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Scouting Report - Week 17

Posted Dec 28, 2012


Top 3 Individual Matchups
1 – Mario Williams vs. Austin Howard –
Buffalo’s top pass rusher was neutralized by the Jets first-year starter in Week 1. Williams also accused him of illegal hands to the face in that first matchup. It’s worth keeping an eye on the second time around.

2 – Eric Wood vs. Sione Po’uha – A trench battle that’s worthy of watching. Po’uha is one of the more effective run stuffers and Wood is one of the more accomplished run blockers in the NFL. It’s one of the few interior line matchups with comparable talent.

3 – Stevie Johnson vs. Antonio Cromartie – Johnson is closing in on his third-straight 1,000-yard season, but draws Cromartie as an adversary with Darrelle Revis on injured reserve with a torn ACL.

Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good advantage – pass rush –
Buffalo hasn’t exactly racked up sacks, but they rank 11th in the league in sacks per play. The Jets have had more than their share of struggles protecting their quarterbacks this season as they sit dead last in sacks allowed per pass play.

Best advantage – run game – It’s been one of the few constants for Buffalo all season, and with Eric Wood back in the lineup the run game is even more potent. The Jets are an uncharacteristic 27th in the league in run defense allowing better than 135 yards a game on the ground.

Bills Number 1 Must
Red zone touchdowns
The Bills have had their share of troubles once they’ve cracked their opponents’ 20-yard line. Over the last three weeks however, Buffalo has gone 3-for-6 in the red zone for a 50-percent red zone touchdown percentage. The Jets rank a pedestrian 25th in red zone defense.

Scouting Eye
Wilkerson iffy for Sunday
The Jets first-round pick a year ago, DE Muhammad Wilkerson, is coming into his own in the latter stages of this season. However, the Bills may not have to worry about him. Wilkerson suffered a concussion last week and might not play Sunday. Wilkerson has been playing some of his best ball of late with four of his five sacks coming in the last six games for New York. Wilkerson is also dealing with a knee injury. If he can’t go rookie Quinton Coples would start in his place.

3 & out
The Jets have had their share of problems sustaining drives on offense. Currently New York has the fourth-highest percentage in the league when it comes to going three-and-out on offense (27.6%). It’s part of the reason the Jets rank 30th in the league in 10 play drives this season with 20. New York isn’t awful on third down conversions where they rank 21st, but they have trouble beating the blitz. In blitz passing situations this season the Jets rank 31st in the NFL with a passer rating of 60.7.

Fumblitis
The Bills haven’t been as careful with the football this year as they were last season, but the Jets have coughed it up even more. New York has had 28 fumbles this season and lost 17 of them. Their lost fumble total is tied for third-most in the league. The Jets’ 17 lost fumbles is only trumped by the team’s 18 interceptions. Their 35 giveaways are third-most in the NFL making the Jets a minus-13 in takeaway-giveaway margin.

Run heavy
All of the problems in the Jets’ passing game has made them even more run heavy than usual. The Jets have the second-highest run percentage in 1st-and-10 situations in the league. Almost 63 percent of the time (62.8%) New York runs the football. That heavy run percentage is part of the reason why the Jets are dead even this season in run plays (458) versus pass plays (458). It’s also part of the reason why New York does not have a whole lot of plays that cover 20 yards or more. The Jets rank 30th in the league with just 43 plays of 20-yards plus this season.

Better in red
The Jets have had their share of offensive struggles this season, but one area where they’re still respectable is in the red zone. Though their red zone touchdown percentage is a middle-of-the-pack 17th  at 52.3 percent, they do a good job of converting third downs in the red zone. New York has the third-best third down conversion rate inside their opponents’ 20-yard line at 51.6 percent. They also rank seventh in the league in successful red zone plays with a 48.1 percent success rate. That combined with Buffalo’s league-worst red zone defense could spell problems for the Bills.

2 minute malaise
New York’s offense ranks 28th in points scored this season. Even when they’re in their two-minute drill points have been terribly hard to come by. Through 15 games this season the Jets rank dead last in points scored from their two-minute drill with just a field goal all season from two-minute drill drives. That’s 13 points below the league average this year.

Buffalo Chips
Quote of the Week
“It’s the last week. We’ve got to give it our all. Obviously there are no playoffs, but we’re going against the New York Jets. They don’t like us, we don’t like them and basically it’s going to be a physical battle and whoever hates to lose is going to be the team that wins this game. Right now we’re feeling like we’ve got to take this.”
--WR Stevie Johnson

Stat of the Week
In each of their last three games neither the Jets nor the Bills have scored 20 points.

Milestones in reach
Stevie Johnson needs 65 receiving yards to become the first receiver in team history to post three straight 1,000-yard seasons.

Rian Lindell needs two points to record the seventh 100-point season of his career, five of which have come with the Bills.

C.J. Spiller needs 15 rushing yards to become the first Bill since 2005 (Willis McGahee) to post 1,200 yards in a single season.

Final note
C.J. Spiller rushed for a career-high 169 yards against the Jets in Week 1.