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Jets vs. Bills 2014 preview: Buffalo trying to eclipse .500 with 'home game' in Detroit

The Buffalo Bills are favored to down the New York Jets Monday, but will the change of venue affect them?

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The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills were among the worst teams in the league last season, but one of them has managed to look respectable thus far this season. That would be the Bills, who are .500 with a 5-5 record, which has them in third place in the AFC East, a division that, surprisingly, isn't  quite out of reach just yet. New York, on the other hand, is still struggling and things aren't looking good going forward.

New York is 2-8, with wins coming against the Oakland Raiders in Week 1 and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10. That win over Pittsburgh was their last game, as they had a bye week in Week 11 so there's actually a chance to get a winning streak started. It's basically too late for them to compete, within the division or the wild card, but they could battle back in hopes of once again saving Rex Ryan's job.

Buffalo has a long way to go to compete in the division, but they have some quality wins on the season and few expected the Bills to be competitive 12 weeks into the season. Still, it should be a tough game for them, as the Jets do rank well in a few key categories, namely on the defensive side of the ball.

This was originally set to be a Bills home game Sunday, but the weather conditions forced the league to postpone the matchup and move it to Detroit, as the Lions are taking on the New England Patriots on the road. It's led to limited practice time for the Bills, which could be a factor.

Digits

Buffalo has had some quality wins thus far this season, but their biggest margin of victory came against none other than the Jets in Week 8. Buffalo dominated the Jets in New York, winning 43-23. Quarterback Kyle Orton completed just 10 passes, but those passes went for 238 yards and, more importantly, four touchdowns. The Bills put up 43 points while only rushing for 67 yards total. At the time, they forced six turnovers (two fumble recoveries, four interceptions) and committed none of their own.

That's a big reason for Buffalo's relative success this season. They rank seventh in passing yards allowed, with 222.6 and ninth in opposing rushing yards allowed, with 99.0. In the same categories on offense, the Bills find themselves ranked 20th and 25th, respectively.

The running game is about the only spot the Jets really shine -- on either side of the ball. They rush for 140.9 yards per game, fourth overall in the league (a stark contrast to their passing yardage, which comes out to 178.5 yards per game -- last in the league) and they allow just 83.2 rushing yards per game, also fourth in the league.

Who to Watch

Chris Ivory: The Jets running back has been a pleasant surprise. He's had a couple 100-yard rushing games, and has 123 carries for 548 yards and five touchdowns. He's been banged up in recent weeks though, and hasn't put up big numbers since a mid-October game against the Patriots, when he had 107 yards and a touchdown. While the Bills are good against the run, Ivory has had a week off to heal up and could be in line for a big game.

Kyle Orton: The Bills' current starting quarterback hasn't been amazing, but he's put together some impressive performances this season. Overall, he's completed 64 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions, which has been enough to win them some games. He's worth watching because he had his best game of the year against the Jets the first time around, tossing four touchdowns with an average of 14.0 yards per completion.

The Venue

This is an interesting one. While the Bills have a devoted fanbase that generally shows up well for home games, this one has been moved to Detroit's Ford Field, where tickets are free. There will obviously be fans of the Bills around, and maybe even the Jets, but the crowd impact on this game is a huge question mark for the time being.

How to Watch

Where: Ford Field, Detroit

When: 7 p.m. ET

TV: CBS

Announcers: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots

Radio: Jets Radio NetworkBills Radio Network

Online streaming: Verizon NFL MobileNFL Sunday Ticket

Odds

The Bills opened as 3.5-point favorites early in the week, but the line has narrowed a bit since then. Some sites have them at -3 still, while others dropped to -2.5, according to OddsShark.

Preliminary judgment

The Bills are obviously favored by Vegas, and the experts are in agreement. SB Nation's panel was unanimous in picking the Bills to win this one.

Further Reading

For more on the Bills, head over to Buffalo Rumblings. If you want more on the Jets, check out Gang Green Nation.

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