KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. ET
TV: CBS (Dick Enberg, Dan Fouts)
SERIES: 97th regular-season meeting. Bills lead series 52-44. The Jets swept last season's series 26-17 and 31-27. The last meeting at The Meadowlands on Dec. 14, 2008 was epic. Buffalo took a 27-24 lead with 5:39 to play on an 11-yard Fred Jackson run. After the defense forced a three-and-out, the offense was seemingly in control of the outcome when Jets S Abram Elam blitzed and blindsided QB J.P. Losman, forcing a fumble. DE Shaun Ellis scooped up the ball and ran 11 yards to the end zone for the winning TD.
KEYS TO THE GAME: Bills QB Trent Edwards' completion percentage has declined for four consecutive games and he has notoriously struggled during his career reading 3-4 defenses. None are more complicated than the Jets', meaning the Bills desperately need RBs Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson to control this game on the ground. The addition of WR Braylon Edwards provided immediate dividends for the Jets. Rookie QB Mark Sanchez now has a big-play threat downfield, which should only open more holes for the ground game. The biggest adjustment now is for Sanchez to start looking off his primary receiver more.
Bills:Five games into the season, the Bills are still waiting for No. 1 draft pick Aaron Maybin to make an impact. It could be a long wait.
Maybin, who missed a month of training camp in a contract dispute, has averaged a mere 14 snaps a game at defensive end in Buffalo's 1-4 start and has been credited with just three tackles.
While he's listed at 250 pounds, most insiders believe he's closer to 235 or 240. That lack of size has squashed Maybin's ability to play more against teams that run the ball well. And everybody's running the ball well on Buffalo of late with its linebacker corps depleted.
The team lost two players, Kawika Mitchell and Marcus Buggs, to season-ending knee injuries in last week's loss to Cleveland but expects starting middle linebacker Paul Posluszny to return Sunday against the New York Jets. Posluszny missed four games with a broken arm.
The Bills would like to get into a game where they can utilize Maybin more as a pass rusher. When Mitchell and Buggs were hurt last week, Maybin was not an option to play linebacker even though the team gave hints during the offseason he could be used there. He doesn't know the system well enough to play that position, however, and his coverage abilities are unknown.
"People have attacked us in a way where we haven't been able to use his talents," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. "Miami gets into their deal and they're just pound, pound, pound. Cleveland, it was pound, pound, pound. Maybin is more a rush-the-passer guy. I don't think he's physically ready to be taking a pounding for us (against the run) right now."
That's a big hurt for the Bills, who needed their first-round pick to make a difference for them. Maybin, of course, would like more playing time.
"I've never been one to complain," he said. "Never been one to do anything but come to work and work hard and try to get better."
During Braylon Edwards' first practice with the Jets on Oct. 8, fellow wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery tweaked his hamstring reaching for a pass and was forced to the sidelines for the rest of that day.
Talk about a buzz kill.
All of the Jets' players were excited about Edwards' acquisition, but perhaps none more so than Cotchery, who knows how much he can benefit from the extra attention defenses must pay to Edwards.
And it's not as if Cotchery had been struggling on his own, with 23 receptions in the four games before Edwards' arrival. But Cotchery had only one catch at Miami as he struggled to play through the injury, and it appears he won't be able to play Sunday versus Buffalo as the Jets likely will err on the side of caution in letting the injury heal.
"The day I did it, that was all that was going through my mind," Cotchery recalled Thursday, a week later. "We brought in a key piece that can really open things up for our offense and for me to not be able to be out there full speed and helping this offense thrive, it was hard to deal with. The important thing right now is to make sure to take care of my body and get myself back to 100 percent, to make sure that I am taking all of the necessary steps I can to be able to go out there and help this team."
So that means there again will be more responsibility on Edwards' shoulders. But it appears he can handle it.
When asked if he has exceeded his own expectations, he responded with a laugh, "Would it be bad if I said no? I just want to go out there and make some plays. I left a few plays out there. I just want to go out there and continue to do what they were doing, which is winning. It (stinks) that we didn't win this past Monday. We just want to go into this Buffalo game and try to get back and move in the right direction. I don't think I surprised myself. I did what I was supposed to do."
He grabbed five passes for 64 yards and a touchdown in his Jets debut, setting up one touchdown with a twisting 34-yard catch and another by drawing pass interference at the Miami 3.
"I feel good," he said. At the end of the day, it's football at a national level. You go out there, work hard and you study. As in any sport, any job, the more you study, the more you know the more you can go out there and be comfortable. That's what I'm going to continue to do. I feel better. I feel like my feet are underneath me and I'm moving forward."
He added, "I don't think there were too many moments of indecision (against Miami). On the one or two I might have had, Jerricho was in the slot and reminding me. I had Brad (Smith) or even Mark (Sanchez) give me a hand signal to remind myself. They did a heck of a job keeping me fresh and the rest was just studying before the game. I think we did a good job. (Wide receivers) coach (Henry) Ellard met with me in the mornings, afternoons and evenings spending extra time to just (get) me up to speed. I credit that to them last week."
PREDICTION: Jets 33-16