Top 3 Individual Matchups
1 – Aaron Williams vs. Santonio Holmes –Williams starts at LCB in place of Terrence McGee and draws the assignment of Holmes, who is second on the team with four touchdown receptions. He also has a touchdown catch in each of his last two games against Buffalo. Fortunately Williams got a lot of time last week in his first game since Week 3.
2 – Kraig Urbik vs. Sione Pouha –Pouha was a menace in the first meeting with the Jets as he dominated the line of scrimmage, led the Jets in tackles with seven and forced a fumble. The New York nose tackle sets the tone and Urbik will need to have his nasty on to match Pouha's physical game.
3 – Stevie Johnson vs. Darrelle Revis –Johnson posted the longest pass play against Revis all season in the first matchup (52 yards). The Bills top wideout is far from 100 percent healthy, but has a knack for turning in a few plays against the Jets perennial Pro Bowl corner.
Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good Advantage – Run defense –Buffalo's run defense hasn't been great, but it was better last week against the Dolphins as they allowed just 2.7 per carry. The Jets are likely to be without LaDainian Tomlinson and New York is fewer than 100 rushing yards per game (96.6).
Best Advantage – Takeaways –The Bills lost the turnover battle in the first matchup, but the Jets are tied for the third most giveaways in the league with 20, matching the number of takeaways by Buffalo this season. Buffalo only has a pair of takeaways in their last three games, but they had past success against Mark Sanchez and company.
Bills Number 1 Must
Ball control –Buffalo's passing attack has been out of sync the past three weeks. An effective run game could help take the pressure off of Ryan Fitzpatrick and allow him to rely on play action a bit more than he's been able to the past few weeks. This task won't be easy however, without Fred Jackson.
McKnight steps forwardThe Jets have been without LaDainian Tomlinson the past couple of weeks due to a sprained MCL. Last week Joe McKnight filled in as the complementary back to starter Shonn Greene and soon found himself in the feature role when Greene left last week's game with a rib injury. McKnight produced rolling up 121 all-purpose yards even though the Jets came up short last week against Denver. McKnight also had a career-high 158 yards on 32 carries in last year's season finale against the Bills.
Affecting the passerThe Jets might not lead the league in sacks (they rank 22nd with 19), but they have been effective in disrupting the rhythm of opposing quarterbacks. Their pass rush has helped their coverage enough where New York ranks second in the league in opposing passer rating (66.8). They're also fourth in the league in opponents' completion percentage (54.4%). Ryan Fitzpatrick's completion percentage over the past three games? It's 54.4% (55-101).
Jets pass Bills in red zoneAll season long the Bills were among the top three offenses in the league in red zone touchdown percentage. In the past three weeks Buffalo has slipped to ninth in the league, while the Jets have vaulted themselves into the top five. New York now ranks fourth in the NFL and third in the AFC in red zone touchdown percentage. They've reached the end zone on more than 61 percent of their red zone possessions (19-31).
Kick return stalwartsThe Jets have not missed former kick returner Brad Smith, who signed with the Bills in free agency this past offseason. New York is tops in the league in kick return giving their offense an average drive start of their own 27.5-yard line. That's about six yards better than the league average. Primary kick returner Joe McKnight leads the league with a 36.1 kick return average.
Points tough earlyThe Jets are only outscoring their opponents by 11 points total this season, but they have an edge on their opponents this year in the second, third and fourth quarters this year. In the first quarter however, New York is being outscored by almost a 2:1 margin. Rex Ryan's defense has allowed 60 first quarter points this season, while their offense has managed just 33. Mark Sanchez and company have just four touchdowns in the first quarter this season as their point production in the opening stanza (33 points) this year ranks just 20th in the league.
StreakersThe Bills had a three-game win streak early and now have a three-game losing streak. In between however, Buffalo traded some wins and losses. Not so with the Jets. New York opened the season with two straight victories, then lost three in a row. That was followed by three consecutive wins and then most recently two straight defeats. Not certain what that means for this Sunday, but trading wins and losses in consecutive weeks has not been a common occurrence.
Quote of the Week"Those are blue whale shoes to fill. He's one of the best doing it in the league right now, but the season is not over. We lost a great player, but the season is not over. I've got to elevate my game to where Fred's was at. I'll be prepared."
--RB C.J. Spiller on replacing Fred Jackson
Stat of the WeekOver the last five years Buffalo has a record of 6-2 coming off of three straight losses.
Milestones in reachNick Barnett needs one interception to match a person single-season best (3, 2003).
Ryan Fitzpatrick needs two touchdown passes to join Jim Kelly, Joe Ferguson, Jack Kemp and Drew Bledsoe as the fifth Bill with 50 career TD passes.
Stevie Johnson needs four receptions to post his second straight 50-catch season.
Final NoteJairus Byrd has four interceptions in five career games against the Jets.