Check out Sal's keys and notes

WGR 550
December 29, 2019 - 5:46 am
Bills vs Jets

(WBEN/WGR)  The Buffalo Bills play their regular season finale at home today against the New York Jets at New Era Field.

Here are my three keys to the game:

Stay healthy

This game means nothing in the standings. The Bills are locked into the fifth seed in the AFC Playoffs no matter what happens here or elsewhere. The Jets aren’t going to the playoffs, but the Bills are, and they need to make sure they are as healthy as possible for their Wild Card game either against the Houston Texans or Kansas City Chiefs next week. Head coach Sean McDermott said the majority of his starters will play this Sunday, but didn’t indicate which ones will see how much time, other than saying quarterback Josh Allen will play. With only 46 players allowed to be active on game day, it limits McDermott’s options, as far as how many players can actually sit out. No matter how much Allen plays, or any other player, getting out of the game healthy is the most important thing.

Stay sharp

The balance between staying healthy and staying sharp is what the coaches have been trying to find all week. McDermott can choose to sit a lot of the starters or key backups, but that means they’ll all have to turn the switch back on, so to speak, when it comes time to play a playoff game in six or seven days. Taking a week off to get right physically is great, but it can also take a bit away from the mental routine and preparation that’s been going on for four months. That’s why the players who are actually on the field, starters or backups, need to stay dialed into the task at hand and keep the timing and rhythm needed on a play-to-play basis.

Youth movement

Even with most starters and other key players playing, there should be quite a few other backups who don’t normally see a lot of snaps get plenty of them, and this would be a great chance for them to shine. This isn’t preseason. These guys aren’t fighting for roster spots. They are on the team and will be for the playoffs and may need to go in at any point if there’s an injury to a guy in front of them. Whether it’s wide receiver Duke Williams, safety Jaquan Johnson, defensive end Darryl Johnson, or several others who may see more snaps than usual, this is a great opportunity for them to gain valuable experience in a real game, and also show the coaching staff what they can do given a chance.

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