Jameis Winston once the week prior. Though Buffalo’s defense should be proud with their play right now it’s a bit concerning how little pass rush there has been in the past couple weeks. The Bills have 13 sacks on the season. Six of those came in the Carolina game. Jerry Hughes leads the team in sacks with three so I’m looking at him to turn this around as their most pure pass rusher and really cause some havoc in that Jets backfield under the bright lights of Thursday Night Football.
This is basically the same thought process as Tyrod being a player to watch. This is a quarterback driven league and you can make an argument that all eyes will be on them any given week. McCown has a lot of heart and it’s clear the Jets aren’t rolling over for anyone this year. They have kept it close with just about every team they’ve played. This is not a guaranteed win for Buffalo and McCown will be there to remind them of that. Their first meeting in week one McCown threw the ball 39 times. While in my opinion that might be a tad too much for the journeymen veteran, he obviously will have his presence felt in this game. If McCown can jump out early with a passing touchdown, it will go a long way in gaining confidence for the Jets team in this primetime matchup.
Alright, I’m going to level with you on this one. I actually had to look up this young man’s name. I knew in week one Tyrod threw an interception to a Jets secondary player but his name escaped me. He appears to be a second string cornerback playing behind Buster Skrine. I picked Justin because he was Tyrod’s lone blunder in that week one game. Granted, the interception was made possible by deflecting off the Bills tight end Charles Clay however, what Burris did with it after is the true noteworthy point. Burris returned the pick for 48 yards and was only brought down when he bumped into his own player. Maybe there is some sort of luck or good fortune when Burris plays the Bills? Keep an eye on him this week as I’m sure he’s looking for a repeat of his performance, especially on a nationally broadcasted game like this.
What do you say Bills fans? Anyone else on either side you’re going to keep an eye on? Obviously this is a team sport and there are plenty to speculate on having a great game. The teams have to play as a unit to be successful. There really isn’t any wrong answer on this. I want your opinions, if for nothing else but to help me make millions in a daily fantasy contest! Comment below and enjoy your one and only prime time game of the year. Follow me on twitter and give me the skinny over there as well! @bblehar