There are not many same-state rivalries in the National Football League, particularly ones that represent such different demographics. The Jets’ primary fan base is in New York City, whereas the Buffalo Bills’ is in West New York, which seems like another world when you compare the two areas. Buffalo also claims to be the only true New York State team due to the Jets actually playing their games in the NYC suburb of East Rutherford, New Jersey.
History of Bills vs. Jets Rivalry
Both the Bills and the Jets were original members of the American Football League in 1960, and they have belonged to the Eastern Division or AFC East since they were both established. The only issue with this rivalry is they have not had much success in the same seasons, with there only 4 seasons where they both finished with winning records.
Head to Head Analysis of Bills vs. Jets
The Bills lead the overall series over the Jets with a record of 62-55. It has been a steady rivalry over the years, with the 70s being a split of twenty games and the Bills winning the 1960s, 1980s, and 1990s. The Jets have won the past two decades as far as head to head records are concerned. None of these decades were very competitive or all that entertaining, to say the least. A few notable moments between these teams would be when O.J. Simpson broke an NFL rushing record against the Jets during their one playoff matchup, and also when ex-Jets coach Rex Ryan was hired as the head coach for the Bills for two years.
A Glance at Postseason Success in Bills vs. Jets
The 1981 AFC Wild Card game was the only time these two met in the playoffs, with the Bills coming away with the victory by a score of 31-27 after jumping out to a large 24-0 lead. Neither of these teams has had much success in their nearly 60 years as a franchise, but Gang Green might be the biggest disappointment. The Jets have made the playoffs 14 times, which is 4 less than their rivals from Buffalo. The Bills also lead in division championships with their 11 total, versus the 4 for the Jets. Winning the AFC conference is never an easy feat, and the Jets have yet to accomplish that. Buffalo has won the AFC Conference 4 times in consecutive years from 1990-1993, but they failed to win the Super Bowl in any of those seasons. Neither has won a Super Bowl championship since the 1970 AFL-NFL Merger, but the Bills do have 2 AFL Championships compared to just 1 for the Jets.
Bills vs. Jets Rivalry Outlook
The AFC East will be an interesting division to watch as the aging Tom Brady will eventually exit after dominating for so long. Both of these teams have young quarterbacks who have the potential to lead these franchises out of the trenches, with Josh Allen being the man for Buffalo and Sam Darnold for New York. The Jets look for RB Elijah McGuire, WR Robby Anderson, and TE Chris Herndon to step up to bat on the offensive side with Darnold. The Bills lack offensive talent but have high hopes for the likes of WR Zay Jones. Buffalo does not lack young defensive studs, as they have LB Tremaine Edmunds, CB TreDavious White, and LB Matt Milano. New York also has some young defensive talent in guys like SS Jamal Adams, LB Darron Lee, and DL Leonard Williams. I would bet this mediocre rivalry will pick up steam following the lack of competition they’ve had in their nearly 60 years of existence.