Top 3 Individual Matchups
1- Erik Pears vs. Muhammad Wilkerson –The Jets defensive end is very versatile and will move up and down the line. He's also putting together a Pro Bowl worthy season. A stout run defender, Wilkerson also has eight sacks on the season, two of which came in the last meeting with the Bills.
2 – Leodis McKelvin vs. Stephen Hill –McKelvin had to bail out on this matchup early in the first meeting with a hamstring injury. Hill took advantage. Though he only had three catches for 108 yards, his longest was a 51-yard touchdown reception. McKelvin is playing some of his best ball right now.
3 – Scott Chandler vs. Antonio Allen –Chandler might be one of the few mismatches left in the pass game if Stevie Johnson can't play. Chandler has a touchdown catch in each of his last two games against the Jets.
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 Stephon Gilmore (wrist surgery), Buffalo lost number two corner Leodis McKelvin in the first half. Jairus Byrd was also out of the lineup with plantar fasciitis. Now with a healthy secondary the Bills have to not only prevent big plays in the pass game, but post some takeaways knowing they have just one in their last three games.
No TakersThe 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 ReedThat 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 longWhile 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%).
Flag downThe 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 closeOne 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 allowedEveryone 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."
--QB EJ Manuel
Stat of the WeekMarquise Goodwin, who missed the first meeting against the Jets, is averaging 23 yards per catch at home. He's looking for his third straight home game with a touchdown reception.
Milestones in reachKiko Alonso will post his 100th tackle on his next takedown of an opposing ball carrier. It will make him the first rookie LB since 1990 to post 100 tackles in his first NFL season.
Dan Carpenter needs four more field goals to reach 150 successful attempts in his career.
Fred Jackson needs one touchdown run to set a personal single-season best of seven.
Final NoteThe Jets have alternated a win with a loss each week this season. The Jets won their last game against New Orleans.