New York does have winning football team: the Buffalo Bills
By Barry Wilner
AP Pro Football Writer
New York’s only NFL team — yes, that would be the Buffalo Bills — are on the longest playoffs schneid in any major pro sport.
The previous time they made the postseason, the calendar was turning from the 20th century to the 21st.
This year, the Bills are zeroing in on ending that string of futility. They’ve won four of five heading into Thursday night’s game at the New Jersey Meadowlands against the Jets, a team they’ve already beaten this season.
Which means little, according to coach Sean McDermott.
“It’s really all on … getting ourselves fresh and … the second objective at this point, this part of our preparation is to understand our plan,” McDermott said. “Anything outside of that at any other thing becomes noise at this point.”
At 5-2, the Bills seem to be ignoring the noise. With a win they can move into a tie atop the AFC East with idle New England.
But to think the Jets (3-5) will be an easy mark is foolhardy. Though they’ve lost three straight, they could have won all of them. Simply put, they can’t finish.
“We have urgency, we have toughness, and we fight,” coach Todd Bowles says. “We have to cut down on the mistakes. That’s the biggest thing.”
The Bills (No. 9 in AP Pro32) are a 3½-point favorite over No. 25 New York. Sounds about right.
BILLS 23, JETS 20
KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP
Vikings scared us early, then romped past inept Browns. With Cleveland off this week, need to find another patsy to pick against. Let’s try HOUSTON over Indy.
No. 7 Los Angeles Rams (minus 3 1-2) at No. 29 New York Giants
More turmoil in Meadowlands as another Giants CB gets suspended.
BEST BET: RAMS, 26-13
No. 17 Detroit (minus 3) at No. 16 Green Bay, Monday night
Packers coming off bye, getting Hundley ready for slumping Lions.
UPSET SPECIAL: PACKERS, 20-16
No. 19 Washington (plus 6 1-2) at No. 6 Seattle
Team from Washington (state) beats banged-up team from Washington (D.C.)
No. 20 Denver (plus 7 1-2) at No. 1 Philadelphia
Fly, Eagles, Fly. Got to ride that wave.
No. 28 Tampa Bay (plus 6 1-2) at No. 8 New Orleans
Good times are rolling in Nawlins. Bucs can’t stop them.
No. 24 Cincinnati (plus 5 1-2) at No. 12 Jacksonville
Rested Jaguars in thick of division race. Not so for Bengals.
No. 13 Atlanta (plus 2 1-2) at No. 10 Carolina
Can’t figure out either of these recent NFC titlists.
No. 27 Arizona (minus 2) at No. 31 San Francisco
If Niners are going to win, might need to be this week or next. OK, this week.
No. 4 Kansas City (plus 2) at No. 11 Dallas
Zeke or no Zeke, we’ll go with Chiefs.
No. 23 Oakland (minus 3) at No. 22 Miami
Two 2016 playoff teams struggling mightily.
No. 30 Indianapolis (plus 11) at No. 14 Houston
After that offensive show vs. Seattle, Texans won’t be slowed by sinking Colts.
No. 18 Baltimore (OFF) at No. 15 Tennessee
Would’ve been a toss-up game even with point spread.
Last week: Against spread (7-5-1). Straight up (9-4)
Season Totals: Against spread (55-57-2). Straight up: (74-45)
Best Bet: 4-4 against spread, 6-2 straight up.
Upset special: 6-2 against spread, 6-2 straight up