The Jets have a sterling mark at home, but they haven’t tasted a road victory as November commences. And now after a bye week, they have a tough challenge ahead as the Bills lie in wait in Western New York.
“We do have our work cut out for us, but I feel confident,” OLB Calvin Pace said this week. “We’ve been some places that nobody gave us a chance to win and came out with a win.
“The thing to playing on the road, I just look at it like when we’re getting booed or people are talking crazy to me — I just think they’re cheering for us. You just have to take that mindset that if you play well enough, you can eventually make it your home field because the crowd will bow down and you can switch the momentum back to your side.”
The 5-2 Bills, one of the NFL’s early surprises near the midway point, own a 4-0 record at home. They dominated the Washington Redskins by a 23-0 score in Week 8, but that contest was played in Toronto.
“We do have some challenges in front of us, but I think we do a good job of staying in the moment,” said Pace, who is tied for the team lead with three sacks. “This week is about Buffalo. Everything else doesn’t matter if we don’t take care of business this week.”
The Jets will play host to the New England Patriots in Week 10 and then travel to Denver for a Thursday night game against the Broncos to start Week 11. Then the Bills will visit New Jersey in Week 12 for a return matchup.
Chan Gailey’s crew is a confident bunch and the Bills’ offense has been clicking all season. The wagons have circled as the Jets’ next opponent is averaging 30.1 points per game.
“You have to give credit to the players. I think they have bought in what Chan Gailey is trying to do and it’s working,” Pace said. “Fred Jackson has been there for a long time, [Ryan] Fitzpatrick has been there, Stevie Johnson. They have guys who know the system and it’s working for them.”
Fitzpatrick owns a 67.7 completion percentage and has thrown four of his 14 TDs to Johnson. Jackson is putting up MVP-like numbers, having rushed for 721 yards and six TDs and added 353 receiving yards.
“I haven’t had a chance to watch them too often, but I do know Fred Jackson is a hell of a running back who still doesn’t get the credit he deserves. We watched plays today and it seems like everything he was running — screen passes, straight run plays — were like for 20 yards or more,” said Pace. “He is very effective and Fitzpatrick is a good quarterback. He does the right things and you definitely respect his game.”
The Jets have won five of the past six in the series and they’ve won the past three they’ve been visitors. The Bills need this game not only to stay ahead of the Jets in the standings and hold serve at home but to take that next step as an emerging contender. New York’s AFC representatives have steadied themselves after their 2-3 start and now find themselves just one game out of first place behind the Bills and Pats.
“It’s going to be pretty loud. They definitely want to beat us and they probably think it’s overdue. It’s still in New York, so hopefully we’ll have some Jets fans come up and give us some support,” Pace said. “It’s a situation where I think we have to go out there and set the tone and put an end to all that. It’s an environment where if you let them get started, it’s going to be tough, it really is, so we have to go out there and set the tone early.”
Tags: Buffalo Bills, Calvin Pace, Chan Gailey, Fred Jackson, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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