The Buffalo Bills (4-4) have not made the playoffs since the season ending 1999. Since then they have finished .500 or better four times, including this past season.
The coaching change to Rex Ryan was supposed to signal a continuation of that winning path, even though he made wholesale changes.
Three losses to division leaders and a slip up against the Jacksonville Jaguars has everyone writing the Buffalo Bills off. Two of these four losses came with starting Quarterback Tyrod Taylor injured.
Head coaches with big personalities, especially ones with a defense first philosophy, often make people think quarterbacks are interchangeable. So far, the Bills have realized this is not the case.
Buffalo's only chance to win lies on Rex's willingness to open up the offense and rely on Taylor's arm, decision-making and legs. For Quarterbacks who have started 4 or more games this season, Taylor is Top Five in QB Rating, Pass Percentage, Passing Yards Per Attempt and Rushing Yards Per Attempt.
Tonight Buffalo At NY Jets (-2; 41.5) pits Taylor against a Jets defense that is still Top 10 in the NFL but has slipped a bit due to recent lapses in the secondary and missed tackles.
After four seasons as a backup in Baltimore, this game is important for Taylor because it's his chance to be in the rising star quarterback conversation.
For the Buffalo Bills, this game is their playoffs. A loss tonight means they will need to finish the season 6-1 to earn a Wild Card spot.
The question: can Buffalo score 24 points? The Jets have not won a game this season when the opponent scores that much or more.
Though the Bills usually score 24+ when Taylor plays, these results are against teams with losing records and poor defenses.
I take Jets (OVER). Pick wisely, come back for Sunday's picks and look forward to the day Tyrod Taylor earns his wings.