Bills vs Jets are always the two weeks of the season where I cut off all communication with certain family members and good friends in the interest of maintaining (until these particular Sundays) our functional and overall great relationships.
Usually, that means they tip toe around me for a few days and then carefully find some type of obscure or minuscule moment in the game when the Bills did something halfway decent, to congratulate me on.
With the football stars aligned (and Fitzmagic back and through with throwing interceptions at critical points in the game), perhaps this can be the week our roles are reversed and usually pathetic, heartbroken and resentful BillsChick can be the one sending a thoughtful but bogus congratulatory text message.
Last week's game at New England was a boost for any true Bills fan's self esteem. We were never expected to lose by just eight points and we sure as heck weren't expected to put up 30 points. With our newfound spark, last week's near-win could be the impetus for Buffalo to finally break free from its losing streak and add a "1" to that win column. Fitzpatrick as QB has rejuvenated the Bills' offense. The offensive line suddenly knows how to protect better, our receivers weren't blindsided by the ball (uncharacteristically) flying at them, Marshawn Lynch figured out how to switch "beast mode" back on and C.J. Spiller shed his rookie skin and transformed into an NFL running back with those two TDs--mix it all together and sprinkle in a defense that has Poz back in action and you've got a Buffalo team that looks a little more daunting.
Key points this Sunday:
- The Bills convert third downs about 50 percent of the time and the Jets' third down defense is ranked near the bottom of the league. That could bode well for us if we can rack up first downs, move the ball and consistently put points on the board. Gotta take advantage of any hole we can find in the Jets' gameplay.
-Mark Sanchez must have gotten sick of being called inconsistent because he's been playing like a leader the past two weeks. My hope is obviously that his good performance will dry up for awhile, starting on Sunday. However, in the event that doesn't happen, our pass rush is improving a little and Kyle Williams had his first sack of the season last week. Anyone remember the five sacks we delivered to Mr. Beautiful last time he visited Orchard Park?
-Speaking of pass rush, the Jets' supposedly isn't great, at least according to Rex Ryan's standards. That could mean our newfound passing ability might pose a bit of a challenge to his secondary. The Bills also just added Mansfield Wrotto, a four-year offensive lineman most recently with the Seahawks. Any O-line member that's been around more than a year is a positive addition, in my opinion. Darrelle Revis is out but that doesn't mean much because Antonio Cromartie is a vet who is ready to take on our vet, my Lee.
-The Bills' kick return is ranked No. 5 in the league, while the Jets' corresponding coverage is ranked No. 22. Plus, Spiller has shown how dangerous he can be as a returner (95-yard TD from kickoff, holla).
-Marcus Stroud and Andre Davis are both out for this game, which will make stopping the Jets' strong run game a little more difficult. But Poz is back so all hope is not lost. Terrence McGee, our top cornerback, has also been ruled out for Sunday, which sucks because he's recorded career-high interceptions against the Jets. That means Donte Whitner, Jairus Byrd and Reggie Corner will have to step up and catch the interceptions McGee was going to.
I'm confident my biggest disappointment this week will be from not being able look at newly shaven and thus significantly more attractive Braylon Edwards up close and personal on Sunday.
I leave you cautiously optimistic, endlessly hopeful and infinitely dedicated to Billieving.