Week 9 starts off with an AFC East showdown between the 5-2 Buffalo Bills and the 3-5 New York Jets on Thursday Night Football. The Bills are coming off two straight wins against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders, while the New York Jets are coming off two straight losses to the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons. Here’s what to look for in tonight’s game…
1. LeSean McCoy vs. Jets Run Defense
Shady is coming off a game in which he rushed for 151 rushing yards and scored a TD. Look for Shady to have a similar performance against a Jets defense that ranks 27th in rushing yards per game allowed (128.3). In their last encounter, McCoy ran for 110 yards on 22 carries, so the Jets will need to prevent him from reaching 100 yards in order to come away with a victory at MetLife Stadium.
2. Josh McCown vs. Bills Defense
Josh McCown has looked solid this season tossing 12 TD passes, but throwing 7 INTs as well. In their last encounter, McCown threw for only 187 yards and 2 INTs against the Jets defense. He knows this defense now and will need to make smart decisions in order to win this divisional game. This matchup is favorable since the Bills rank 29th in passing yards per game allowed (266.4) but ranks 3rd against the run (80.1 yards/game allowed). If McCown holds onto the ball, then the Jets will have a shot at winning the game.
3. Impact of injuries on Jets Defense
The Jets defense ranks in the bottom half of the league starting with 26th in yards per game allowed (361.4) and 20th in passing yards per game allowed (233.1) Both Muhammad Wilkerson and Morris Claiborne, starters on the Jets defense, are listed as questionable for Thursday Night and have not practiced all week making it unlikely that they play. If they can’t suit up than the Jets will have to go with Xavier Cooper or Kony Ealy, while Daryl Roberts will have to fill in for Claiborne.
4. Micah Hyde
Micah Hyde currently leads the league in interceptions with 5 picks and is certainly the ballhawk on this Buffalo defense. In the first game against the Jets, he picked McCown off late in the 4th quarter to seal the victory for the Bills. Look for Hyde to try and add another interception to his name and continue to be active in the Bills secondary.
Bold Prediction: LeSean McCoy rushes for more yards than Josh McCown’s passing yardage.