The NFL schedule makers have placed Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills in a bit of a national spotlight. Facing his former team, the New York Jets at the Ralph gives Ryan an opportunity to both be a spoiler and salvage a lost season. A loss however, leaves Ryan and the Bills with a losing season and a very disgruntled fan base.

Actually even a win won’t wash away the bitter taste of another season without a playoff appearance, but ending with a win is better than not. Plus, knocking the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick out of the playoffs does earn the Bills a very small bit of redemption on the national stage.

Against the dreary Cowboys the Bills were able to run the ball, but two turnover cost them points and the 16-6 win was hardly a masterpiece. Dallas right now with all their injuries is one of the worse teams in the NFL and the Bills couldn’t shake them at home until the final 3 minutes. They will need a much better offensive output against a fired up Jets team to end their season with a “W”.

I’m sure there are some in this town who wouldn’t mind seeing Ryan Fitzpatrick in the playoffs. The former Bills QB has played his heart out this season and has eliminated some of the bad judgement throws in his game that have hurt him in the past. Watching both Fitz and Fred Jackson make it to the playoffs this year does allow some Bills fans to live vicariously through their teams.

For Ryan it seems he has more opportunities to make headlines than most. If the Bills were playing almost anyone else than the New York Jets this game would mean nothing the national media. Now it has taken on the form of a “revenge” game and the New York press will have a field day.

Ryan is not about to get fired even should the Bills lose to the Jets. Finishing with a 7-9 record is obviously a huge step back from where almost everyone thought this team would be, but I’m sure the Pegula’s will give Rex another year to show injuries were a major factor in the poor performance.

Should the Bills win this game we will hear in the off season about the many close defeats and the number of games the Bills had a chance to pull out on their final possession.

A loss to the Jets will keep Ryan firmly planted on the hot seat. Few teams sell hope better than the Bills, but they will need one hell of a marketing campaign to overcome the sense of “what should have been” for the next nine months.


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