Jets Begin Important AFC East Stretch vs. Bills in Orchard Park Today
Every game in the NFL brings a new set of storylines and imperatives. And so it is with the Jets' second meeting of the season against the Bills, at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, NY, this afternoon (4:25 p.m. ET kickoff).
The Jets, sitting at 4-5, enter a two-game division stretch that could determine their playoff viability come January. Today's game is against the 5-5 Bills, then comes the NFL's first Black Friday game the day after Thanksgiving, back at MetLife Stadium against the 6-3 Dolphins.
Buffalo has been a formidable AFC East force the past four seasons, still at work on streaks of four consecutive 10-win seasons, four straight playoff appearances and three division titles in a row. But with one-score losses the past two weeks, at Cincinnati and home for Denver, the Bills are at .500. Head coach Sean McDermott, new interim OC Joe Brady, QB Josh Allen and the rest of the red-white-and-blue crew know. A win keeps them apace with the Dolphins for the division title. A loss would drop them behind the Jets in the standings after 11 weeks for the first time since 2013.
Zach Wilson, who has a 2-1 record against Allen and the Bills but with both wins coming at home, returned under center after the sudden early departure of Aaron Rodgers on opening night to lead the Jets from 13-10 down midway through the fourth quarter to 16-13 ahead en route to the 22-16 overtime win over Buffalo. He and the Jets are well aware of what's at stake over the next two games over six days. But there's no looking ahead in football.
"Yeah, every game we look at the exact same way," Wilson said this week. "We're not ever going to say, Hey, the division game this week, we need to make sure we play harder or play tough or whatever. It's all the same. We've got to go out there no matter who we're playing. Every game matters. Every win matters. So that's where we are going to approach this one as well."