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Jets Begin Important AFC East Stretch vs. Bills in Orchard Park Today

WR Garrett Wilson (Elbow) Good to Go; CB Michael Carter (Hamstring) Out; Rookie RB Israel Abanikanda to Debut

16x9 inactives (10)

Every game in the NFL brings a new set of storylines and imperatives. And so it is with the Jets' second meeting of the season against the Bills, at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, NY, this afternoon (4:25 p.m. ET kickoff).

The Jets, sitting at 4-5, enter a two-game division stretch that could determine their playoff viability come January. Today's game is against the 5-5 Bills, then comes the NFL's first Black Friday game the day after Thanksgiving, back at MetLife Stadium against the 6-3 Dolphins.

Buffalo has been a formidable AFC East force the past four seasons, still at work on streaks of four consecutive 10-win seasons, four straight playoff appearances and three division titles in a row. But with one-score losses the past two weeks, at Cincinnati and home for Denver, the Bills are at .500. Head coach Sean McDermott, new interim OC Joe Brady, QB Josh Allen and the rest of the red-white-and-blue crew know. A win keeps them apace with the Dolphins for the division title. A loss would drop them behind the Jets in the standings after 11 weeks for the first time since 2013.

Zach Wilson, who has a 2-1 record against Allen and the Bills but with both wins coming at home, returned under center after the sudden early departure of Aaron Rodgers on opening night to lead the Jets from 13-10 down midway through the fourth quarter to 16-13 ahead en route to the 22-16 overtime win over Buffalo. He and the Jets are well aware of what's at stake over the next two games over six days. But there's no looking ahead in football.

"Yeah, every game we look at the exact same way," Wilson said this week. "We're not ever going to say, Hey, the division game this week, we need to make sure we play harder or play tough or whatever. It's all the same. We've got to go out there no matter who we're playing. Every game matters. Every win matters. So that's where we are going to approach this one as well."

See photos the Jets arriving to the stadium in Buffalo for Sunday's game against the Bills.

The Jets defense gets another turn at Allen and the offense, and as dangerous as his connections with Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis and others are, the Jets have been able to pressure Allen, sack him and turn him over in their most recent meetings (6 takeaways, 13 sacks, in the last three games). DL John Franklin-Myers says there's no secret to the Green & White success: "You turn on our tape and, compared to most teams if not every other team, we just play the hardest."

Wilson is expecting to have one of his go-tos in WR Garrett Wilson available. G.Wilson had an elbow injury that limited him in practice all week and led to his questionable status for the game, but he said he plans on playing and in fact is active. The Wilson connection has combined over the past four games to produce at least 12 targets, seven receptions, 80 yards and a 29-yard long in each game. Similar production would be recommended against the Bills, and some touchdowns added to the mix would be ideal to the Jets making this game matter to the max.

The Jets also are expected to have fleet-of-foot fifth-round rookie RB Israel Abanikanda make his regular-season pro debut in this game. Keep your eyes on 25. And sixth-round S Jarrick Bernard-Converse is also active and in line to make his Jets debut.

The Jets' seven -player inactive list for this game:

  • WR Randall Cobb
  • CB Michael Carter II
  • LB Sam Eguavoen
  • T Billy Turner
  • LB Chazz Surratt
  • DL Carl Lawson
  • OL Austin Deculus
And the Bills' five-man inactive list:

* S Damar Hamlin * LB A.J. Klein * G Germain Ifedi * T Aled Anderson * DT Poona Ford

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