The Bills will wear white home jerseys on Sunday when they host the Jets, the first time in 25 years that the Bills have worn the color at home. Sign of the times? You bet. Sunday’s game has something not seen for a long time in western New York in November – meaningful football.
With a win over the Jets the Bills will be 6-2. They haven’t won six of their first eight games to start a season since 1993-94, the last time the franchise played in the Super Bowl.
“I can’t say it’s not different,” Stevie Johnson said. “We can’t sit here and downplay what our season is like now, it’s a big game. They came in here and smacked us up last year. We have to come out and show that we’re a new Bills team.”
Last year’s two losses to the Jets, by a combined score of 76-21 aren’t lost on the Bills. Nor are the differences in Buffalo’s team over the past year.
“There’s more meaning going into this one than our eighth game last year when we were 0-7, that’s for sure,” Ryan Fitzpatrick noted in his weekly press conference. “Anytime you play a division opponent it’s serious. These are the games you have to win to get into the playoffs.”
Fitzpatrick started just one game last year, and did not enjoy the success that he has since with the Bills. He completed just 12/27 passes against the Jets defense for 128 yards and two touchdowns. He noted the importance of making strong decisions with the ball against New York’s defense.
“This is just a team that makes you stay on it that much more and they’ll try to force you into bad decisions. It’s a matter of sometimes having to eat it and sometimes you’ve got to throw it away. You’re not going to score a touchdown on every play, but eliminating the bad plays is a big thing.”
Chan Gailey agreed, and referred to Sunday’s game against the Jets as a “two-fer.”
“It’s always a big game when you play a division opponent that’s right behind you…they take on a little bit more importance than those other games because not only can you get a win but you can give a division opponent a loss.”
The Bills coach said that there is one key difference between this year’s Bills and the team he took over last year.”
“I think they have confidence about who they are. This time last year we were hoping to win. I think we’re at a point now where we expect to win.”