Playing Josh Allen and other starters is risky, but Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane firmly believe that whatever action they get Sunday will pay dividends for the playoffs. My greatest concern is that Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is not one to follow the rules of good sportsmanship. If a defender of his has a chance to lay a massive hit on Allen, legally or otherwise, Williams will give the green light to do so. Still, regardless of who plays for the Bills and for how long, I think they will do what it takes to knock off a Jets team that is a mess and doesn't appear to have a real plan to get better anytime soon. Bills, 24-14.
It's been two decades since the Bills last won 11 games (or 10, for that matter). To a man last week in the locker room after the loss to the New England Patriots, the team's starters said some variation of the same thing – they want to end the season on a high note by playing against the Jets. Sean McDermott is giving them the chance. The thinking here is they'll respond in the right fashion, believing that a win will have them pointed in the right direction for their upcoming playoff game. To their credit, the Jets haven't mailed it in after starting the season 1-7. They beat the Raiders and Steelers, significantly damaging the playoff hopes of both teams. Those games were played at home, though, and the Jets are just 1-6 away from MetLife Stadium. It's hard to see them getting up for a meaningless finale. Bills, 22-18.
It would be crazy to place a bet on this game. Nothing that happens in the game has any bearing on the Bills’ playoff game, unless a key player gets hurt. I think the Bills will play with pride. Jamal Adams said this week: “We coming after them. We hunting, man.” I think the Bills will respond. But I’m inclined to pick the Jets. I don’t expect Josh Allen to play much more than a quarter. I expect Julian Stanford and Corey Thompson will see a ton of action in place of Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano. Jets, 16-13.
The logic of playing Josh Allen in a game that ultimately means nothing is incomprehensible. There's a certain need to keep the starters sharp as the Bills prepare for the playoffs, but there's always a question regarding the risk of injury, and we'll see what the Bills' second string – particularly its offense – can do. Expect the backups to show life against the Jets, one of the NFL's foundering franchises. This should be a win for the Bills, particularly with their depth, and a win that will springboard them into the playoffs. Bills, 19-14.