Top 3 Individual Matchups
1 – Mario Williams vs. Breno Giacomini** – Buffalo's Pro Bowl pass rusher has had trouble putting heat on Jets' passers since joining the Bills. He has no sacks in his four games against New York, but that was against Austin Howard, the Jets' former right tackle. Giacomini isn't as long-limbed or strong as Howard.
2 – Seantrel Henderson vs. Muhammad Wilkerson – The Bills rookie right tackle has had some growing pains of late. He'll face a supremely talented defensive lineman in Wilkerson, and may need some help from a tight end to keep the Pro Bowl DL from making a major impact.
3 – Sammy Watkins vs. Darrin Walls – This is a potentially ugly mismatch for the Jets, so safety help over the top will be the order of the day for New York's secondary if they want to keep Watkins from burning them for big plays.
Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good Advantage – Pass defense – Buffalo allowed a season-low 118 passing yards last week and they haven't allowed an opposing passer to make more than 18 completions in three of the last five weeks. New York's passing game has found big plays hard to manufacture.
Best Advantage – Pass offense – Kyle Orton has given the Bills' aerial attack a shot in the arm. In his three starts the completion percentage on pass plays has risen more than 10 percent helping Buffalo keep drives alive on offense. Perhaps more important is the Jets allow the second-highest opponent passer rating in football (108.3).
Bills Number 1 Must
Red zone execution – Buffalo's red zone touchdown efficiency has jumped more than 22 percent with Kyle Orton at quarterback (55.5% success rate) as the veteran has made good decisions. They'll need to continue on that track to post a victory on the road. What should help is the Jets have uncharacteristically struggled to defend their red zone this season allowing opponents to cross the goal line more than two-thirds of the time (68.2%) to rank 28th in the league.
The Jets aren't sitting near the top of the league when it comes to points per game (they rank 28th), but when they do score they go on long, clock chewing drives. In fact New York leads the league in average number of plays on scoring drives at almost nine and a half (9.48). And when a Jets' possession lasts more than five minutes of game clock they score points almost 82 percent of the time.
Ground & pound
Part of their success in hanging onto the ball on offense is a byproduct of their rushing attack. New York stands fifth in the league in rushing at 135 yards a game, and they earn just about every one of those yards. The Jets have just four runs of 20 yards or more this season, but when it comes to short yardage New York knows how to move the sticks. Their offense ranks fourth in the league in converting on 3rd-and-1 at 89 percent and every one was a run play.
The Jets 1-6 record falls on them first, but taking a closer look at the opponents that handed them those losses you begin to realize they've faced some of the better clubs in the league through the first half of the season.
The collective record of the teams that handed the Jets their six losses so far this season is 29-14. All but one of the teams that handed the Jets their half dozen losses have five wins through the first half of the season. And in three of their losses they faced the three-highest rated quarterbacks in football right now in Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers.
The Jets haven't finished in the top 10 in the league in interceptions since the Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie cornerback tandem was blown up after 2011. But it has never been this bad. Through the first seven games New York has just one interception and a pair of fumble recoveries. It's a surprising statistic for a defense with an identity of being physical and aggressive. Compounding the team's lack of takeaways are their 12 turnovers, leaving the Jets with a takeaway-giveaway margin of minus-nine, the worst in the league.
First down leaders
New York's defensive line gets a lot of pub and deservedly so. Littered with first-round draft choices up front, the Jets dominate defensively on first down whether it's run or pass. Rex Ryan's defense ranks fourth in the league in first down run defense allowing an average of 3.53 yards per carry. When it comes to defending the pass on first down the Jets are tops in the league. They have allowed the lowest percentage of pass plays of four yards or more on first down (42.6%).
That all adds up to the league's best first down defense rating. Only 40 percent of the time do Jets opponents gain four yards or more on first down.
Check out the top 20 photos from the Bills-Jets game at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Struggling to put up stop sign
Last year the Jets defense was pretty stingy in the red zone allowing opponents to register a touchdown just 45 percent of the time to rank fourth in the NFL. This year it's been a reversal of fortune. New York is ranked 28th in red zone defense. Opponents have scored touchdowns on 15 of their 22 red zone possessions (68.2%). Their numbers are even worse in goal to go situations. In those instances the Jets defense ranks 29th in the league allowing opponents to cross the goal line 91 percent of the time.
Pop gun plays
Big plays have been hard to come by for the Jets offense. Through their first seven games New York has managed just 18 plays of 20 yards or more. That's the second-lowest figure in the league. They're also 31st in yards per play at 4.81 yards. That combined with a quarterback passer rating that also ranks 31st (70.3) and a red zone touchdown efficiency rating that ranks 30th, and you begin to understand why scoring points has proven difficult for the Jets this season.
Stat of the Week
Last week the Jets became the first team in NFL history to lose a game with 40 minutes time of possession (40:54), 200-plus rushing yards (218) and no turnovers in their 27-25 loss to the Patriots.
Quote of the Week
"I told them I'm going to go out there and I'm going to play for them. I'm going to do my very best and I won't let them down. This year is important for both of them, so now it's up on me and Boobie and I won't let those guys down."
-RB Bryce Brown on what he said to Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller after their injuries
Milestones in reach
-Dan Carpenter needs one field goal for 175 in his career and three field goals for 50 as a Bills player.
-Marcell Dareus needs one sack to set a single-season career high of 8 sacks in a season. His previous high of 7.5 sacks was set last year.
-Kyle Orton needs two touchdown passes for 90 in his career.
-Kyle Orton has the fourth-highest fourth quarter passer rating in the NFL at 113.4.