I know that this is the point of reading through the first few lines of an article, that you the reader decides to commit to it and finish reading, or you start moving your mouse to the "X" button in the top right of the screen. Please, before you hit that "X", let me explain.
I know what all of you are thinking out there, "This guy has lost it" or "What a homer!" or even "You a %#*&@!" but I am serious with the statement I have made above.
Now I will explain how this upset will happen...
J.P. Losman Will Have a Breakout Day
For starters, the Buffalo Bills have quarterback J.P. Losman taking the snaps this weekend for the second game in a row.
Last weekend against the Miami Dolphins, Losman was terrible going 13 of 27 for 123 yards and an interception. This week however he is coming off two full weeks of practice as the starter and now has dusted that rust off, which ailed him against the ‘Fins.
Now this is the part of the article, that if you are still even reading, you look at what you just read and say, "Wow, he really is a %^#@!." I know how it may sound; saying that J.P. Losman is going to have a breakout game but that is what is going to happen.
He will be getting a little help from the Jets defense too.
The Jets are currently ranked fifth in the league with 35 sacks to their credit; but the pass rush of New York hasn't done much recently.
After going two consecutive weeks without registering a single sack, the Jets recorded two in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers this past weekend. Two sacks in three games is not very good for a defensive line.
To keep the sacks down in this game, the Bills will want to look at what Broncos QB Jay Cutler did to the Jets two weeks ago. Cutler rolled out to his right a lot during the game and he was barely pressured.
We all know up here in Buffalo, that JP doesn't exactly have the greatest pocket awareness and might even hold on to the football too long every now and then, but the Bills have to get him rolling out on passing plays.
Not only will it keep the sacks down and let JP see the field better, it will also give an agile quarterback like Losman, the option to also pick up yards using his legs.
Not only is a poor pass rushing line the problem with the Jets defense, but it seems as if they can't stop anyone passing the ball now-a-days.
49ers QB Shaun Hill came in last week and looked like the second coming of Joe Montana for that squad, throwing for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns. He completed passes to 10 different players!
Cutler also had himself a ball game, throwing for over 350 yards and throwing two touchdown passes of his own.
The biggest reason for this is the lack of coverage in the Jets secondary. Coming into this weekend's game, the Jets are letting quarterbacks come in and throw for 251.2 yards per game, which is second last in the entire National Football League. To put that into context, the only other team behind them in terms of passing defense is the 2-11 Seattle Seahawks.
The Jets have also averaged giving up 293.8 passing yards per game over their last four games.
Look for Bills wide receiver, Lee Evans (913 yards, 3 TDs, 70.2 yards per game) to be open deep down the field most of the game. Josh Reed (41 receptions, 454 yards, 1 TD) will continue to do what he does best, finding holes in the defensive zones and picking up first downs.
Also something you can't ignore is the success that Losman has already had against the New York Jets in his career, posting a career passer rating of 111.1 against the across the state team.
Pounding the Ball with Marshawn Lynch will be Effective (And is a Must)
On paper the Jets running defense looks unbreakable. They come into Sunday's game with the 4th best unit, only letting up 83.5 yards per game and they have only allowed one, 100 yard rusher this season.
They haven't look too sharp in the last couple weeks though.
Two weeks ago they were ran all over by Peyton Hillis, the rookie out of Arkansas, who went for 129 yards on 22 carries (5.86 yards a carry) and 1 touchdown. Last week they faced Frank Gore who had 52 yards on 14 carries before he left with an injury, right as he was starting to heat up.
This week, Lynch spoke for the first time with the Buffalo media, blaming himself for the Bills lack of a rushing attack. Do you think he will come out fired up?
The coaches have to come out and pound the football with Lynch.
They also received some good news with Jets nose tackle, Kris Jenkins being limited in practice all week due to a hip injury.
Though Jenkins is still expected to give it a go on Sunday, his number of snaps could be reduced due to the injury. The Bills goal should be to tire him out and make him leave the game early. You can accomplish that with riding on the shoulders of Marshawn Lynch. The Bills realize they need to win the time of possession battle.
Look for Lynch to get close to 100 yards in this one and a touchdown. When the Bills need to hold onto the football in the end of the game, look for them to turn to their feature back.
Bills Defense Clutch on 3rd Downs and in the Red Zone
The Jets are not only struggling on the defensive side of the ball, but they can't convert on 3rd downs, which plays into the Bills favor.
In the last two games, New York has converted just 4 of 21 attempts which is good for a 19% conversion rate.
On the other side of the football, the Bills as a unit have done a much better job of getting the other team's offense off the field. Currently, the Bills are ranked ninth in the league in 3rd down defense. Even with the loss last week, the Bills found a way to stop the Dolphins on third down, holding them to convert on just three of 13 chances (30%).
Also, in the red zone, the Jets are a team right in the middle of the pack in terms of scoring, while it seems (at least sometimes) that the Bills only play defense inside the red zone (the players must be using Old Spice).
Despite their struggles overall, the Bills rank forth in the league in red zone defense, holding opposing teams to a touchdown of percentage of under 43 percent.
They have allowed just 18 touchdowns this season inside the red zone on 42 opportunities!
The bend but don't break defense works here for Buffalo, as they hold opponents to a ton of field goal attempts (most of which they make, but hey, letting up three is better than getting beat for seven).
BILLS QUESTION MARKS
- Can the Bills stop 1,000 yard rusher Thomas Jones and keep him out of the end zone?
The Bills are 17th in the NFL, letting up a little over 110 yards a game on the ground per game. Stopping Jones is going to be a big priority in this one. Expect for Jones to reach the end zone at least once and get close to the 100 yard mark. Whether he passes it or not is up to the Bills defense.
- Can Buffalo stop rookie sensation, Dustin Keller?
The Bills will be playing a lot of zone in this game, like they do every week but eventually someone is going to have to cover Keller one on one. In zone, Keller will get open over the middle, where he is certainly not afraid to go. The role of stopping him will fall on safeties Donte Whitner and Bryan Scott. Both guys have gone up against some of the best in Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates this season. In the last meeting between these two teams, Keller was kept in check, having only two catches for 19 yards.
- Will Brett Favre be "back"?
The Bills are going against a future hall of famer in Favre, but he has struggled in the past few outings. The Jets managed just 17 and 14 points the past two games against the soft defenses of Denver and San Francisco. Favre did not throw a single touchdown pass during that two game span. Coming into this game, the Bills have the 11th best pass defense (203.1 yards per game) while also only allowing 21.2 points per game (13th). The last time these two teams met, Favre had 201 yards, and one interception.
- Can the Bills Corners Step Up?
The Jets have two reliable receivers in Laveranues Coles and Jericho Cotchery but corners Leodis McKelvin and Terrence McGee should be up to the task. McGee is one of the most underrated corner in the league while McKelvin has stepped up his game since entering the line up a few weeks ago. The rookie from Troy improves every week and this week shouldn't be any difference.
PREDICTION: Bills win a close one, 21-17 against a falling New York Jets team. The real surprise of this game will be the Bills defense and the play of J.P. Losman.
Feel free to comment below or send "hate mail" to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep it clean though.
Matt Schaefer is the host of "Bills Weekly" and "The Schaefer Show" on Youcastr.com. Check out this weekend's" Bills Countdown to Kickoff" at 12:15 PM (eastern) to get you ready for the game between the Bills and Jets.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!