New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills
Ford Field – Detroit, Michigan
Monday, November 24, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
Opening Line: Buffalo -3
Current Line: Buffalo -2 1/2 (-120)
Opening Total: 41 1/2
Current Total: 42
Opening Money Line: Bills -145 / Jets +125
Current Money Line: Bills -140 / Jets +120
An early winter storm dumped 8 feet of snow on the Buffalo area last week. Despite efforts, it just wasn’t logistically possible to get the stadium ready for the Buffalo Bills’ home game against the New York Jets. Travel to and from the game was also hazardous for the teams, fans and stadium workers. The game was originally scheduled for yesterday afternoon but the NFL moved it to Monday night in Detroit. Buffalo is scheduled to play the Cleveland Browns at home next week but that game is also in doubt.
Back to Monday night’s game though. The 5-5 Bills are right in the thick of the AFC playoff race but seven teams are jumbled within a game for the two wild card spots. Buffalo can’t afford a loss to the 2-8 Jets even with all of the distractions. Buffalo was not able to practice for 3 days last week because of the snow.
Since 2001, New York leads the series 16-11 against Buffalo. The Bills have won 3 of the last 4 games in the series including 2 straight both by 20 points or more. Buffalo won earlier this season in New Jersey 43-23 in an October 26 game.
New York is coached by Rex Ryan. The Jets have have home wins over the Oakland Raiders 19-14 and two weeks ago against the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-13. The Pittsburgh win snapped an 8 game losing streak for the Jets. New York has home losses to the Chicago Bears 27-19, Detroit Lions 24-17, Denver Broncos 31-17, and Bills, along with road losses at the Green Bay Packers 31-24, San Diego Chargers 31-0, New England Patriots 27-25, and Kansas City Chiefs 24-10. The Jets are 2-7-1 ATS and the total is 5-5 this season. New York was a 4.5 point underdog against Pittsburgh and the total was 47.
Buffalo is coached by Doug Marrone. The Bills have home losses to the San Diego Chargers 22-10, Patriots 37-22 and the Kansas City Chiefs 17-13, along with road losses at the Houston Texans 23-17 and last Thursday against the Miami Dolphins 22-9. Buffalo has lost two straight games. Buffalo has road wins at the Chicago Bears 23-20 in overtime, Detroit Lions 17-14, and New York Jets 43-23. The Bills have home wins over the Dolphins 29-10 and Minnesota Vikings 17-16. Buffalo is 4-6 ATS and the total is 2-8 this season. The Bills were 4 point underdogs against the Dolphins and the total was 40.5.
New York is being outscored 27-17 this season. The Jets are #30 in scoring and #26 in points allowed. The Jets are averaging 319 yards per game including 179 passing and 141 rushing yards per game. New York is #26 in total offense and last in passing, but #3 in rushing. On defense, New York is giving up 324 yards per game including 241 passing and 83 rushing yards. The Jets are #7 in total defense and #3 in rush defense. New York is 66/159 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 65/140. The Jets have forced 27 sacks and allowed 29 this season. The Jets are -11 in turnovers. New York has allowed two defensive touchdowns this season.
New York benched quarterback Geno Smith in favor of Michael Vick a few weeks ago. Smith has thrown for 1,370 yards with 7 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown. Vick has thrown for 528 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception, and has rushed for 149 yards.
Running back Chris Ivory has 123 carries for 548 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 12 catches for 103 yards. Chris Johnson has 85 carries for 360 yards and a touchdown, plus 17 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Eric Decker has 43 catches for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jeremy Kerley has 26 catches for 237 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Jace Amaro has 34 catches for 291 yards and 2 touchdowns. Four defensive players are listed as questionable or out for the Jets.
Buffalo is being outscored 20.4-20 this season. The Bills are #9 in points allowed. Buffalo is averaging 322 yards per game including 226 passing and 96 rushing yards per game. The Bills are #20 or worse in all three categories. On defense, Buffalo is allowing 322 yards per game including 223 passing and 99 rushing yards. The Bills are #8 or better in all defensive categories. Buffalo is 55/151 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 52/144. The Bills have forced 39 sacks and allowed 26 this season. Buffalo is +7 in turnovers. The Bills have one special teams touchdown and has allowed 2 defensive touchdowns.
Buffalo quarterback Kyle Orton took over for the ineffective E.J. Manuel. Orton has completed 64% of his passes for 1,580 yards with 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Manuel threw for 838 yards with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, and rushed for 52 yards with a touchdown.
Running backs Fred Jackson (groin) and C.J. Spiller (broken collarbone) are both battling injuries. Jackson missed the Dolphins game and is is questionable against the Jets. Spiller is likely out for the season. Jackson has 249 rushing yards with a touchdown along with 37 catches for 300 yards and a touchdown. Anthony Dixon has been the feature back without Jackson and Spiller. Dixon has 68 carries for 278 yards, along with 5 catches.
Receiver Sammy Watkins has 45 catches for 649 yards and 5 touchdowns. Robert Woods has 36 catches for 361 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Scott Chandler has 26 catches for 307 yards and a touchdown. Chris Hogan has 25 catches for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns. Eight defensive players are listed on the injury report.
New York is 2-5-2 in road games, 2-5 against AFC teams, on fieldturf, and after passing for less than 150 yards, 3-8 in November, 2-7-1 overall, 1-4-2 after a straight-up win, 1-4-1 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 1-5-1 after a cover, 0-8-1 after allowing less than 90 rushing yards and 0-4 after allowing more than 250 passing yards. The over is 5-1 in this series recently. The underdog is 19-9 ATS in this series recently.
Buffalo is 6-0 ATS after gaining less than 250 total yards, 4-1 in week 12, 2-5 on fieldturf, 1-4 overall, 1-5 in November and and against AFC teams, and 0-4 after rushing for less than 90 yards.
Despite their record, the Jets are very dangerous as evidenced by their upset of the Steelers. New York has 4 losses by 8 points or less, and had chances against the Broncos and Chiefs. Buffalo has lost two straight games to put their playoff chances in jeopardy. I think the Bills get back on track but it won’t be easy.