By Abraham Gutierrez
With a golden opportunity to spoil the 10-5 New York Jets’ playoff hopes, the 7-8 Buffalo Bills welcome Todd Bowles & Co. to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York for an intradivisional Week 17 clash. This season clincher marks the 111th meeting between these bitter foes and, unfortunately for Gang Green, this matchup has been a nightmare as of late. That’s because Rex Ryan and the Bills come in leading the overall series, 59-51-0, including a four-game winning streak.READ MORE: Police: 2 Children Found Safe Following Carjacking In Newark; Search On For Suspects
The last time these teams met dates back to Nov. 11 of this season (Week 10) when the Bills prevailed by a final score of 22-17. Thanks to lots of defensive pressure, the Bills were able to force Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to have an erroneous day. The Harvard product had a day to forget, going 15-for-34 for 193 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for a quarterback rating of 57.6. Fumbles were also an issue in this for New York, as the Bills dominated the turnover battle 0-4 in this instance.
Buffalo Bills 2015 NFL Season
Rex Ryan’s first season at the helm of this ballclub got off to a very promising start, winning two of their first three games. However, consistency has been a problem for the Bills this season as they’ve only been able to win consecutive games once all year long. Thus, Buffalo comes into the season finale sitting in third place in the division and the only thing left to do is spoil the Jets’ postseason plans. Also noteworthy is the fact that the Bills are 4-3 at home, 3-5 on the road, 3-2 versus divisional foes and 7-4 against the AFC Conference.
Bills On Offense
The Bills offensive coordinator is Greg Roman, who’s in charge of an offense that’s presents some interesting challenges for any ballclub. The reason being is that the Bills are the number one leading team in rushing yards per game (154.6), which is a typical characteristic of a Rex Ryan “ground-and-pound” approach.
Another area where this offense shines can be found in the points per game (23.8) and in the total yards department (365.3). The lone area where this team has struggled this season is pretty significant. Averaging just 210.7 passing yards per game, the Bills passing game ranks a whopping 27th in the National Football League.READ MORE: Nets Rally From 17 Down In 3rd Quarter To Beat Mavericks
Bills On Defense
Dennis Thurman is the Bills’ defensive coordinator, and his first season running this unit hasn’t exactly gone the way he hoped coming out of training camp. With one game remaining on the season, the Bills rank 15th against the rush (107.2), 16th in points per game (22.8), 20th in total yards allowed (360.1) and 23rd when going up against opposing passing attacks (252.9).
Bills Players To Watch
On the offensive side of the rock, Bowles and his staff will have to find a way to contain wide receiver Sammy Watkins. In his second NFL season out of Clemson, the 22-year-old from Fort Myers, Florida, has tallied 49 catches for 911 yards and nine touchdowns.
On the opposite side, the Bills’ defensive player to watch is defensive end Jerry Hughes. In his sixth season out of TCU, the 27-year-old from Sugar Land, Texas leads the team with five sacks, to go along with his 49 tackles and a pair of forced fumbles.
Jets vs. Bills Outlook
Given these teams’ styles, this game promises to be nothing short of a dogfight. On one end, there’s the Jets and their hopes of securing a playoff spot. Meanwhile, across the sidelines, there’s Rex Ryan, who will have an opportunity to spoil his former employer’s postseason hopes. For the record, the Jets come into this game as three-point favorites, and these teams are projected to combine and score 43 points in total.MORE NEWS: Islanders' Offense Wakes Up, 11-Game Losing Streak Ends With Victory Over Senators
Abe Gutierrez’s (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com and other online publications.