The New York Jets will compete against, in all likelihood, the best team they will play all year this afternoon. After a tough home loss a week ago, the Jets have their second consecutive division matchup at MetLife Stadium today against the high-flying 6-1 Buffalo Bills.
Knowing the Bills are one of if not the best teams in the NFL makes this matchup for the Jets that much more compelling. Especially for a young team coming off of a loss for the first time in over a month, we will get to learn a lot about this Jets football team today. And ultimately, expect them to deliver and make this a tightly competitive game.
For starters, the Jets have to be better in a few team categories. Over the last two weeks, the Jets have lost the time of possession battle badly. In the last two games, the Jets have run 111 plays to their opponents’ 150. The offense did not run 60 plays or possess the ball for 28 minutes in either game. Simply, something that has got to change today.
From there, improvement in the turnover, penalty, and special teams battles in comparison to a week ago will be pivotal. Lastly, converting in the red zone and on third downs will go a long way for the Jets in outscoring an elite Bills offense.
If the Jets manage to stay on top of a lot of these things, they will give themselves a chance to win.
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New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills Preview:
The highly successful and widely respected sixth-ranked Jets defense faces a prime test in this one. Going up against an explosive top-ranked passing game headlined by Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and Gabe Davis, the Jets’ 10th-ranked pass defense led by Sauce Gardner, DJ Reed, and Michael Carter II should rise up to the occasion and present some problems.
Of the Bills’ 860 rushing yards this year, Allen accounts for 306 (36%). The Jets have got to limit Allen on scramble drills and designed runs. From there, though, the Jets’ ninth-ranked run defense should be able to slow down the Bills’ traditional run game. The dominance of the Jets’ defensive line, which has the ninth most sacks in football, anchored by Quinnen Williams, will have to make Allen uncomfortable at times throughout this game.
Offensively, the Jets have got to establish some balance in their run-to-pass ratio. Sticking with the running game for four quarters is essential. Getting Zach Wilson in rhythm with some easy completions early on will be key. From there, playing with confidence, limiting mistakes, taking what’s there, and when opportunities to create big plays come, Wilson has got to deliver for the Jets offense.
The lone player ruled out due to injury in this one is wide receiver, Corey Davis. James Robinson did pop up on the report yesterday and is questionable with a knee injury.
Without Davis, it will be Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, Denzel Mims, and Braxton Berrios leading the way on the outside. If Robinson cannot go, expect a heavy dose of Michael Carter and some Ty Johnson.
Knowing the Bills are without their incredible safety duo of Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, expect Mike LaFleur to have some things dialed up to exploit that area of the Bills’ defense.
Lastly, the offensive line of the Jets has got to do their best to slow down the Bills’ great rush led by Von Miller and Greg Rousseau. LaFleur could look to help as usual with running backs and tight ends chipping on both edges, giving Wilson and the wide receivers time.
This will undoubtedly be a tough game for the Jets, but also one there is no excuse for them to not be competitive in the fourth quarter in. The Jets’ prime defense is one of the few units capable of limiting the Bills to around 24 points. It will be on the Jets’ offense to limit turnovers, control the ball, and put up enough points to give themselves a chance to win it late in the fourth.