No one AND I MEAN NO ONE circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.

The 4-3 Buffalo Bills have been one of the AFC’s biggest surprises this season. Led by perennial MVP candidate Fred Jackson, the Bills offense has been extremely impressive, putting up 380 total yards per game (10th best). The 4-3 New York Jets, led by perennial coach of the year candidate, Rex Ryan, have¬†watched their defense improve week after week. The Jets are yielding 196.7 total yards per game through the air¬†(7th best) and are coming off a huge home win against the San Diego Chargers. With the Patriots losing last weekend, these two teams are only a game out of first place. Which team will inch closer to playoffs after Sunday’s game?

Shonn Running Like Its 2009--AP Photo

Keys to the Game:

1. Stop The Run: Teams are having a very, very hard time throwing on the Jets (194 yards per game), but they aren’t having any issues on the ground. The Jets rush defense is giving up 125 yards per game (7th worst). To make matters worse, the Jets have allowed nine rushing TDs (3rd worst). The Jets did a decent job against Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert in Week 7, but they’ll have a tall order facing a motivated Fred Jackson. Jackson has posted over 1,000 total yards so far and will create issues in the passing game.

2. Get Santonio Involved: The Bills defense plays with a lot of intensity (14 interceptions), but they are very beatable through the air. The Bills are giving up 266 yards through the air this season. Mark Sanchez, who has looked like a lost USC student, should start looking for #10 more often. Holmes and Sanchez did some nice things in the team’s first two games, but Sanchez has begun to shy away from Holmes. The Jets paid #10 $50 million big ones to make plays. Get him involved this Sunday.

3. Hit Ryan Fitzpatrick: The Bills have given up the second fewest sacks (8) in the league. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has had time to distribute balls to his playmakers without much angst. The Jets predicate their defensive gameplan around pressure and heavy blitzing schemes. Forcing Fitzpatrick to make quick decisions will only benefit the Jet defense.

Outside of these three key points, the Jets have to establish the run early. We’ve been hearing about the Jet running game for the last three years two weeks. Time to see ‘Ground & Pound’ in full force.

Las Vegas pegged the Bills as a one-point favorite for this AFC East showdown. The Jets smacked the Bills around pretty good last year in Buffalo, so that will serve as motivation. Ultimately, I think the Jets will squeak this one out. It’ll be their first true win of the season (and first road win). It pains me to pick the Jets, but I don’t have a strong gut feeling about the Bills this week.

Jets 23
Bills 20