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If the Bills’ season does not turn around, they will look back to Week 9 when they faced the New York Jets and were defeated in front of their home crowd. Going into Week 12, the Bills have a chance to stop the bleeding and keep themselves in the wild card race if they can muster a win over the same New York Jets.
The Bills have lost three straight and are facing a Jets team that is trying to avoid their own third straight loss when the teams square off Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
During this tough stretch, the Bills have only managed to score 26 points which is nothing compared to the team scoring 30 points a game through their first 7 games. To make things worse, running back Fred Jackson, who was amidst a career year with 934 yards good for third in the league, was lost for the season when he broke a bone in his left leg last week.
The Bills now turn to former first round pick, C.J. Spiller, to carry the load in the running game. Spiller has been somewhat of an underachiever, only showing some promise in the return game, but not so much out of the backfield. The real key for the Bills comes with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick who since signing a new contract three weeks ago has not played up to it. “We’re trying to figure out some answers and looking to see some results this week,” Fitzpatrick said.
In the past six games, Fitzpatrick has thrown 11 interceptions. His favorite target, wide receiver Stevie Johnson, who only has seven catches during this losing streak and when facing the Jets, has been another victim of Revis Island. He has 11 catches for 187 yards and a touchdown in the past three meetings with the Jets.
The Jets, like the Bills, have also been reeling as of late. Two weeks ago, the Jets were riding a three game winning streak heading into a game at home against New England for first place in the AFC East. They not only got blown out of the water in that game, but also turned around and lost to the Tim Tebow led Denver Broncos four days later.
They now find themselves two games out of first behind the Patriots and in serious danger of not making the playoffs at all. There is hope that another win over the Bills will be just what they need to turn things around. They have been here before, having to finish up the season strong to make the playoffs. “I think everyone kind of feels like it’s now or never,” safety Jim Leonhard said.
“We have to play well, and we have to play well now.” The Jets schedule definitely favors them, as the New York Giants are currently the only remaining team the Jets will face that currently has a winning record. “In this game, you don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself,” linebacker Bart Scott said. “You have to move on, and you have to get ready to play.”
This is a good opportunity for us to get on the right track and try to go on a roll because we have to. We can’t afford to lose any more games.” Just as it is for the Bills, the Jets will need quarterback Mark Sanchez to step up his play, which has hardly been NFL quality the past two games.
He has an NFL high of three interceptions returned for touchdowns, two of those coming in the past two games. Last time the Jets and Bills faced off, Sanchez was 20 of 28 for 230 yards with one TD and one interception, but the Jets were able to manhandle the Bills with their physical play at the line on both sides of the ball.
Running back Shonn Greene, who left the game in Denver and never returned, looks to be okay and is expected to play Sunday. The Jets will need a repeat performance of the game in Week 9 if they want to get the ball rolling, as they aim to make a late season run at a wild card spot and into the playoffs.
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