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Oh, Canada! Jets take on Bills in Toronto

December 3, 2009

 

Terrell vs. Darrelle, part two: Let's gets ready to rumble.

 

The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills meet in Toronto Thursday night, in a rematch of their meeting on October 18.  The Bills picked off Mark Sanchez five times in a 16-13 overtime road victory. However, the Jets were able to rush for an astonishing 318 yards rushing, and running the football should be the Jets No. 1 priority Thursday.  

While the Jets running game was impressive in week 6, the Buffalo Bills once-pathetic offense looked equally impressive Sunday against Miami. After averaging 12.3 points in the previous eight games, the Bills scored 24 unanswered points in the fourth quarter en route to a 31-14 win over the Dolphins this past Sunday. The 31 point outburst included a 51-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Terrell Owens.  The Bills will be tested against the NFL’s No. 2 ranked defense. 

 

The matchup of the game is going to be Darrelle Revis vs. T.O. Owens had 96 yards and one touchdown against the Dolphins, and 197 yards and a touchdown against the Jaguars one week earlier. Darrelle Revis has been equally impressive this season, shutting down top receivers such as Andre Johnson, Randy Moss (twice), Marques Colston, Steve Smith, and the previously mentioned Owens in week 6.  

If the Jets want to win, and keep their slim playoff dreams alive, Sanchez must protect the football.  Sanchez was 13 of 17 for 154 yards with just one interception Sunday, enabling the defense to carry the Jets to a 17-6 victory over Carolina, and snapping a three-game losing streak. The Panthers were held to 179 total yards — an effort resembling New York’s stingy play during its 3-0 start.  

Another question hanging over the Sanchise this week is the status of his knee. On Tuesday, Rex Ryan brought in New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi to teach Mark how to slide, in hopes of avoiding injury. Sanchez is a very mobile quarterback, but tends to just dive to the ground instead of sliding. Sanchez wore a knee brace in practice this week, but did not miss any snaps and is expected to play Thursday.  

The game may have special meaning for Ryan, who was raised in Toronto by his mother between the ages of 3 and 15. 

“I think it’s going to be great,” he said. “I’m glad we’re doing it. We just want to win. We don’t care if it’s in Toronto, in Buffalo or right here. Makes no difference to us. We’re going to do whatever it takes to get a win.” 

The Jets should win this game, if they stick to their game plan from week 12.  Sanchez should have no more than 20 pass attempts, as Gang Green needs to take advantage of their biggest offensive weapon—the offensive line.  The Bills have good wide receivers, but their offensive line is shaky.  The Jets should be able to apply consistent pressure on Fitzpatrick, so expect some more interceptions.  

Key Matchup:  Terrell Owens vs. Darrelle Revis 

Prediction:  Jets 24, Bills 16 

News and Notes:  Seeking to reach out to fans across Lake Ontario, Buffalo is scheduled to play a total of five contests in Toronto — one per season through 2012 — but the experiment did not begin well last year, with many in attendance supporting Miami in the Bills’ 16-3 loss on Dec. 7. Eric Smith will remain the starting safety for the Jets opposite Jim Leonhard, but Rhodes will see increased playing time according to Rex Ryan.  Lito Shepphard should remain the second starting corner back, as Lowery and Strickland are still nursing injuries and are listed as doubtful.

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