The Buffalo Bills are locked into the fifth seed for the AFC playoffs and have one more tune-up on Sunday when they host the New York Jets in the finale of the regular season. A 24-17 loss at New England last week ended any dreams the Bills had of ending the Patriots' string of AFC East titles, but Buffalo will be headed to the playoffs for the second time in three years following a 17-year drought.
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The Bills will open on the road against either Kansas City or Houston, and the finale against the Jets might afford an opportunity to rest some key players, although quarterback Josh Allen and others will see a majority of the snaps. "It's big picture," coach Sean McDermott told the media of the decision to give his starters significant reps Sunday. "It's where we are as a team and certainly there's a lot of different ways you can go about it. I've been around it and just where we are with this team, this year - and where we're trying to go - we feel like this is the right thing for this team, this year, in this situation. We have work to do." The Jets have won five of their last seven but a dismal start was too much to overcome and sealed a ninth straight season without a playoff spot. The league's seventh-ranked defense (324.1 yards allowed per game) helped New York to a 16-10 win over Pittsburgh last week to hurt the Steelers' playoff chances.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Bills -1.5 O/U: 36.5
ABOUT THE JETS (6-9): The players enjoyed the role of spoiler against the Steelers and they seem to have some extra motivation coming into this one as well, seeking payback for a brutal Week 1 loss in which they squandered a 16-point lead against the Bills. "Yeah, we coming after them," star safety Jamal Adams told reporters. "We hunting, man. ... It's a playoff game for us. We hear they're going to start their starters. That's good. We're looking forward to the matchup, I can tell you that." New York's only road win in seven tries this season was Nov. 17 against a Washington team that had one victory at the time.
ABOUT THE BILLS (10-5): Buffalo may want to put some bubble wrap around Allen, who is never shy about running with the football and absorbing hits. He was solid against the vaunted New England defense last week, throwing for 208 yards and two touchdowns while running for 43 yards and playing turnover-free football. The 23-year-old had a rushing score early in the fourth quarter and a 38-yard scoring strike to John Brown late in the Week 1 comeback at New York.
1. Jets WR Robby Anderson has four TD catches in his last six games after recording one through his first nine contests.
2. New York ranks second in the NFL in rushing defense (87.9 yards) and Buffalo is third in passing defense (195.9).
3. Allen ran for 101 yards and a score but threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in the last matchup with the Jets at home, a 27-23 win for New York on Dec. 9, 2018.
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O'Leary is on the Injured Reserve/Non-Football Illness list due to an illness. He is likely to miss the entire 2020 season.