WHEN THE JETS HAVE THE BALL
In his past three games this season, Sanchez has completed 48-of-84 passes (57.1 percent) for 540 yards with six touchdowns, one interception and a 95.3 passer rating. Running back Shonn Greene had a season-high 112 rushing yards against San Diego, and totaled 117 yards in last year’s win at Buffalo. Fellow running back LaDainian Tomlinson went for 133 yards on 19 attempts (7.0 average) with two rush touchdowns in that contest and became the fourth running back in NFL history with 600 receptions, joining Larry Centers (827), Marshall Faulk (767) and Keith Byars (610), in the San Diego game. Wide receiver Plaxico Burress tied a career-best with three touchdown catches in the win over the Chargers, while tight end Dustin Keller tied a career-high with two touchdown catches in New York’s rout at Buffalo last season. Kick returner Joe McKnight leads the NFL with a 40.0 yard average.
On defense, the Bills lead the NFL with 14 interceptions and safety George Wilson (4 INT) needs one pick to surpass his career-best of four in 2009. Fellow safety Jairus Byrd, meanwhile, has three interceptions in four career games against the Jets. Rookie lineman Marcell Dareus, the No. 3 overall pick in last April’s draft, had a career-best 2 1/2 sacks last week. Linebacker Nick Barnett has 58 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and two interceptions in seven games.
Statistically, the Jets on offense are 11th in scoring (24.6 ppg), but just 29th in total yards (300.1 ypg), 22nd in passing yards (207.7 ypg) and 28th in rushing yards (92.4). Buffalo is 12th in the league in scoring defense (21.0), 26th in total yards allowed (385.9 ypg), 24th in pass defense (265.9 ypg) and 20th against the run (120.0 ypg).
WHEN THE BILLS HAVE THE BALL
Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick aims for a fourth straight game with a 70- plus completion percentage, following up on outings with rates of 77.8, 70 and 77.8 percent. He also needs two touchdown passes to surpass Doug Flutie (47) for the fifth-most in club history and has a completion of 40-plus yards in five consecutive games. Running back Fred Jackson aims for a fourth consecutive game with 100-plus rushing yards after games of 111, 121 and 120. The Bills are 10-2 when Jackson has 100-plus yards on the ground, and he ranks second in the NFL with 153.4 yards from scrimmage per game, for a total of 1,074. Jackson is also tied with Chicago’s Matt Fore for the league lead tied with nine rushes of 20-plus yards. Tight end Scott Chandler leads all NFL players at his position with six touchdown catches in 2011.
For the Jets, cornerback Darrelle Revis has three interceptions in his past two games and has four career picks against the Bills, tied with Miami for his most against any opponent. Linebacker Aaron Maybin looks for a third consecutive game with a sack. He was selected No. 11 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Bills and spent two seasons in Buffalo before being released in August. Rookie end Muhammad Wilkerson has 17 tackles and a sack in seven games.
By the numbers, Buffalo’s 30.1 points per game is third-best in the league, and it is 10th in total yards (380.1 ypg), 13th in passing yards (239.6 ypg) and fifth in rushing yards (140.6 ypg). The New York defense is 14th in points allowed (21.7 ppg), eighth in total yards allowed (323.6 ypg), seventh in pass defense (196.7 ypg) and just 25th against the run (126.9 ypg).
KEYS TO THE GAME
The stagnant Jets’ offense could get itself going against a statistically- sluggish Buffalo defense, which is just 26th in the league with an average of 385.9 yards per game allowed.
Buffalo’s Fitzpatrick has a 97.8 passer rating through seven games to rank sixth in the league, but he’s managed just a 62.0 mark in four career games against New York. He’ll have to maintain his strong level of play this season for the Bills to have their best opportunity.
New York’s Greene ran for 112 yards against the Chargers, his most since posting 117 against the Bills in the 2010 finale. The Jets have averaged 279 rush yards in the last four games of the series, and would have a good chance of winning if they can get the ground game going again.
Prediction:The Jets have underachieved all season, and now they head to play one of the hottest teams in the league in the Bills. Buffalo will look to go downfield with the pass game, but the key to their offense will be Fred Jackson, who can gouge the Jets run D. Mark Sanchez needs to have a good game, and while he might, I think the Bills win it in a shootout. Buffalo 28 New York Jets 23