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Top 5 storylines fans need to follow for Bills at Jets | Week 7

Ed Oliver (91) Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets, September 13, 2020 at Bills Stadium.  
Photo by Craig Melvin
Ed Oliver (91) Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets, September 13, 2020 at Bills Stadium. Photo by Craig Melvin

1. A chance to sweep the Jets and stay strong on the road

The Bills opened the 2020 season with a 27-17 win against the Jets in Week 1. Buffalo has a chance to sweep the Jets series on Sunday. If the Bills win it would be their first sweep of the Jets since the 2015 season. That year, they beat the Jets 22-17 in both contests.

The New York Jets have yet to win a game this season. And unfortunately for Jets fans, the Bills have been great on the road since last season. Buffalo has 8 wins and 3 losses on the road since 2019. So far this season the Bills have beat the Dolphins and the Raiders, but lost to the Titans in away games.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott is 4-3 against the Jets since taking over in Buffalo. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said the season is full of adversity and they're ready to get back on track in Week 7.

"Each game is very important," Daboll said. "You'd love to win them all. This is a tough league. You're going to face times where you just don't get it done. You're going to look into the mirror, fix what you need to fix, it starts with me and move on to the next week. That's the objective. Be accountable, and that's what we need to."

2. How the AFC East looks after Week 6

After six weeks of play, the Bills lead the AFC East with 4 wins and 2 losses. They are a game ahead on the Dolphins (3-3) and two games ahead on the Patriots (2-3). Last year the Patriots won the division with a 12-4 record and Buffalo finished second at 10-6. In 2020, the Bills are 2-0 against division teams, while Miami and New England each have one division win. The Jets may be winless, but they'll find a way to turn it on for this division matchup because it has important implications for both teams. The race to win the division is on in a Tom Brady-less era where things just keep getting more alluring.

The 2020 season started off with the AFC East looking much different without quarterback Tom Brady. It just got even more interesting with rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa taking over as the starting quarterback of the Dolphins. If Sam Darnold starts on Sunday, the AFC East will have three quarterbacks younger than 25, and one who is in his first year starting for a new team. It's Week 7 and so far the Bills have the lead, but anything can happen with a rookie quarterback seeing his first few starts in the NFL. The Bills need to work to stay undefeated in the division and stack up wins while they can before the AFC East takes another twist or turn.

3. How the Bills offense can find success

In the last two games the Bills offense hasn't played to the level they showed in Weeks 1-4. Buffalo scored at least 27 points in each of the first four games. During that time span, they ranked fourth in total offense averaging 409.8 total yards per game, tied for fifth averaging 30.8 points per game and second averaging 316.3 passing yards a game.

Heading into Week 7, the Bills offense has fallen in those ranks. They currently rank 15th in total offense averaging 369.2 yards per game and 17th averaging 26 points per game. Quarterback Josh Allen has dropped from second averaging 331.5 passing yards a game in Weeks 1-4 to seventh averaging 285.2 passing yards a game. Allen still remains among the league leaders in passing touchdowns with 16.

The Bills offense can find success against the Jets defense because they've allowed 30 or more points in four of their games. The Jets defense ranks 20th overall allowing 378.8 total yards per game. They allow an average of 30.8 points per game, which ranks 29th. Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said his team needs to have a strong will and great focus in order to be ready for the next game.

"We're going to put our head down we're going to go to work," Daboll said. "We're going to have a good week of practice for a team that's going to be hungry and a division team. That's our mindset. You have to have a strong will, a strong mind and commit to one another. That's what that's what we do.

"There's no room to sit there and feel sorry for yourself, and we take accountability and that's starts with me. I have no problem with that. I appreciate the guys on our team, they work really hard. Take one game at a time, that's what you have to do with great focus, great energy, great positivity and be ready to move on to the next week, win or lose."

4. Why the defense can bounce back against the Jets

The Bills are still searching for their defensive identity in 2020. The defense has faced setbacks with injuries and has several new faces on the defensive line, which is partly why they're ranked 23rd allowing an average of 387.5 yards per game. They rank 21st allowing 28 points per game, that's almost 12 more points a game than last season's third-ranked defense.

The Jets game is the perfect time for the Bills defense to take a step forward. The AFC East foe is averaging a league-low 12.5 points per game. They rank 30th averaging 276.7 total yards per game and 32nd averaging 171.3 passing yards a game. Their offense has struggled only turning 22.5 percent of their plays into first downs, which ranks last in the NFL.

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said his defense has an opportunity to set things straight this week with a lot of the season left ahead.

"We get opportunities starting this week to continue to work on some of our fundamentals we are trying to improve, and that gives me hope," Frazier said. "We've seen it before where there have been some rough stretches, and you just keep working at your craft. If you've got the right people that buy into the message, you're going to improve over time and that's the goal.

"You don't want to peak in September or October as you are finding out your identity and make sure you're staying true to what you think it is. You hope that in November, December you're building towards hopefully a championship season. You don't want to peak this time of the year at all. You want to be getting better, as the year goes on. I think we have a good chance of being able to do that."

5. Jets continue their roster shake-up

The Jets were without an important piece of their defense in safety Jamal Adams when the Bills faced them in Week 1. Adams was traded to the Seahawks, and since then they have continued to lose players. They released running back Le'Veon Bell after he played in just 17 games with the franchise. Most recently, the Jets traded nose tackle Steve McLendon to the Buccaneers with a 2023 seventh round pick in exchange for a 2022 sixth round pick.

Jets head coach Adam Gase commented on the most recent trade explaining it was the best thing for both teams.

"It's something that evolved over the weekend," Head Coach Adam Gase said on Monday. "It's an opportunity for him to go compete at a place that's challenging to get into playoffs [Tampa Bay is 4-2]. We know it wasn't an ideal situation for him, leaving this group where he's put so much into this team. He's been a great leader for us. It does give our young guys more opportunities. It's the kind of thing where both sides thought this was the best thing to do. We felt like it was the right thing to do."

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