Don Banks of Sports Illustrated recently wrote an article on the toughest matchup that each AFC team would face in 2016. For the Buffalo Bills, Banks listed two games and both are against the same opponent. According to the SI writer, Buffalo's most difficult matchups in 2016 will be in Week 4 and Week 8 against the New England Patriots. Here's what Banks wrote:
Buffalo (Week 4 or 8 vs. New England): It almost goes without saying that for Rex Ryan and his long-suffering Bills, the white whale they both have long pursued hails from Foxborough, Mass. Beating the Patriots is where the story starts and ends for Buffalo, which is still working on that mind-boggling 16-year playoff drought. The Bills were 0–2 against Belichick and Brady last season, finishing 8–8 and in third place in the AFC East. This year, Week 4 brings the first test, with the Bills trying to win for the only second time ever at Gillette Stadium (and that 2014 Week 17 upset came when Brady was yanked early with the playoffs looming). If Brady’s suspension is in effect on Oct. 2, the focus will shift to the Week 8 rematch in Buffalo, with even more on the line in terms of the Bills’ quest to return to division relevancy.
New England has dominated the Bills for over a decade so it's hard to argue with his selection. That said, Buffalo Football Report does not have either Patriots matchup as the most difficult game for the Bills in 2016. Keep an eye for our Top 5 list soon.
Whereas New England was named as Buffalo's most difficult matchup, Banks listed the Bills as the toughest matchup of the year for the New York Jets in Week 2.
New York Jets (Week 2 at Buffalo): The Jets swept the Dolphins last season and split with the division champion Patriots, but a pair of 22–17 losses to the Rex Ryan-led Bills (what are the odds of that score turning up twice?) kept New York from being the worst-to-first Cinderella story of the year in the NFL. The crusher of course came in Week 17 in Buffalo, when quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick melted down in the fourth quarter and cost the 10–6 Jets a playoff berth. New York gets its shot at redemption almost immediately, with a Week 2 Thursday night trip to Ralph Wilson Stadium, after opening at home against Cincinnati four days earlier. The Jets need to put their hex against Rex to bed early to get past 2015 for good.
The Ralph will certainly be rocking in Week 2 for Buffalo's home opener and the Jets will face the challenge of attempting to beat a team that swept them in 2015.
What matchup do you see as Buffalo's most difficult in 2016? Share your thoughts in the Rockpile forum!null