Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets Aim to Break Losing Streak vs. Bills on Thursday

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Ryan Fitzpatrick and the New York Jets will have to break their propensity for not bouncing back from road losses on Thursday when they visit the Buffalo Bills, who crushed their playoff hopes last season.

The Jets are one-point favorites against the Bills, with a game total of 40.5 points, in a matchup of AFC East teams who each lost their season opener.

New York, which was edged by the Cincinnati Bengals on a late field goal, is only 2-7 straight-up in their last nine road games following a road loss. Counting the Week 17 loss at New Era Field in 2015 where Fitzpatrick heaved three costly fourth-quarter interceptions against his original NFL team, the Jets are 0-5 both SU and against the spread in their last five games against Buffalo.

Whether that collapse last season weighs on New York is anyone’s guess, but one promising sign is the Jets are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games in Week 2. What’s different this time is that Fitzpatrick’s supporting cast has been upgraded with the addition of versatile veteran RB Matt Forte. On top of what he brings to the rushing phase, Forte’s pass-catching ability also creates matchup problems, and the Bills’ pass defense was among the worst in the NFL at covering running backs in 2015.

Primary WR Brandon Marshall likely has a tough matchup against CB Ronald Darby, but Fitzpatrick does do well at finding secondary targets. The Jets, who gave up only 22 sacks last season, will have to contain Bills OLB Jerry Hughes.

The Bills are 8-3 SU and ATS in their last 11 games after a loss. With the short week before a Thursday game, No. 1 WR Sammy Watkins (foot soreness) and LT Cordy Glenn (ankle) face a tight turnaround to get ready to play. Bills QB Tyrod Taylor absolutely needs the big-play capability of Watkins, who would likely be running routes against Jets CB Darrelle Revis. If Watkins is limited or out entirely, Buffalo would have to rely on the likes of Marquise Goodwin and Greg Salas.

Glenn’s status is also vital to handling the blitzes that Jets coach Todd Bowles loves to dial up against opponents. Thursday night games often involve more ball-control strategy. Having RB LeSean McCoy means the Bills, who are 19-6 ATS in their last 25 games in Week 2, are well-equipped in that regard.

The total has gone under in 10 of Buffalo’s last 14 games as home favorites, and has also gone under in the last three Jets-Bills matchups.

 

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