NFL Picks Week 12: Buffalo Bills Won't Pile More Misery on New York Jets
Last Thursday, the New York Jets unforgivably lost to Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. The loss all but shut the door on their playoff hopes and possibly made Rex Ryan's guarantee of a Super Bowl victory seem like a big joke.
As if the embarrassing New England Patriots loss wasn't enough, getting Tebowed only added to the misery as the nation's love affair with the angel named Tim skyrocketed to annoyance.
On Sunday, the Jets may have caught a break as they face off against the struggling, injury-riddled Buffalo Bills in New Jersey.
Fred Jackson Is Not Playing
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Fred Jackson, the Bills' No.1 offensive weapon, was ruled out for the Jets' game on Wednesday with a leg injury.
Jackson ranks third in the league in rushing with 934 yards and second in the league in total yards with 1,376 yards.
He accounts for 40 percent of the Bills' offense.
With Jackson out, disappointing first-round pick C.J. Spiller will step in.
The Jets' defense has been solid stopping the run as of late. While they did give up 125 rushing yards to Denver, it took the Broncos six different players to get to that total. Denver also averages 155 yards per game.
In the three previous games before Denver, the Jets held each of their opponents under 100 yards rushing.
Ryan Fitzpatrick's Poor Play
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Before the Bills' last game against the Jets, Ryan Fitzpatrick was playing the best football of his career. The Bills were 5-2 and Fitzpatrick was averaging 248 passing yards, two TDs and one INT per game.
In the Week 8 Jets game, Fitzpatrick threw for 191 yards, one TD and two INTs.
In the two games since playing the Jets, Fitzpatrick threw five interceptions and only one TD in losses to the Cowboys and Dolphins.
Fitzpatrick's QB rating in those games were 46.6 and 45.8.
The Jets should be able to pressure Fitzpatrick even more now that he's without his favorite target.
Joe McKnight Makeover
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When the underachieving Shonn Greene went out of the Broncos game with a ribs injury after rushing for just 10 yards, Joe McKnight was given his chance.
McKnight seized the opportunity and provided a spark to both the running and passing game gaining 121 yards, 59 rushing and 62 receiving.
Greene has since recovered and has practiced the past two days. He is expected to play as the starter against Buffalo.
This time it's different though. McKnight's performance should provide Greene some extra motivation to produce. He should now feel McKnight's breath on his neck.
Best case scenario would be Greene breaking out with McKnight coming in as the change-of-pace back.
The Bills are ranked 20th in the league against the run, giving up 122 yards per game. New York should be able to take advantage.
Mark Sanchez Time
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By all accounts, this is a playoff game for the Jets. As it is, they're clinging on for their lives right now. If they lose this one, they are done.
So, if it is playoff time, it's time for Mark Sanchez to step his game up right?
In his last game against the Bills, Sanchez threw for 230 yards, a TD and a interception. His QB rating in the game was 92.9, his third best rating of the season.
In Sanchez's last two playoff games against the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers, he averaged 213 yards, two TDs and no INTs. Both games were on the road.
If Rex Ryan can drill it into Sanchez's head that this is a playoff game, we should see a good performance.
Rex Ryan Needs This Game
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Rex Ryan needs this game much more than Chan Gailey and the Bills need it. While Buffalo may embrace regular-season improvement, the Jets' fan base demands more.
Ryan's brash-talking is starting to get old and may be affecting his players negatively.
In today's practice, Ryan gave backup QB Mark Brunell some time with the first team.
Rex and Sanchez are apparently not talking. This may be the start of a divorce.
While Rex's mouth is still going, the results have stopped. If he doesn't fix this problem, he will be run out of town quickly.
Beating Buffalo would give Ryan some time.