This Sunday, C.J. Spiller and the Buffalo Bills will take on Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills are coming off of three consecutive losses, the last coming in an exciting 38-30 loss to the New England Patriots.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick gave the Bills front office enough optimism after his performance to release former starter Trent Edwards earlier in the week, and he hopes to continue his strong play.
The Jets were the preseason favorites for the Super Bowl, and will be a very tough match up for a Buffalo team who has yet to find consistency on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
Through the first three games of the season, opposing teams have exploited the Buffalo Bills lack of ability to cover opposing tight ends. Anthony Fasano, Jermichael Finley, Aaron Hernandez, and Rob Gronkowski have combined for 16 catches for 247 yards and a touchdown against the Bills defense.
Chris Kelsay, who recently agreed to a four year, $24 million extension with the Bills, has been smoked by tight ends, and the Jets will most likely attack him with their own Dustin Keller.
Keller has had an outstanding season thus far, catching 15 passes for 226 yards to go with three touchdowns, and leads the Jets in all receiving categories.
Last week, the Bills made halftime adjustments that had safety Bryan Scott covering the tight ends, and he will most likely be expected to do so again on Sunday, given Kelsay's lack of speed and coverage ability.
In his first start of the season, Ryan Fitzpatrick played very well, passing for 247 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
He wasn't afraid of the long ball, and created plays with his legs when he needed to. However, the two interceptions were very costly, and he needs to limit his mistakes against a stingy Jets defense that thrives on creating turnovers.
With Fitzpatrick under center, five of the Bills receivers caught at least three passes. If Darrelle Revis can't play, Lee Evans will be matched up against Antonio Cromartie, who has been exploited by defenses this season, most recently with Miami Dolphins' Brandon Marshall's 10 reception, 166 yard performance on Sunday night.
The Bills turned to Marshawn Lynch to carry the majority of rushing attempts recently, and he has done so quite well. On the season, he has 33 carries for 156 yards, but has yet to find the end zone.
With reports circulating that the Bills are now fielding calls regarding possible trade offers for Lynch, we can expect to see the team show him off some more, and if he can have a good performance against the league's seventh ranked rush defense that has only allowed 61.7 yards per game on the ground, it might be the last we see of him in a Bills jersey.
Last week against the Patriots, he ran the ball hard and displayed a combination of strength and agility that was a sight for sore eyes.
Three games into the season, the Bills have yet to put significant pressure on an opposing quarterback. This was evident in Sunday's loss to the Patriots, as they allowed Tom Brady to consistently have ample time in the pocket to find open receivers, with Kyle Williams recording the team's only sack of the day.
The Jets have one of the strongest offensive lines in the National Football League, and they need to find a way to pressure Mark Sanchez into making bad decisions.
Last year, the Bills intercepted Sanchez six times in two meetings, five of them coming in one game.
This season, Sanchez has passed for 550 yards, throwing six touchdowns with no interceptions, and has shown an increased maturity from last season. If the Bills hope to win this game, they need to find a way to make him uncomfortable, and hit him whenever they can.
The Bills only have four sacks on the year, and that needs to change if they hope to earn their first victory of the year.
The Bills are again at the bottom of the league in rush defense, as they are ranked 27th, allowed 141 yards per game on the ground. The Jets are ranked ninth in rushing offense, with Shonn Greene and LaDanian Tomlinson gaining 132.7 yards per game.
Defensive end Marcus Stroud's status for the game is questionable, and rookie Alex Carrington may be making his first appearance of the regular season. That would be a significant blow to the Bills front seven, considering that inside linebacker Paul Posluszny is still battling injury.
LaDanian Tomlinson has gained 208 yards so far on the year, and is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, and has also been a threat in the receiving game, catching nine passes for 60 yards.
The Bills need to find a way to set the edge, and contain the Jets smash mouth ground game, and keep the defense off of the field.
Bills wide receiver Roscoe Parrish has had a resurgence this season, and is leading the bills in receiving, catching nine passes for 152 yards and a touchdown in his first three games.
He has been promoted to the No. 2 receiver on the Bills depth chart, and is playing the best football of his career. If Darrelle Revis doesn't play, he will be matched up with rookie cornerback Kyle Wilson, who has been beaten pretty badly by receiver this year, and still hasn't gotten his legs under him.
Steve Johnson had a great day against the Patriots and caught his first touchdown of the year, and now has nine catches for 137 yards and a touchdown on the year.
Johnson will be the No. 3 receiver, and Ryan Fitzpatrick should be able to find a way to get him the ball against a depleted Jets defense that may be without Revis and linebacker Calvin Pace.
Last week, rookie running back C.J. Spiller scored the first two touchdowns of his career, one being a five yard touchdown reception, and the other coming on a 95 yard kick return.
Spiller got off to a slow start in his first two games, and has gained only 38 yards on 12 carries, but has caught 11 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown.
The Bills really need any impact they can get from Spiller this week, and his speed will be crucial against the Jets defense.
He is still limited in the running game, but if he can break a few big gains as well as generating good field position on kick returns, he may see his reps increase.