Two teams that are going nowhere will still be eager to beat their hated rival this week when the Buffalo Bills visit the New York Jets. The action gets started at 1:00 EST on Sunday, November 11, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Fans in local markets will be able to watch the game on CBS.
According to the Week 10 NFL odds, the Jets are 7.5-point favorites at home. That line has dropped a little after the Jets opened the week as 8-point favorites. The over/under for the game is set at 37 points.
A month ago, the Jets still had playoff hopes. But that was before their recent three-game losing streak that has seen their offense go ice cold. At 3-6, hope is just about lost for the Jets this season, especially since they still have to play the Patriots twice during the second half of the season. To add injury to insult, a foot injury will keep Sam Darnold out of the starting lineup this week. Veteran backup Josh McCown will get the start in his place.
The Bills are also nursing a losing streak amidst quarterback problems. Buffalo has lost four in a row to drop them to 2-7 on the season. There is still uncertainty surrounding rookie quarterback Josh Allen, who is still day-to-day with an elbow injury. Derek Anderson is also questionable with a concussion, which could force the Bills to go back to Nathan Peterman. The Bills have scored a total of 20 points over their last three games while Allen has been out of the starting lineup.
Despite both teams currently being in the middle of a long losing streak, these teams usually get up for facing one another. Both teams held serve at home last year, although the Jets pulled off a season sweep during the 2016 season. Even if both teams are outside the playoff picture, there will still be bragging rights on the line in this game. Plus, both teams will be trying to avoid finishing last in the AFC East.
I can’t believe it’s come to this, but I’m going to swallow more than a touchdown for a 3-6 team that hasn’t won a game in nearly a month. In my defense, the Bills are just that bad. Most Bills fans probably don’t think they’re going to win this game. The Jets have enough to be optimistic about compared to the tire fire in Buffalo, so I’ll take my chances with the Jets covering 7.5 points at home.
At the moment, it’s still unclear who will play quarterback for the Bills this week. If it’s Peterman, I actually feel good about eating the points. Whatever positives people may have seen from him are clearly negated by his seven interceptions to just one touchdown pass this season. He’s also averaging less than four yards per pass attempt, which is terrible beyond comprehension for an NFL quarterback.
Even if Allen is deemed healthy enough to play, there’s no way of knowing what the Bills will get out of him. He probably won’t be 100% healthy, which isn’t ideal. Also, it’s not as if he was having a great season before hurting his elbow. On top of everything else, Allen would still have to deal with a weak offensive line in front of him and a running game that’s averaging less than four yards per carry. No matter who is playing quarterback for Buffalo this week, they won’t be set up for success.
One could argue that the Bills should have more success against the Jets than they did against the Chicago defense last week. That’s a fair point, but the New York defense is still middle of the pack. The Jets have been solid if unspectacular defending the run and have usually defended the pass well when facing mediocre quarterbacks. They didn’t give up much against Brock Osweiler last week, so I’m not sure how Buffalo’s quarterbacks expect to do much better.
On the other side of the ball, McCown starting in place of Darnold could actually be a good thing, at least in the short term. Say what you will about McCown, but he was solid last year considering his supporting cast. He completed 67% of his passes for close to 3,000 yards while making 13 starts. As a veteran, he’s more than capable of coming off the bench midway through the season and giving the Jets a solid performance.
If nothing else, McCown should take care of the football. Darnold is responsible for 14 of the team’s 20 turnovers this season. Obviously, those turnovers have held the Jets back at times. McCown may not make the spectacular play, but as long as he doesn’t hurt the Jets with turnovers, they should be in good shape against the Bills.
In the end, it’s hard to imagine the Bills eclipsing the 10-point mark with all of their offensive struggles this season. Even though the Buffalo defense has played well for much of the year, the Jets can surely make a strong push for at least 20 points. If that happens, it should be enough to cover 7.5 points. Again, I don’t love the idea of swallowing the points in this game, but I have no faith in the Bills to beat the spread.