Top 3 Individual Matchups
1 – Lee Evans vs. Antonio Cromartie –With Darrelle Revis out for the game (hamstring) the veteran Cromartie draws Evans as his assignment. Evans should have a handful of one-on-ones against the former Charger knowing how aggressive Rex Ryan's defense can be.
2 – Kyle Williams vs. Nick Mangold –Williams is coming off his best game in terms of consistent penetration as he had a sack and batted pass last week against New England. Mangold is step up in competition, but Williams had two sacks in his last meeting with the Jets.
3 – Donte Whitner vs. Dustin Keller –Opposing pass catching tight ends are averaging 16 yards per catch against the Bills through the first three games. Keller, who leads the Jets in receiving is cut from the same cloth, and the Bills have tried almost everything. Whitner is one of their better coverage options.
Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good advantage –Pass game – Some might rub their eyes at this assessment with the Bills near the bottom of the league in passing, but that takes into account Trent Edwards' pair of substandard outings the first two games in which he was unable to eclipse 150 passing yards in either game. The passing game was rejuvenated with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center and the line provided more consistent protection. With the Jets shuffling their secondary around (see Scouting Eye below) and Rex Ryan dissatisfied with his team's pass rush, there could be a few more opportunities for the Bills than initially thought.
Best advantage –Kick return – C.J. Spiller showed just how dangerous Buffalo's kick return unit can be last week with is 95-yard touchdown at New England. Spiller currently stands third in the league in kick return average (31.2) and as a team the Bills rank fifth in the NFL. Meanwhile the Jets kick coverage unit ranks 22nd and has not had a touchback or stop inside the opponent's 20 thus far this season.
Bills Number 1 Must
Manageable third downs –Buffalo's third down conversion percentage nearly doubled in Week 3 with Fitzpatrick at quarterback with the Bills converting on 50 percent of their opportunities. Conversely, the Jets are having trouble getting off the field on third down allowing opponents to convert more than half the time (51.1%). New York ranks next to last in the league in third down defense. If Buffalo can stay in manageable down and distance on third down, they'll have a chance to control the clock and limits the Jets' opportunities with the ball.
Secondary shuffleMost everyone already knows that Darrelle Revis declared himself out of Sunday's game due to his lingering hamstring injury. New York doesn't lose much in sliding Antonio Cromartie over to Revis' number one spot, but filling the void on the outside with him this week will be Drew Coleman. The five-year vet has been largely a sub-package player, but is being thrust into the starting lineup after rookie first-round pick Kyle Wilson was victimized by the Dolphins last week.
Chad Henne threw at Wilson 11 times last week completing seven passes for over 100 yards. Wilson is expected to slide back into the slot where the task gets no easier as he faces the very elusive Roscoe Parrish.
The Pryce is rightThin at defensive end the Jets pounced on veteran DE Trevor Pryce when he was released by the Baltimore Ravens last week. The Ravens had to address their safety position and needed a roster spot so they released Pryce with the intention of re-signing him the following week.
The Jets however, swooped in and signed him. Pryce played under Rex Ryan in Baltimore where he served as defensive line coach and defensive coordinator.
Pryce is considered a better pass rusher as a 3-4 end than run defender, and allows the Jets to move Vernon Gholston back to a rotational outside linebacker role, for which he is better suited.
Sanchez sizzlingJets QB Mark Sanchez certainly didn't look a whole lot different from last season in New York's opener against the Ravens, but since then the second-year signal caller has shown marked improvement. In his last two games Sanchez has completed 36 of 58 passes for 476 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 122.5.
Sanchez's six TD passes the past two weeks ties him with the Colts' Peyton Manning for the most in the NFL in that span and his passer rating ranks second behind the Indianapolis quarterback.
Protecting the ballThe Jets have been big winners in the takeaway-giveaway battle. They're currently tied for first in the league with a plus-six turnover differential. In three games New York has forced seven takeaways (4 INTs, 3 FR) and have turned the ball over just once on a fumble.
Ironically, the Jets have been outscored by their opponents in points off turnovers. Of their seven takeaways New York has managed just a pair of field goals, while their opponents have a touchdown off of their lone takeaway this season.
L.T. toting the mailLaDainian Tomlinson was expected to be the complementary back to second-year back Shonn Greene and serve in more of a third down role. Through three games this season however, Tomlinson's production has almost doubled that of Greene on the ground.
Greene has gained just 106 yards on 30 carries (3.5 avg.) through three games this season, while Tomlinson with just seven more carries (37) has 208 yards to average 5.6 per rush. Tomlinson also has the team's only rushing touchdown to this point and is second on the team in receptions.
Tomlinson is expected to start in the backfield for the Jets on Sunday. L.T. has a career average of 4.5 yards per carry against the Bills.
Killer KellerAthletic pass catching tight ends have been a major problem for Buffalo's defense through the first three games as they've surrendered 16 receptions for 257 yards and a touchdown over the first three weeks to tight ends. Dustin Keller looks to be an equally formidable assignment.
In the last two games Keller has pulled in 13 passes for 213 yards and three touchdowns, including a pair in the win over the Dolphins last Sunday night.
Keller leads the Jets in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. His receiving yardage ranks fifth best in the league through three games and he's the go-to guy for Sanchez in the Jets' passing attack.
Quote of the Week"They will call blitz on any down, any distance. Third and three it seems like is no different than 3rd and 18 for them. They'll come after you. It's one of those things where we've got to trust in the scheme that we put in and when it calls for getting off the ball quick, we'll get off the ball quick. But when we think we can protect them, we'll put the ball downfield. It's a good defense. It's going to be a good challenge for us because of how multiple they are. Any one player on the field, you can't tell who is coming most of the time. They'll blitz anybody."
--QB Ryan Fitzpatrick on Jets defense
Stat of the WeekThe last three meetings between the Jets and Bills have been decided by six points or less.
Milestones in reachLee Evans will appear in his 100th career game Sunday.
Paul Posluszny needs three solo tackles for 200 in his career.
Bryan Scott will appear in his 100th career game Sunday.
Roscoe Parrish needs 22 punt return yards for 1,500 in his career.
Final NoteThe Bills had five sacks in their last meeting with the Jets (12/3/09).