NFL Rivalries: Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets

Wed, Apr 12, 2023
by CapperTek

There should be a rivalry between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets but it has yet to reach its full potential. Both teams play in the AFC East yet the New York Jets can count The Miami Dolphins as historic rivals. They also have a beef with the New England Patriots yet that is mainly down to the likes of Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, and Tom Brady rather than on-field drama. When the Bills meet the Jets, you can place a wager with the latest NFL odds

A Regional Rivalry

Both franchises represent the state of New York and there are two scheduled games in the same division each season. The Jets can count on the New York City metropolitan area for the core of their support. For The Bills, most of their fanbase comes from the western part of New York.

You should expect a more intense rivalry between the two teams given their proximity to each other. Both are charter franchises from the American Football League. They have even shared the exact same division for the past 60 years. That should mean that their players are familiar which can be ideal for your NFL fantasy.

Neither Team Is At The Top At The Same Time

One problem that prevents a great rivalry is when neither team has been competing at the top at the same time. That means no truly great games where everything was at stake, no titanic playoff contests to look back on, or Super Bowls.

When the Buffalo Bills were at their zenith between 1964 and 1965 with consecutive AFC titles, the Jets were at under .500. Then the New York Jets found their form just as the Buffalo Bills had regressed again.

In the mid-Eighties, the New York Jets were the better team of the two yet their time ended. As the Jets went down, the Buffalo Bills came back up as they had been building the core of a great team. That the Bills went to four Super Bowls in a row should not be surprising, and neither should their decline into the Nineties though they still managed to make it to the playoffs.

During the Nineties, the Jets were going through a difficult spell. They followed that up with some tangible progress going into the early Noughties. That period coincided with the Bills enduring a postseason drought that lasted a full 17 years.

Simpson Hits 2,000 Yards In 1973

It may be strange to think that once upon a time, O.J. Simpson was more well-known for his on-field exploits. At the climax of the 1973 season, Simpson was the very first running back (and player) to rush for that heralded 2,000-yard mark in one year. Of course, he hit that mark when the Bills played the Jets.

The two teams have only contested the playoffs once and that was back in 1981. The Bills dominated to ramp up a 24-0 lead yet the comeback was on. A Jets' comeback was almost on, until Richard Todd was intercepted by Bill Simpson as the clock went down. The interception at the goal line was crucial as the Bills ran out 31–27 winners.

The Rex Ryan Effect 

In 2015, Rex Ryan became Bills head coach and it was thought that the appointment could stoke up the rivalry. At the time, Ryan was one of the most controversial figures in the NFL and he had just been fired by… the New York Jets. 

Revenge was on the cards and he swept aside the Jets including a win in the last game of the season. Not only did that show Ryan’s worth but it denied the Jets a playoff spot. Strangely, the Jets fans failed to harbor that much animosity for their former head coach. Failing to hit the playoffs that season is more of a disappointment than doing so at the hands of a former head coach.

The 2018 NFL Draft  

There were signs that a rivalry could have occurred between the two teams as a result of the 2018 NFL Draft. Both teams were trading up for quarterbacks and both teams were in the top half of that first round. Big things were expected of Sam Darnold and Josh Allen yet neither quarterback reached the heights. Darnold busted while Allen did progress to become worthy of MVPs as his passing lifted the Buffalo Bills into contention without taking that final step. 


If there is going to be a tangible rivalry between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets, it kinda has to happen soon. There have been moments when it seems that a rivalry could break out yet it has failed to materialize. That may be simply because the fans fail to have much history with each other, no contested Super Bowls, and only one playoff meeting, though that was a classic back in 1981. If it was going to take one individual to really get the rivalry going, you would have expected it to be Rex Ryan when he denied the Jets a playoff berth, yet even that failed.