We're two hours away from the kickoff of today's huge divisional matchup between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, and it's time to start making predictions. First up: John Butchko of SB Nation's GangGreenNation.com.
There are a few things that worry me about this game. The road game against the Bills is seldom easy for the Jets. Orchard Park has been the site of some brutal Jets losses. Although Mark Sanchez's interceptions are down, he is a risk-taker, which could result in trouble against a ball-hawking Bills defense. While the Jets have guys with a great track record up front playing the run against spread sets, a lot of those guys are underperforming this year. They can shut down Fred Jackson if they play up to their reputation, I cannot predict that will happen.
More from Butchko, including his game prediction:
I think the Jets give the Bills a lot of matchup problems, though. Their run game is starting to find its groove with Nick Mangold back in the lineup. I think they will run the ball successfully and limit Buffalo's time with the ball on offense. I also think this defense can give Buffalo's passing game a lot of trouble. Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Kyle Wilson are about as good of a corner trio as there is in the game today. The Jets are playing more coverage this year than you might expect a Rex Ryan defense to do. I think they will let Revis handle one side of the field on his own and clog the passing lanes with defenders everywhere else to create tight windows, take away the short ball, and make Fitzpatrick burn them deep. I say 20-17 Jets.
I'm with Butchko, but only to a point: I also believe that the Jets cause the Bills more matchup problems than the Bills cause the Jets. This one is, at minimum, going to be a dogfight for the home team. In the end, however, I'm not out to ruin anyone's mood, and absolutely believe that the Bills are capable of winning this game. Sort of against my gut, I'm going Bills 20, Jets 16.
Leave your prediction in the comments section!