Top 3 Individual Matchups
Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good advantage – Pass rush – The Bills are second in the league in sacks with 33 and they’re more dangerous at home with the crowd noise backing them. Eighteen of their 33 sacks have been at home this season. The Jets have given up the fourth-most sacks in the NFL this season (31), which by the way is the same number Buffalo has surrendered.
Best advantage – Red zone defense – Buffalo has been solid defending the territory inside their own 20-yard line where they have the fifth-best red zone touchdown percentage allowed (45.7%). The Jets have struggled on offense in the red zone. Not only is their touchdown percentage poor (47.6%), but New York has the fewest red zone possessions in the league so far this season (21).
Bills Number 1 Must
Strong secondary – Buffalo’s defensive backfield was doubling as a shuffle board back in Week 3 in their first meeting with the Jets. Already without top corner
The Jets have a stout defense, but taking the ball away has proven problematic. New York has just seven takeaways in nine games this season. Not surprisingly, the Jets are a minus-10 in the takeaway-giveaway margin this season, third lowest in the NFL. They have less than half the takeaways that Buffalo has this season (16).
The Need for Reed
That takeaway problem likely prompted New York’s pursuit and subsequent signing of veteran safety Ed Reed. The Houston Texans released Reed after he blamed poor coaching on the team’s most recent loss. Reed is reunited with his former defensive coordinator in Baltimore in Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan, who said Reed will be in the lineup Sunday. He has 18 interceptions over the last four seasons, which ranks third in the NFL over that span.
Good from long
While the Jets are just a middle of the pack team when it comes to third down conversions (16th) they are very good at converting third and longs. Through nine games this season New York stands second in the league in conversion percentage for 3rd-and-10 or more (31.1%). On downs where it’s 3rd-and-6 or more the Jets are a top 10 conversion team as well ranking eighth in the league (31.5%).
The Jets struggle when it comes to discipline and the officials. No other team gets flagged as much as New York. They average more than eight accepted penalties a game (8.44). Buffalo witnessed the Jets propensity to draw yellow flags first hand. In the first meeting with New York, the Jets were slapped with 20 penalties for 168 yards.
Closing when close
One of the main reasons the Jets are above the .500 mark after nine games is their ability to close out the close games. New York has played in six games where the margin of victory was a touchdown or less. Every one of their five victories have come in those games as they’ve posted a 5-1 record in those close games. That winning percentage (.833) is the third-best mark in the league in close contests.
No rushing allowed
Everyone knows the Jets currently have the number one run defense in football allowing fewer than 74 yards on the ground per game (73.6). The reason they are such a difficult defensive front to run on is their stout defensive line, which features three first round draft choices in Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Quinton Coples. They also have a stout nose tackle in Damon Harrison.
The Jets are first in the league in yards allowed rushing on first down. They give up just 2.86 yards per carry on first down this season. On second down it’s almost as good. The Jets rank second in the league in yards per carry allowed on second down (2.91). That invariably leads to at least a 3rd-and-5 situation for opposing offenses in most situations, and the Jets rank eighth in the league in third down defense.
Quote of the Week
“We just have to beat (cover) two man. That’s the biggest thing and if guys can’t get open all the time you have to run and get yards that way. So I think that’s the biggest thing, not try to force balls, but if nothing is there just take off yourself.”
Stat of the Week
Milestones in reach
The Jets have alternated a win with a loss each week this season. The Jets won their last game against New Orleans.