It is Week Ten in the National Football League, the start of the “second half” of the long season. Games are more important now, especially for those squads that find themselves in playoff contention. The two combatants in this week’s nationally-televised Thursday night game can be expected to “put everything on the line” to get a victory.
New York’s upstate representative, the Buffalo Bills, visits the Jets the team that represents “the Big Apple,” but actually plays its home games in the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Yes, the Bills and the Jets, two arch-rivals that are members of the East Division in the American Football Conference (AFC) will be squaring off against one another in a game that could help propel the winner to an eventual “Wildcard” and an invitation to the playoffs.
Buffalo’s “larger-than-life” Head Coach, Rex Ryan, will be leading his squad against the home team Jets, a group he coached for six years before getting fired after last season. It will be the first time that Ryan has returned to the Meadowlands since losing his job.
Coach Ryan has said that the upcoming contest is “just another game,” but few believe he feels that way. This game between two rivals is special for so many reasons. It represents a homecoming of sorts for Ryan and a chance for him to “get even” with the team that “sent him packing.”
More importantly, the Jets, with a Won-Loss record of 5-3, currently are in second place and one full game ahead of the 4-4 Buffalo Bills. The squad from northwestern New York needs to topple the Jets in order to retain a realistic chance of winning one of two Wild Cards available to AFC teams.
For its part, the team that actually calls New Jersey home needs to throttle the visitors in order to maintain its current position as a Wildcard favorite.
Both teams feature solid defenses and stout offensive lines. The Bills have very capable skill players at the running back and wide receiver positions and the Jets do, as well. A strong game plan and effective coaching during the game could go a long way in determining which team prevails.
Of course, a loss by either team will not ruin the season, but it will be a setback that could end up derailing postseason plans. On paper, it appears that these two developing squads are similar in talent and in on-field performance.
The fact that this game is being played in MetLife Stadium in New Jersey could give the New York Jets the advantage they need to emerge victorious. Of course, individual drive and determination by players for both teams are factors that could end up impacting the final score.
This appears to be a game that will be exciting and fun to watch.
Courtesy of Buffalowdown.com