Bills–Jets rivalry

The Bills–Jets rivalry is a rivalry between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets in the National Football League. Both of these teams play in the same division (AFC East) and as a result, play two scheduled games each season. Both represent the same state, New York, with the Bills having their primary fan base in Western New York, and the Jets in the New York City area. They have a long history between each other, as they were original members of the American Football League in 1960.

This rivalry is fueled primarily by the differences between New York City and the rest of New York State, and also by the Bills claiming to be the only team in New York due to the Jets and their NFC counterparts New York Giants actually playing their games in East Rutherford, New Jersey, a suburb of the city. However, the two teams have rarely been successful at the same time, and as such, their rivalry usually lacks the intensity that is present in other rivalries, such as the Jets' rivalry with the Patriots and the Bills' with the Dolphins. There have only been four seasons in which both the Bills and Jets finished with winning records.[2] Regardless, the two teams share a bond due to similarities in their team playing styles and luck.

The Bills lead the overall series, 62–55. The Bills won the two teams' only postseason meeting, defeating the Jets 31–27 in the 1981 AFC Wild Card round.

Buffalo Bills wordmark
Buffalo Bills
New York Jets wordmark
New York Jets
New York Jets wordmark

Notable moments

There were a handful of memorable games in the early history of this rivalry. In 1973, O.J. Simpson eclipsed Jim Brown's rushing yards record to surpass 2,000 yards in a 34–6 Bills win. Eight years later, the teams played their only playoff game together. In the 1981 AFC Wild Card game, the Bills had a 24–0 lead early in the game, but the Jets came back, cutting their deficit to 31–24. A late game interception of Richard Todd sealed the win for the Bills, however.[2]

In the quarterback-rich 1983 NFL draft, the Bills selected quarterback Jim Kelly whereas the Jets famously passed on Dan Marino in favor of Ken O'Brien. This led to a period of dominance by the Kelly-led Bills over the Jets in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[3]

The Jets and Bills played two regular season games with playoff implications in the 1990s. The 1993 season saw the Jets failing to secure a playoff berth by losing a game to the Bills via three missed field goals. In 1998, the Jets secured their first ever AFC East division title by beating the Bills.[2]

In 2008, the Bills were coming off a 5–1 start, but lost 8 of their remaining ten games to finish 7–9 and out of the playoffs. Two of those losses came against the Jets; the latter included a J. P. Losman fumble returned for the Jets' game-winning touchdown as the Bills were trying to run out the clock.[4]

In 2009, Mark Sanchez threw 5 interceptions to the Bills defense, losing a game in overtime for the Jets in which they rushed for 318 yards.[5] Later that year, the Jets rematched the Bills in Toronto as part of the Bills Toronto Series, in which the Jets avenged their loss with a 19–13 win that kept their playoff hopes alive.[6]

During the 2013 NFL draft, the Bills and Jets once again selected quarterbacks with their early picks. EJ Manuel was picked by Buffalo in the first round while Geno Smith was chosen in the second round by the Jets. Ultimately, neither quarterback panned out and both were gone from their teams after 2016.[7]

In 2014, the second Bills–Jets game was played at Ford Field in Detroit due to a freak snowstorm in Buffalo. The Bills won 38–3.[8]

The 2015 offseason saw some notable personnel swaps between the teams. On January 12, Rex Ryan was hired as the head coach of the Bills. Ryan had spent the previous six seasons as the head coach of the Jets.[9] In addition, the Jets hired former Bills head coach Chan Gailey as their offensive coordinator[10] and traded for former Bills starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick who later became their own starter.[11] The Bills also added former Jets Percy Harvin[12] and IK Enemkpali, the latter one day after he was released for breaking Geno Smith's jaw in a locker room altercation.[13] The Bills won both games in 2015, knocking the Jets out of playoff contention with their second win.[14] Tensions arose during the first game on Thursday Night Football when both teams were still in the hunt for a playoff spot, especially after Ryan made Enemkpali a team captain for that game.[15]

In the 2018 NFL Draft, the Bills and Jets each traded up in order to select a highly-touted quarterback.[16] This resulted in Sam Darnold landing with the Jets 3rd overall and Josh Allen being selected by the Bills 7th overall.[17][18] Allen and Darnold met on the field for the first time as rivals on December 9, 2018, with both having missed the first Bills–Jets match-up that year due to injury. The Bills jumped to an early 14–3 lead under Allen, but the Jets fought back with good special teams play to set up short fields and tied the game at 20 by the fourth quarter. After the Bills scored a field goal to retake the lead with just over two minutes to go, Darnold led a game-winning drive for the Jets, including a 37-yard pass to Robby Anderson to set up the go-ahead touchdown run by Elijah McGuire.[19][20]


