New York Jets (5-3) at Buffalo (4-4), 8:25 p.m. Thursday night on NFL Network. Like a bad penny, like toilet paper on the bottom of your shoe, like spinach on one’s teeth.

Rex is back.

And he’s just as chatty as ever.

The Bills coach returns to the Meadowlands to face off against his former team in a Thursday night AFC East contest in upstate New Jersey.

Both team enter the Thursday evening contest with home wins under their belts. Buffalo sacked Miami QB Ryan Tannehill for a safety to open the score, taking a 19-7 lead at the half and came away with a 33-17 win in Orchard Park. RBs LESean McCoy and Karlos Williams did the majority of the w“We won and that’s the biggest thing,” says Jets head coach Todd Bowles, who replaced Ryan. “There are some things that we have to clean up. We have to move on to Buffalo right now. We have a short week. We have to turn it around. It was a good win against a gritty team but we have to move on.”

“We’re excited for Thursday, especially going in with a win, we’re just super excited to move forward,” says Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. “We’ve got 24 hours, we’re going to put this game behind us and really go full steam ahead for the Jets. We’re just ready to see what we can do.”

The Bills head into Thursday night with one of the league’s top rushing offenses in 2015, having amassed an AFC-best 141.6 yards per game and 11 touchdowns. Buffalo has rushed for 1,133 total yards, the second-most in the conference this season.

“I think it’s our bread and butter, what we do,” says Bills guard Richie Incognito. “I think we’re really starting to hone in on what we can do well. I think we’re finding what we can do very well and we just repeatedly do it and it keeps working.”

Buffalo running back Le Sean McCoy, who rushed for a season-high 112 yards and a touchdown last week, looks to continue his personal success on Thursdays. In four career Thursday games, McCoy averages 145 scrimmage yards per game and has six total touchdowns (four rushing, two receiving). McCoy aims for his fifth straight game on Thursday with a touchdown.

LeSean McCoy’s career numbers on Thursday:

GAMES – RUSH YARDS/REC. YARDS/SCRIMMAGE YARDS, TOTAL TDS
4 – 445/135/580, 6

GangGreen nearly allowed Jacksonville to tie things up in regulation or leave upstate New Jersey with a win in their grasp. With one last chance and no time outs and their backs to their goal line, Bortles threw what would be an ill-advised pass as CB Marcus Williams picked him off, ending the game for Jacksonville and sending Jets fans home happy. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 5 of 15 on third down tries but found success in their only fourth down try in the contest, keeping the ball for 30:44, while Jacksonville held the pigskin for 29:16 and was 7 of 16 on third down.

Fitzpatrick (Harvard), who now has 136 career touchdown passes, needs two touchdowns passes against Buffalo to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Sid Luckman (Columbia, 137) for the most all-time by an Ivy League quarterback.

The Jets’ wide receiver tandem of Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall looks to continue their string of success in recent weeks. Including his touchdown catch last week, Decker has a receiving touchdown in seven of his past eight games. Since 2010, Decker leads AFC wide receivers with 44 touchdown catches.

Marshall, who also had a touchdown catch last week, has recorded at least 100 receiving yards or a touchdown catch in seven of his past eight games. Marshall has also recorded a touchdown reception in three of his past four games against Buffalo.
Each man would support his club by rushing for over 100 yards in the contest (McCoy led all rushers with 112, while Wiliams had a pair of TDs to go with his 110 yards) as Buffalo ran for 266 yards, while Miami tallied 106. Buffalo went 8 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:13, while the Dolphins kept it for 28:47, going 4 of 9 on third down (neither club attempted a fourth down try).

GangGreen also won at home and like their Thursday night opponent, beat a team from the Sunshine State, holding off a late Jacksonville rally and beat the Jaguars 28-23. The Jets led 14-10 at the half at MetLife Stadium, then held off a furious Jaguar rally, barely outscoring Jacksonville in the second half by a 14-13 margin, despite being held to 29 yards rushing, while Jacksonville ran for 98. Jets RB Chris Ivory ran for a pair of TDs in the 5-point win and the Jets defense sacked Blake Bortles six times and picked him off twice, while Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 272 yards without an interception and a pair of TDs in the process.

