Top 3 Individual Matchups
Sammy Watkins vs. Darrin Walls – Buffalo's top draft choice abused the Jets' secondary in the first meeting. Despite making just three catches, Watkins rolled up 157 yards and a touchdown as he was uncoverable in one-on-one situations.
Marcell Dareus vs. Nick Mangold – The Jets' center is still one of the better centers in the game, but Dareus has been a beast this season, and his 10 sacks in 10 games is good for fourth-most in the NFL.
Cordy Glenn vs. Quinton Coples – Coples had the upper hand in the first matchup with seven tackles, a sack and a half and a pair of quarterback hits. Glenn will need to perform more consistently to keep the former first-round pick from becoming disruptive.
Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good advantage – Pass defense – Ranked in the top 10 almost all season the Bills' defensive backfield has been consistent and opportunistic when it comes to takeaways as the Jets found out in the first meeting. New York has the worst passing game in football, so keeping Michael Vick and company under wraps is not a tall task.
Best advantage – Pass game – The Jets did get pressure at times on Kyle Orton in the first meeting, but he also made plays. With the talent in Buffalo's receiving corps significantly better than New York's patchwork cornerback contingent the Bills should be able to convert on third down through the air and keep drives alive.
Bills Number 1 Must
Convert on red zone possessions
It has been a major problem area for the Bills in each of the last three games. Buffalo has not scored a touchdown after penetrating the opponent's 20-yard line on each of their last eight opportunities. In fact their last red zone touchdown came in the fourth quarter of their win over the Jets a month ago. The Bills don't need to be perfect. They just need to make good on half of their red zone chances, and it should be enough to post a much needed victory.
Vick playing smart
He hasn't been lighting it up, but Jets QB Michael Vick has helped to make New York's offense more functional and less mistake prone since entering the lineup as the starter in place of Geno Smith. In his two starts Vick has completed 31 of his 46 passes for 328 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, good for a passer rating of 109.7.
Most important is Vick has not turned the ball over. After his four fumbles in his relief appearance against the Bills, Vick has fumbled just once in the last two games and recovered the ball.
Pryor another Wally Pipp?
It's unlikely that Jets' top draft choice S Calvin Pryor will meet the same fate that Pipp did when a reserve first baseman by the name of Lou Gehrig replaced him in the Yankees lineup and never relinquished the position, but Jaiquawn Jarrett certainly made the most of his opportunity last week starting in place of Pryor, who was benched by the team for violation of team rules.
In his first start of the season Jarrett recorded a sack, a fumble recovery and the first two interceptions of his career. He became the first player to log a sack, a fumble recovery and two interceptions in a game since S Charles Woodson did so for GB at DET (11/26/09).
Red zone doldrums
Under Rex Ryan the Jets' defense has been known as a stingy one when it comes to giving up points, but that has not been the case this year. Their red zone defense in particular has been very accommodating to opposing offenses. Not only do the Jets rank 29th in yards per play allowed in the red zone (3.48), but they're also dead last in third down defense in the red zone. New York is giving up conversions inside their own 20-yard line at a rate of almost 70 percent (69.2%). Opponents are scoring touchdowns almost two-thirds of the time (63%) against the Jets.
The Jets have always been a run heavy club under Ryan, and now with Vick in the lineup they're running even more. No other team in the league runs as often as New York in the first half. More than half the time the Jets run the ball in the first half of their games (51.3%). Vick has the fourth most rushes on the team this season and had 12 carries for 57 yards last week against Pittsburgh. The Jets are fifth in the league averaging 141 rushing yards a game.
Even though New York is fourth in the league in 10-play drives this season, their point production has been minimal putting a lot of pressure on their defense to keep them in games. Part of the issue is their pop-gun type offense. They have the lowest rated passing attack in the league (68.4) and are next to last in passing first downs made (100) this season. That's because their chunk yardage plays are few and far between. The Jets have just 25 plays of 20 yards or more this season, which ranks 31st in the NFL. New York stands 29th in scoring at just 17.4 points per game.
Rex Ryan's blitz schemes have confused opposing quarterbacks for years, but this season it might be Ryan who is scratching his head. While New York is a solid eighth in the league in sacks with 27, their blitz packages aren't always accomplishing their intended goal. Opposing quarterbacks have combined for a league-leading 138.3 passer rating against the Jets when New York decides to blitz. That's more than 45 rating points above the league average (91).
Quote of the Week
"It's the weather. That is the one element for sure and it's a major element up here. I've never seen anything like it. When these things happen, like the post-Katrina – and I'm not comparing it to that – and even the snowstorm in '77, it's very difficult to put in words exactly what's going on. It's just a very, very difficult and challenging situation, not just for our organization and football team, but for the region."
-Head coach Doug Marrone
Stat of the Week
The Bills are first in the league in fewest pass plays of 20-plus yards allowed (23), and the Jets offense has totaled the second-fewest plays of 20 yards or more.
Milestones in reach
-Marcell Dareus needs one sack to set the team record for most sacks in a season by a defensive tackle (Kyle Williams 10.5, 2013).
-Fred Jackson needs 61 rec. yards to join Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas as the only Bills with 5,000+ career rush & 2,500+ receiving yards.
-Sammy Watkins needs five receptions to become just the third Bills rookie in team history to record 50 receptions in his first NFL season.
With a win the Bills would complete a season sweep of the Jets for the first time since 2007.