Buffalo’s surprise playoff appearance of 2017 and the fan’s exhilaration at their accelerated rebuild are a distant memory, as is the Jets’ fan’s satisfaction at stealing five wins with another rebuilding unit.
The prize for the Bills’ effort last season has been the NFL’s most difficult schedule through nine weeks. That would have made for rough sailing even if the team proved justified in jettisoning Tyrod Taylor for AJ McCarron and their offensive line didn’t disintegrate before their eyes.
Throw in a battered and slowed LeSean McCoy and the worst-rated wide receivers group in the league and you have to wonder if Sean McDermott warrants Coach of the Year consideration for guiding this team to two wins.
New York’s disappointing effort against the Dolphins last week made their coach, Todd Bowles, call this matchup a “huge game” for his team. One can blame awful field conditions in Miami for some of the team’s terrible offensive numbers, but it was Elijah McGuire, in his return from injured reserve, that provided the only positive on the day.
Injuries and notes
Sam Darnold sprained a foot on the muddy turf in Miami last week. He is officially listed as questionable for Week 10, but local reporters say he is unlikely to play. Veteran Josh McCown will get the start in Darnold’s place.
Center Spencer Long will play with a finger injury suffered last week. Defensive end Tarell Basham (knee) is the only other player expected to miss the contest.
Josh Allen threw 100 passes in practice Monday and the best news for Buffalo fans Tuesday was that his arm did not fall off. McDermott will not rule Allen out to play against the Jets.
Derek Anderson still has not cleared the concussion protocol, but if he does, he will be the Bills’ second option. Nathan Peterman will play if the other two can’t.
Buffalo released cornerback Phillip Gaines after he accrued 90 yards worth of pass interference penalties against the Bears in Week 9. Ryan Lewis will get the start.
Running back Chris Ivory and tight end Charles Clay are leaning toward doubtful with shoulder and hamstring injuries respectively. Ivory was called “day-to-day” while Clay is listed as “week-to-week”.
New York’s general manager, Mike Maccagnan, says the Jets will be major players in the free-agent market this year. With over $100 million in anticipated cap space, the team can fill a lot of holes around their young quarterback and defense.
Maccagnan and Jets’ ownership appreciate the job Todd Bowles has done with lousy rosters and are likely to let him manage next year’s radically changed team. But a win against the battered Bills would help toss any second thoughts emanating from the Dolphins’ game out of their minds.
Likewise, McDermott is in little danger of losing his job in Buffalo. But he and GM Brandon Beane better find some talent for their roster in 2019 if they expect to be as secure next season.
How to watch the Jets-Bills game
CBS Sports will broadcast this game to the greater New York City and Upstate markets. If you are one of the millions of NFL fans who discovered the joys of internet television, you might watch this contest on Sling TV.
Sling TV will send the original CBS feed to your favorite internet-connected device. They will even do it for free if you take advantage of their special introductory trial.
Sling TV, like DirecTV Now and Fubo TV, offers top-quality entertainment channels along with all your live stream NFL action without any special equipment or contracts to sign.
Better yet, internet TV providers like Sling, Fubo TV, and DirecTV Now provide all your entertainment needs for just a fraction of what you pay for cable or satellite television.
Read More: NFL Week 14 Game Preview: Jets at Bills
Who will win the Jets-Bills game?
Both defenses will battle to keep two wounded offenses under control. The presence of veteran Josh McCown under center for the Jets could provide the difference in the game.