Buffalo leads the overall series against GangGreen 57-51 (which includes contests that were played when the Jets were known as the Titans and played their home games at Shea Stadium), have outscored the Jets 2,245-2,195 and have taken wins in four of their last six meetings, including sweeping the series last year. (New York’s last win came in 2013 when the Jets took a hard-earned 27-20 win in the Meadowlands).

MetLife Stadium was the site of the first meeting, which took place in week eight and the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! trailed 24-17 at halftime before the Bills pulled away from GangGreen, taking a 43-23 win. Although they were only able to muster 67 yards rushing and allowing the Jets to rush for 175, Bills QB Kyle Orton threw for 238 yards and four TDs, while Jets signal caller Michael Vick was sacked four times and picked off once, while Geno Smith could not do any better, throwing three interceptions in the loss (New York would have six turnovers on the day).

Buffalo was 3 of 12 on third down tries and kept the ball (much to the ire of Jets fans) for 27:43, while GangGreen did rule the clock, keeping the pigskin for 32:17 and was 9 of 19 on third down but found success in their only fourth down try.

They met again in week 12 but they didn’t meet in upstate New York as planned. Why? Mother Nature got in the act and dumped a ton of snow on the Buffalo area, which forced roads to be closed and the game moved to Detroit’s Ford Field on the Monday night before Thanksgiving. For Jets fans, they may as well stayed in New Jersey, as they were held to a first quarter field goal by Nick Folk and were blown out of the water, with Buffalo cruising to a 38-3 win. This time, the Bills managed to breach the 100-yard rushing barrier (116), while GangGreen was held to 92. Vick and Smith did not fare much better, as they were sacked a combined seven times (Vick-5, Smith-2) and Orton threw for 230 yards and a pair of TDs without being picked off. Buffalo did much better on third down conversions, going 7 of 13 (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 30:54, while the Jets struggled on third down at 3 of 15 and had only one fourth down try (which was successful) and kept the ball for 29:06. The Bills perserved after a week that saw them displaced after a massive winter storm hit the Buffalo and Orchard Park areas and the win allowed them to complete their first season sweep of the Jets since 2007.

Buffalo won the week eight contest by 20, allowing them to cover the 3-point spread and the two clubs covered the 41 over/under with ease, as they joined for 66 points. In the 12 week contest that was supposed to take place in upstate New York but found its way to the Motor City, the Bills were 4 1/2 point favorites and covered the spread, winning by 35 points. Like the first meeting, both teams covered the over/under (39) with 41 points.

GangGreen’s favored by 3 1/2 in upstate New Jersey and the over/under is 44 1/2. Both teams are rivals and both are looking to catch the defending Super Bowl champions and knock the king off the mountain. This one might be one of the better Thursday night contests in the 2015 campaign and may be a good one. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! are already a game better than they were last year, when they struggled to 4-12, which gave Rex the pink slip. Bills may circle the wagons but GangGreen covers the 3 1/2 and takes the win at home.

BROADCAST INFORMATION: NFL Network at 8:25 p.m.: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Boomer Esiason. SIRIUS: TBD (Buffalo), TBD (New York Jets). XM: TBD (New York Jets).

Injury Report

Buffalo
OUT: DT Kyle Williams (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: T Seantrel Henderson (Illness)
PROBABLE: RB LeSean McCoy (Shoulder), WR Sammy Watkins (Ankle), DE Mario Williams (Calf), T Cyrus Kouandjio (Knee)

New York Jets
OUT: S Dion Bailey (Ankle), G Willie Colon (Knee), S Calvin Pryor (Ankle)
DOUBTFUL: CB Antonio Cromartie (Quad), RB Bilal Powell (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Darrly Skrine (Shoulder)
PROBABLE: WR Jeremy Kerley (Illness), RB Thomas Bohanon (Shoulder), TE Kellen Davis (Knee), QB Ryan Fitzpatric (Thumb), RB Chris Ivory (Hamstring), C Nick Mangold (Neck), WR Brandon Marshall (Ankle), CB Dexter McDougle (Hand), RB Stevan Ridley (Knee), QB Geno Smith (Shoulder)

Weather: Mostly Cloudy and 56 degrees

Broadcast information and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best and UsA Today, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel.

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