Better Know the Enemy: Buffalo Bills

A look ahead at this week's Jets foe

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012  |  Updated 4:05 PM EDT
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Better Know the Enemy: Buffalo Bills

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Mario Williams came to Buffalo and brought high expectations with him.

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Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Jets' next opponent. This week, that opponent is the Buffalo Bills.

We've had quite enough talk about the Jets offense (or lack therof) for a couple of lifetimes.

Let's turn our attention away from New Jersey and toward the only NFL team that actually calls the Empire State home. The Bills are rolling into the Meadowlands for the 2012 lid-lifter on Sunday afternoon and they aren't the Bills you remember.

Those Bills were easy for even the Jets to score against and they've won five straight against Buffalo as a result. That's probably not the case anymore.

The Bills signed Mario Williams and Mark Anderson to rush the quarterback off the edges and they drafted Stephen Gilmore to give them a better chance of stopping the passes when those two can't come up with a sack. Throw in Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams at defensive tackle and you've got a strong case for why the Bills could finish above the Jets this season.

Sunday will bring our first hint of how that will work out and these are the Bills storylines you need to know for the game.

The Defensive Line - Not to belabor the point, but it's so strange to see the Bills with an imposing defense that it takes a little repeating to actually believe it. The Jets offensive line did not have a good preseason, even after Wayne Hunter was sent to the Rams, and the offense isn't going to get on track if they don't step up their game against this group.

Ryan Fitzpatrick - Fitzpatrick landed a big contract extension after a hot start last season, but he and the team went sharply downhill from that point. Fitzpatrick turned the ball over way too much, something that's been blamed on increased risktaking thanks to defensive shortcomings. The defense is better, but it won't matter if Fitzpatrick's decision making remains the same.

Stevie Johnson, Revis Killer - Johnson's carved out an interesting niche for himself as the receiver who has solved Revis most often. At any rate, stopping Johnson will be tough.

Cordy Glenn - The Bills took Glenn in the second round of the draft and installed him at left tackle from day one. He's got the size to do the job, but not everyone was sure he could handle the position coming out of college.

Playoff Drought - Buffalo hasn't been in the playoffs since 1999 -- they lost to the Titans on the Music City Miracle -- but there's real buzz around the team for the first time in a long time heading into this season. There's going to be pressure on the Bills to meet the hype in week one against a Jets team plenty of people think is heading in the wrong direction.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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