1986 Jeno's Pizza - 29 - O.J. Simpson (O.J. Simpson crop)

Bills RB O. J. Simpson rushing against Jets in 1973

1986 Jeno's Pizza - 30 - Joe Cribbs (cropped)

Bills RB Joe Cribbs runs against Jets in 1981 Wild Card game

Trent Edwards calling play NY Jets vs. Buffalo, Oct 2009 - 14

Pre-snap activity between Bills and Jets in 2009

Thomas Jones vs Bills cropped

Jets RB Thomas Jones runs for a long touchdown against Bills in 2009

James Dearth Garrison Sanborn Jets vs Bills

Players chatting following a game


  1. ^ "Rivalry status".
  2. ^ a b c "Jets Rivalry Profile: Buffalo Bills". Gang Green Nation. SB Nation. June 10, 2013.
  3. ^ Jose Martinez, Gus Turner (8 September 2013). "A Lengthy History of New York Jets Fails". Complex Sports. Complex Media. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Jets escape costly defeat after scoring on late turnover". Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  5. ^ "Sanchez's INTs overshadow Jones' career day as Jets lose third straight". October 19, 2009.
  6. ^ Iorfida, Chris (4 December 2009). "Jets best Bills in Toronto". CBC Sports. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  7. ^ Arledge, Ben (10 November 2015). "EJ Manuel, Geno Smith headline the worst QB draft of recent memory". ESPN. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Buffalo Bills dig out from snow storm, beat Jets in Detroit". Sports Illustrated. November 25, 2014. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  9. ^ "Buffalo Bills hire Rex Ryan as head coach".
  10. ^ Costello, Brian (January 20, 2015). "Bowles gets his man: Jets hire Chan Gailey as O-coordinator". New York Post.
  11. ^ Corbett, Jim (11 March 2015). "Texans trade QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to Jets". USA Today Sports.
  12. ^ WR Percy Harvin officially signs with Buffalo Archived March 16, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Rodak, Mike (August 13, 2015). "Bills claim IK Enemkpali after release by Jets for breaking Geno Smith's jaw". ESPN.
  14. ^ "Jets blow playoff chance with 22-17 loss to Bills". Associated Press. January 3, 2016.
  15. ^ Parlapiano, Amy (November 10, 2015). "Ryan naming Enemkpali captain is no joke". Sports Illustrated.
  16. ^ Rodak, Mike (March 17, 2018). "Jets box out Bills in quarterback race by trading up to No. 3".
  17. ^ Brady, James (28 April 2018). "NFL Draft results 2018: Full list of selections for all 7 rounds". SB Nation. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  18. ^ Roth, Leo (December 8, 2018). "Who got the better quarterback? Darnold vs. Allen Part I has arrived". Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  19. ^ Stypulkoski, Matt. "Jets win 1st in 56 days with late TD against Buffalo Bills". Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  20. ^ Murphy, Sean. "Buffalo Bills can't hang on, lose to New York Jets 27-23". Buffalo Rumblings. SB Nation. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
AFC East

The American Football Conference – Eastern Division or AFC East is one of the four divisions of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). There are currently four teams that reside in the division: the Buffalo Bills (based in Orchard Park, New York); the Miami Dolphins (based in Miami Gardens, Florida); the New England Patriots (based in Foxborough, Massachusetts); and the New York Jets (based in East Rutherford, New Jersey).

Since the division's enfranchisement in 1960, with the creation of the American Football League, the division has been represented in nineteen Super Bowls and won eight of them. The most recent appearance in the Super Bowl by an AFC East team was the Patriots victory in Super Bowl LIII.

At the end of 2018, the Patriots had the most wins in the division's history, with a record of 500-392-9, with a playoff record of 35-19 (6-5 in Super Bowls) entering the playoffs of that season. The Dolphins were second at 446-350-4 (having played 84 fewer games than their division rivals) with a playoff record of 20-21 (2-3 in Super Bowls). The Bills were at 406-470-8 with a playoff record of 14-15 (with two American Football League titles) and 0-4 in four consecutive Super Bowls. The Jets held a record of 396-480-8, with a playoff record of 12-13 including a victory in Super Bowl III.In 2012, the Patriots broke a tie with the Dolphins for winning the most division titles; with subsequent division titles in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 the Patriots have won 20 AFL/AFC East division titles to Miami's 14. The Bills have won ten division titles, and the Jets have won four.

Two teams formerly in the division combined for ten AFL/AFC East titles – the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans) won four division titles (and the 1960 and 1961 league titles) during the AFL era while the Baltimore–Indianapolis Colts won six division titles (and Super Bowl V) in the 32 seasons they were in the division.

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. The Bills compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays their home games at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills are the only NFL team that plays its home games in the state of New York. The Bills conduct summer training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York, an eastern suburb of Rochester.The Bills began play as an original franchise of the American Football League (AFL) in 1960. The club joined the NFL as a result of the AFL–NFL merger for the 1970 season. The 1964 and 1965 Bills were the only teams representing Buffalo that won major league professional sports championships ("back-to-back" American Football League Championships). The Bills are the only team to win four consecutive conference championships and are the only NFL team to lose four consecutive Super Bowl games. The team was owned by Ralph Wilson from the team's founding in 1960, until his death in 2014 at the age of 95. After his death, Wilson's estate reached an agreement to sell the team to Terry and Kim Pegula, which was approved by the other NFL team owners on October 8, 2014. The Bills formerly possessed the longest active playoff drought in any of the four major professional sports in North America: they did not qualify to play in the NFL playoffs from 1999 until 2017 and were the last NFL team (and last team in the major North American professional sports leagues overall) to compete in the playoffs in the 21st century.

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets Season-by-Season Results
Division championships (10)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (2)
Wall of Fame
Current league affiliations
Former league affiliation
Seasons (58)
Key personnel
Division championships (4)
League championships (1)
Current league affiliations
Former league affiliation
Seasons (60)

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