BILLS (5-2) AT JETS (3-5), 8:25 p.m.
TV: Ch. 2, NFL; Radio: ESPN (98.7)
Bills by 3; O/U: 43
One thing that’s almost certain for Thursday night: It won’t be raining at MetLife Stadium. At least that’s what Google says when you type in “East Rutherford, New Jersey weather.” Which begs the question: What’s more difficult to forecast, weather or NFL games? (Mr. G, if you’re reading, let me know).
The Jets are on a three-game losing skid, the last a 25-20 rain-soaked loss in which they let the lead slip away against the Falcons. In all three losses, the Jets had control — 14-0 vs. New England, 28-14 at Miami and 17-13 vs. Atlanta. On top of that, the Jets are dealing with a bit of controversy after Matt Forte called out offensive coordinator John Morton for the lack of run plays last week.That’s never a good sign.
The Jets’ surprising 3-2 start floored us all, but it’s looking as if 6-10 could be their ceiling.
Now they draw a Bills team that is one of the NFL’s best stories. First-year coach Sean McDermott and Buffalo have their sights set on ending the NFL’s longest playoff drought (17 seasons). The Bills have bought into the defensive-minded coach’s system, allowing 16.4 points per game (second best in the NFL) with 12 forced fumbles (first) and 11 interceptions (tied for second). Josh McCown could be in for a long night.
Buffalo is 4-0 at home, including a 21-12 Week 1 win over the Jets, but just 1-2 on the road. It’s been competitive, though, with the losses by six and four points. Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy lead a steady offense. Plus, the trade for Kelvin Benjamin gives Taylor a true No. 1 receiver. He may be ready for Thursday night.
If the Jets (4-2-2 ATS) were to win, it wouldn’t be all that surprising. These divisional games tend to be close. The Bills (5-2 ATS) lead the all-time series, 61-53, and have won six of the last eight. Here’s my forecast for Thursday night: Strong chance for a close game, but in the end, with a mixture of strong defense and efficient offense, expect Buffalo to reign.
The pick: Bills
Bob Glauber: Bills
Calvin Watkins: Bills
Tom Rock: Jets