The NFL Network will be host to perhaps the most intriguing Thursday Night Football matchup of the season. Rex Ryan will lead his 4-4 Bills into the Meadowlands to face off against his former team the New York Jets.
At 5-3 the Jets are second in the AFC East behind the 8-0 Patriots. One thing different about this Jets team is it’s leader Todd Bowles. He is more calculated and usually doesn’t offer up tabloid material which is the complete opposite of Rex Ryan. Ryan when in front of the media is a outspoken coach and usually says what’s on his mind.
In his first Rex Ryan antic of the week he made former Jets Linebacker IK Enemkpali a co- captain for Thursday night’s game. For a long time Rex always picks game day captains, usually its someone who played for the opponent but this one time he has come under fire. Enemkpali was cut from the Jets during training camp for punching then starting Quarterback Geno Smith and breaking his jaw. A punch which resulted in Smith missing the rest of training camp and ultimately him losing his starting job. In a way Jets fans can thank Enemkpali because the punch jump started the Jets season and have then in contention for a wildcard spot.
When Rex was asked about it he said “I don’t get it. I really don’t get it,” Ryan said, “You guys know me. I’ve been around…you guys know how I do the captains. If this was an isolated deal where I just threw a guy out there then I can understand it. But this is what we do every single week.”
We all know this is too much of a coincidence but i guess we can give Rex the benefit of the doubt. As for the Jets, Fitzpatrick has been great at the helm, once he got handed the keys to the offense and has not looked back. He is first in the league in total QBR all while leading the 11th ranked Jets offense, as a Gang Green fan myself i cant remember the last time the Jets had one of the better offenses in the league. It helps that the team has a viable number 1 and number 2 option at Wide Receiver. Everyone is benefiting from this, Brandon Marshall looks on his way to be the first 1,000 yard receiver since Cotchery in 2007 for the Jets. Eric Decker has become a major red zone target with 6 Touchdowns, while Ivory has 7 and both are among the Top Ten.
The Bills are coming off a great win against Division rival Miami Dolphins. Sammy Watkins was active and dominated the Dolphins secondary hauling in 8 Receptions for 168 yards and 1 TD. Tyrod Taylor who was off to a great start earlier in the season and missed some time returned and lead a well balanced offense to a huge win. LeSean McCoy ran for 116 yards with 1 TD, while fellow back Karlos Williams ran for 110 yards with 2 TDs.
This matchup will be a old fashioned slobber knocker, both teams have physical fronts that are good at pressuring the Quarterback. The winner of this game will be determined on how well they run the ball and if the offensive lines can give their Quarterbacks time to throw. Both signal callers have showed that they can run for yards if need be with Taylor more explosive at it.
Overall the Jets have the number 1 rush defense in the league, and if we all know Rex he’s going to want to run. Darrelle Revis will be matched up against Watkins which will be a tough cover even for Revis. With Calvin Pryor and Dion Bailey out the Jets will need to look to Rontez Miles for some help from the safety position.
Both teams will be decked out in one solid color, the Jets in all Green and the Bills in all Red for NFL’s color rush promotion. It will have Christmas feel out there, with a playoff atmosphere.
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