BILLS (5-2) VS. JETS (3-5)
THURSDAY, 8:25 P.M. ET, METLIFE STADIUM, EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. TV: NFL NETWORK
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely
About the Bills: Another week, another victory fueled by takeaways and unsung heroes. Despite fielding four new starters on defense, the Bills intercepted two passes and recovered two fumbles in a 34-14 thrashing of the Oakland Raiders. CB Leonard Johnson, playing in place of injured starter E.J. Gaines, caused one of the fumbles, which was returned 40 yards for a touchdown by rookie LB Matt
Milano, who was playing in place of injured starter Ramon Humber. FS Trae Elston, playing in place of injured starter Jordan
Poyer, recorded a team-leading 11 tackles and had an interception. SS Micah Hyde had his NFL-leading fifth interception. RB LeSean
McCoy had his best game of the season, rushing for 151 yards and catching six passes for 22 yards. His 48-yard touchdown run put an exclamation point on a victory that gave the Bills a 4-0 record at home.
About the Jets: If games were 45, rather than 60 minutes long, the Jets might be 6-2. For the third consecutive week, they failed to protect a lead heading into the final quarter, losing 25-20 to the Atlanta Falcons. The two previous weeks, they squandered 14-point leads. This time, despite a week’s worth of practices in which head coach oach Todd
Bowles harped incessantly on the need to close out games, they gave up a one-point lead. The Jets opened the quarter vs. Atlanta by giving up a sack, missing a field goal and yielding a 52-yard run that set up a touchdown on three consecutive plays. Midway through the quarter, normally sure-handed PR Jeremy
Kerley muffed a punt at his 13-yard line to set up a Falcons field goal. The Jets have been
outscored 76-20 in the fourth quarter this season.
Matchup to watch: Bills CB Tre’-Davious White vs. Jets WR Robby Ander
son. Buffalo’s 2017 first-round pick had a solid outing, helping Buffalo limit Amari Cooper to five catches on 10 targets for 48 yards and no touchdowns a week after the Raiders receiver had 210 yards and two scores vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. Anderson is coming off the best game of his two-year NFL career with six receptions for 104 yards and a score. He has eight receptions of 20 yards or longer.
Player to watch: McCoy. After a rough four-game stretch, in which he was averaging fewer than three yards per carry, McCoy got untracked with 173 yards on a season-high 33 touches. He’s rushed for 242 yards and added 53 receiving yards the past two games.
Number crunching: 13. Number of turnovers the Bills have forced the last four games. They have at least three takeaways in in four consecutive games for the first time since 2004-05.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Ground and pound: The Jets need to get their run game going. They mustered 43 yards on 22 carries vs. Atlanta, marking the third time this season they’ve been held under 44 rushing yards in a game. RB Bilal Powell (14 carries, 33 yards) and RB Matt Forte (4, 7) have to be more productive.
2. Keep winning turnover battle: The Bills have given the ball away just three times, while making 11 interceptions and recovering six fumbles, two of which were returned for touchdowns. 3. Real McCoy: The Bills running back opened the season with 159 yards on 27 touches in 21-12 victory vs. the Jets. Look for another heavy workload. 4. Like fine wine: Jets QB Josh McCown is off to one of the better starts of his 15-year career. His 70.5 completion percentage is 10 points above his career average and his 95.3 passer rating is 15 points better than his average.
Bills’ LeSean McCoy