It's a homecoming for Bills coach Rex Ryan Thursday night as his team faces his former squad, the Jets, in a game with potential wild-card implications. Let's examine some Buffalo NFL player props.
Buffalo is currently seventh in the AFC with a 4-4 record. Winning the AFC East is out of the question as the unbeaten New England Patriots are running away with that division. So it's wild card of bust for Buffalo, which has the longest playoff drought in the NFL. Over the past seven seasons, 15 teams have started 4-4 or worse and rebounded to qualify for the postseason. Eight of those teams, including the 2014 Carolina Panthers, won at least one playoff game. The only club among those 15 to reach a conference championship game was the 2009 Jets. Buffalo has a road-heavy schedule left, however. After this, the Bills are in New England next Monday and then at Kansas City. The season closes at home vs. Houston, at Philadelphia, at Washington, vs. Dallas and vs. the Jets. The Bills should be favored in all those on NFL odds but at the Patriots and Eagles.
Don't be surprised if Ryan does something to rub the Jets' noses in this game if given the chance (i.e. Bills have big lead) after he was fired by the franchise he took to two AFC title games after last season. Ryan already has named IM Enemkpali as a team captain. He was cut by the Jets back in August after sucker-punching quarterback Geno Smith and breaking Smith's jaw. So Enemkpali will be out there for the coin toss Thursday. That should be interesting.
Tyrod Taylor 'Over/Under' 19 Completions, 212.5 Passing Yards, 2 TDs +INTs
The Bills surprised many when they named Taylor as their starter on Opening Day as he had never started a game in his career, which had been spent backing up Joe Flacco in Baltimore. It has proven to be a wise move. Taylor is fourth in the NFL with a rating of 108.8 and first with a completion percentage of 71.8. Taylor is on pace to join Hall of Famer Jim Kelly (101.2 in 1990) as the only players in club history with a rating of 100-plus in a season. The Jets' defense started the season looking like the NFL's best. That hasn't been the case of late. While the front seven is still excellent, the secondary has fallen apart despite quality players back there such as Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine. The Jets have allowed an average of 29 points per game and 1,240 yards in their last three games. Jacksonville's Blake Bortles torched that group in a close loss on Sunday. Cromartie is likely to sit this one out due to injury. That might be a good thing with the way he has been burned of late.
NFL Free Picks: Jets are No. 1 vs. the run so Taylor will be throwing. 'OVER' all.
LeSean McCoy O/U 55.5 Rushing Yards
McCoy +275 To Score TD And Bills Win
Karlos Williams +800 To Score TD And Bills Win
The Bills have one of the best 1-2 running back punches in the NFL in McCoy, the former Eagle, and Williams, the rookie from Florida State. Buffalo is No. 2 in the NFL in rushing behind that duo at 141.6 yards per game. Each had at least 110 yards and a touchdown in last week's blowout win over Miami. Both also have missed time due to injury this season. Williams is the seventh player in NFL history to score a touchdown in each of his first five career games. They go against a Jets team that ranks No. 1 in the NFL against the run.
NFL Free Picks: 'UNDER' McCoy, who has a minor shoulder injury. Take that Williams TD/Bills win bet. Great value price.
Sammy Watkins O/U 4.5 Receptions, 62.5 Receiving Yards
Watkins has generally been a good player since the Bills traded up in the 2014 draft to get him at No. 4 overall in last year's draft. It's just that Watkins has had trouble staying on the field. This year he has been limited to five games but broke out Sunday vs. the Dolphins with eight catches for a career-high 168 yards with a touchdown. Watkins hadn't topped 60 in any other game this year. Watkins had one big game vs. the Jets as a rookie (three catches, 157 yards, TD) and one quiet one (three catches, 35 yards). No doubt the Jets stick Revis on him.
NFL Free Picks: 'UNDER' both. Revis will erase Watkins, who is still dealing with a nagging injury.