After a frustrating loss down in Miami, the Bills are headed back home in week 14 to take on another division rival in the New York Jets. This will be the first head-to-head matchup between rookie quarterbacks and top 10 picks Sam Darnold and Josh Allen – a matchup both teams hope to continue for many years to come.
In the Bills and Jets first contest of 2018 back in week 10, the Bills smashed the Jets 41-10, but neither rookie was present. Darnold went down with a foot injury in week nine and hasn’t taken part in a game since. Allen suffered an elbow injury in a week six game against the Texans and didn’t return to action until week 12 against the Jaguars – a game the “trash” quarterback led his team to victory.
The Jets and Bills won’t be making any playoff appearances this year, but this is still a very important game for both teams. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady owns the division but he is only getting older – we think – and soon the division will be up for grabs – we hope. This Sunday Buffalo hopes to make a statement that they are just a few key pieces away from being heir to the throne.
The scoreboard isn’t always pretty for the Bills, but under Head Coach, Sean McDermott, the Bills continue to show fight. If it wasn’t evident with the release of wide receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, Buffalo is looking towards the future and is going to run with guys that are passionate about playing football. Undrafted free agent Robert Foster has collected six receptions for 226 yards and a touchdown in the past three weeks – Benjamin had amassed just 354 yards total in his 12 weeks before being released. Look for Foster and second year wide receiver, Zay Jones, to continue to be a part of the young heartbeat of Buffalo’s offense.
The Jets defense comes in to Sunday’s matchup ranked 26th in stopping the run. To make matters worse, they just lost inside linebacker Darron Lee for the season. Lee was slapped with a four game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Buffalo will most certainly look to take advantage of Lee’s absence using the legs of LeSean McCoy and rookie QB Josh Allen. In the past two weeks, Allen has rushed for 234 yards and a touchdown. Lee’s suspension should also making passing a bit easier on the young gunslinger. The suspended linebacker had racked up three interceptions to go along with his 74 tackles and is looked at as one of the better cover linebackers in the NFL. While Lee may be out, the Jets still have second year safety, Jamal Adams, and he is looking for payback. “They came in and they whooped us,” Adams said. “They don’t like us. We don’t like them. It’s going to be a tough battle. “It’s a divisional opponent. We just go at it each time we see each other. It was personal. They came in and put up about like 40 points on us. As a defense we got to come out there and do the right thing so that doesn’t happen again.” Adams has graded out as one of the top overall safeties in the league this season and isn’t afraid to hit someone – just ask Julian Edelman.
Do not try and block me! pic.twitter.com/wNct3LgDV7
— Jamal Adams (@TheAdamsEra) November 28, 2018
In his first game back from injury, Sam Darnold and the Jets offense won’t have it easy. The Bills may be 4-8 but it isn’t because of their defense. Buffalo heads in to Sunday having the number one ranked pass defense and are second in total yards given up per game (294.2). The Jets will also look to get things rolling on the ground with running back, Isaiah Crowell. Crowell is averaging a respectable 4.8 yards a carry this season but in his first matchup against Buffalo this year he was stifled for just 19 yards on seven carries. He too will be looking for a little bit of that payback.
The Bills are favored by four (-4) and kickoff is scheduled 1pm (ET) and the temperature at kickoff will be a chilly 30 degrees.
Earlier this week Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson made it clear, he wanted out. A few days later and his tune has changed.
Whether Peterson changed his mind or just came to the realization that General Manager Steve Keim wasn’t about toput the nail in his own coffin, it won’t change the fact that it’s just another negative headline coming out of the desert.
Arizona will need every bit of Peterson’s skillset headed in to week eight against the 1-6 division rival San Francisco 49ers. The 9ers come to town losers of five straight, one of those losses coming to Arizona in week five by a score of 28-18. So if Arizona beat San Francisco in their own home just a few weeks ago, why doesn’t a home game against the division foe feel like a sure win? If we take a look back at the week five game in Santa Clara, California you’ll see that the 49ers gave that game away – literally. San Francisco had five turnovers and Arizona had zero. Credit goes to Chandler Jones and the Cardinal’s defense for forcing those turnovers but the 49ers dominated Arizona in just about every other aspect of the game. In a game that lasted 60 minutes, San Francisco had the ball for over 40 of them. The 9ers had 447 total yards compared to the Cardinals 220. On third down the Cardinals only converted twice (2-12) whereas the 49ers converted on 10-17 attempts. First downs? The 49ers dominated there too (33-10).
While winning the turnover battle is always important, Arizona can’t expect to come away with five more turnovers than the 9ers this Sunday and will need their offense to do something – anything! Arizona recently handed Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy his walking papers after the worst offensive start to a season in decades. Offenses in the NFL seem to be breaking records every week and somehow McCoy found a way to take a step back. Byron Leftwich will take over as Arizona’s play caller and he will look to resuscitate an all but dead offense. Leftwich came to town under Bruce Arians, a head coach that laid out the blueprints for how to use running back, David Johnson. Leftwich may not be B.A. just yet, but he’s seen enough to know how to use his current roster. Leftwich also had a nine-year career as an NFL quarterback so you can be assured that running it up the middle will not be his forte. Josh Rosen might finally get the chance to throw the ball down field.
In week five’s matchup against the 49ers, San Francisco was without track star receiver, Marquise Goodwin. He’s healthy now and with Cardinals safety Tre Boston questionable with injury, Goodwin could pose a problem for the Cardinals secondary. Boston’s replacement, Rudy Ford, appeared to have blown a deep coverage last week versus Denver which resulted in a 64-yard touchdown to Emmanuel Sanders. With receiver Pierre Garcon doubtful and rookie receiver Dante Pettis questionable to play for the 9ers on Sunday, could we see Arizona go back to having P2 shadow the number one receiver (Goodwin)? It might be necessary.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1:25pm (MT) and the 49ers are currently favored by one point. This week isn’t just going to decide who the worst team in the division is, it will decide who the worst team is in the entire league is.