On the surface, it would seem to be a recipe for disaster. The Bills are winless and hurt, they've scored just 24 points in three games, their big-play receiver has been almost invisible and they're going to start a rookie quarterback against the Jets.
"Sounds daunting for them, but it's the NFL," S Kerry Rhodes said Wednesday. "Any players they have coming in are just as good as the players they had there anyway, so I'm sure they are waiting for their opportunity to shine and make plays. We have to be ready for them."
Trent Edwards, a third-round pick out of Stanford and the sixth QB selected in the draft, appeared in the preseason for the Bills and was forced into duty last week against the Patriots after an injury to J.P. Losman. This weekend Edwards will make his first NFL start.
"He is going to be nervous and he should be nervous," said an honest Bills coach Dick Jauron during a conference call. "But he'll prepare well and we'll try to play as good as we can. I know he'll give us everything he can."
So the Green & White don't have a lot to scout as far as Edwards is concerned. He led the Bills to a touchdown in his first NFL series and then the Bills got blown away by the Patriots. He finished 10-of-20 for 97 yards with an interception.
"He throws the ball really well. He finds his receivers pretty well," said OLB Bryan Thomas. "You just have to go back and look at this past game and then watch some of the preseason games to just see what kind of style he's really going to bring to the table. They drafted him in the third round, so you have to have something to be drafted there. It looks like he moves well."
The Bills really do have the Jets' attention. It's as if each defender has erased from his head that Sunday's opposition has scored just 17 offensive points.
Even though Lee Evans has caught just five balls for 29 yards, they still see him on video blazing during his 77-yard TD catch at the Meadowlands last December, a game the Bills won convincingly.
"We knew going in that Evans could get deep, but he still did it," Rhodes said of the target who had 1,292 yards last year. "We have to focus on their playmakers, and you can never overlook playmakers."
Buffalo has other speed options. The 5'9", 171-pound Roscoe Parrish, who had a career-high 104 receiving yards in the loss last September against the Green & White, leads the Bills with 10 receptions. It took him two plays from scrimmage to reach the end zone in their first 2006 meeting, scoring on a 51-yard reception.
"In the slot, Parrish is one I haven't seen before," said rookie CB Darrelle Revis. "He's similar to a Wes Welker but a little quicker and faster. It's something you have to prepare for."
Among other things, Jauron would like to see more explosion plays from his offense. He hasn't been dissatisfied with the play of his offensive line and likes the promise of rookie RB Marshawn Lynch. The California product has been a bright spot during an otherwise dismal start, averaging 4.0 yards per rush and scoring twice.
"He's got excellent hands. He can catch the ball and he can be very elusive," Jauron said. "To this point, I don't think it's showed on gameday as much as we'd like it to but hopefully, as we as a team get better and more consistent, he'll have more opportunities to maybe get in the open field and make people miss."
"He is a very good runner. I don't want to compare him to another running back," said OLB Victor Hobson, when asked about a possible comparison to Willis McGahee. "He is his own running back. He has great vision, he runs really hard. He's a great bounceout, cutback type runner and he creates a lot of problems for defenses."
The unknown in the equation is Edwards. At 6'4" and 231 pounds, he's a big kid with a strong arm. The Jets are sure to throw a bunch of different looks at him.
"You don't how they're going to react in certain situations," Rhodes said. "The more film you can get on him and the more time we are out there with him, each series that goes by, we'll know more about him."
Kellen Clemens, the Jets' second-year backup signalcaller, was asked how far he was in his development back in Week 4 of his rookie season.
"I was just trying to figure out what was going on just as far as the season and how fast everything happens," he said. "You are trying to get into a routine, but it's still a difficult time your first year."
But the Jets aren't taking anything for granted. They have already been forewarned by head coach Eric Mangini.
"Coach was telling us basically this whole week that they are going to come and fight, so go out there and just play," Revis said.