Little known fact: Rex Ryan is making his return to MetLife Stadium tonight.
Oh, wait. Everyone knows that. And the former Jets coach wouldn’t have it any other way as his Bills take on Gang Green in a pivotal AFC East clash.
Here’s a look at the matchup and what the Jets must do to ruin Ryan’s homecoming.
Lock up the weapons
Buffalo running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Sammy Watkins have largely underachieved this season, but each posted stellar numbers in last week’s 33-17 win over the Dolphins. McCoy ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on 16 carried, while Watkins caught eight passes for 168 yards and a score. The Jets defense has been constructed to handle such talented players, but they’ve underachieved of late. It’s time to step up.
Ivory must shine
Remember when Chris Ivory used to run roughshod on defenses? It wasn’t that long ago, but it’s not happening in November. In Sunday’s 28-23 win over the Jaguars, Ivory gained just 26 yards on 23 carries — although he did score two touchdowns. The Jaguars are among the best in the NFL at stopping the run, and the Bills aren’t bad in that department, either. If Ivory flounders again, he might need to take a seat.
Passing is no picnic
The Jets might be in trouble if they can’t get the running game going. Buffalo is sturdy against the pass, allowing 6.7 yards per pass attempts — fifth-best in the league. On Sunday, Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick showed no ill effects while dealing with a thumb injury on his non-throwing hand, but he’ll need to bring his ‘A’ game against an elite defense that gets the job done even without a high sack total.