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Jets vs. Bills: 3 keys to Week 10 matchup

Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan watches warmups

Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan watches warmups before a game against the New York Giants at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Oct. 4, 2015 in Orchard Park, N.Y. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Brett Carlsen

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.

At this point, both teams can let go of the notion that they'll catch the Patriots for the division, but at the midway point the Jets (5-3) and Bills (4-4) are in the thick of the wild card hunt.

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.

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