Buffalo (4-4) at NY Jets (5-3)
When: Thursday, November 12th 2015
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: NFL Network
The much-anticipated return of Rex Ryan to MetLife Stadium takes place Thursday night when his Buffalo Bills visit the New York Jets in a key AFC East matchup. Ryan was fired in December by New York and hired two weeks late by the Bills. Buffalo snapped a two-game losing streak last week when they came off a bye and beat Miami 33-17. Ryan was supposed to improve the Bills’ fourth ranked defense in 2014, but they rank 16th this year and surrendered 68 points in the two games prior to the bye week. Stingy against the run, yes, but 24th against the pass giving up 259.9 yards a game. LeSean McCoy came back in Week 9 after missing the previous game with hamstring issues and ran for 112 yards on 16 carries, but left the game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury. Karlos Williams stepped right in and rambled for 110 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor also came back after missing two games and went 11-for-12 for 181 yards and a scoring strike to Sammy Watkins. Speaking of Watkins, he too has missed some games due to injury, but exploded for 168 yards on 8 catches last Sunday. Buffalo outscored the Jets 81-26 in sweeping the season series in 2014.
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The New York Jets had the top ranked defense in the NFL going into their bye week, but in the four games since then, they’re allowing an average of 26.75 points a game. They still have the top ranked rush defense in the league allowing only 80.6 a game, but that is skewed a little bit by the fact the Patriots only ran the ball five times in Week 7. Ryan Fitzpatrick is leading an offense that has scored 20 or more points in five straight weeks. In the last four weeks, Fitzpatrick has thrown 4 touchdowns and zero interceptions and has an 89.3 QB rating on the season. The running game as slowed to a halt as Chris Ivory has been limited to just 43 yards on 38 carries in the last two games – a 1.1 average. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who has been slowed by an ankle injury, leads the team with 54 catches and 730 yards. He’s on pace for his best season since 2012 when he caught 118 with Chicago. Right now the Jets are the 5th seed if the playoffs started today and that’s as high as they can go unless New England totally collapses. A win today would keep them at least a game up on Oakland which is big since they lost to the Raiders already.
The Jets want to win this game more than any other this season outside of the Patriots contests. Fitzpatrick and Marshall are playing well and I believe Ivory will get back on track tonight and the Jets beat Rex and the Bills by at least a field goal. Buffalo has followed up every win this year with a loss.
Pick: Jets -2.5