An inside look at Sunday’s Jets-Bills Week 10 matchup at MetLife Stadium:
Bills QB Josh Allen vs. Jets defense
Allen is carrying the Bills offensively this season. He has 2,236 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, 319 rushing yards (second on the team) and three rushing touchdowns (tied for the team lead). He is doing it all. Allen is especially dangerous on third downs: His 48 conversions lead the league and his 164 rushing yards are best in the league.
The Jets know how Allen likes to extend plays and can hit an explosive play if the defense lets up too soon.
“He’s a special young man because he can play quarterback and by that, I mean get the ball where it needs to go quickly, and then he can play off schedule,” head coach Robert Saleh said. “The challenge in playing Josh is the fact that you have to defend two plays in one. So, there’s a play in timing and then there’s Josh Allen scrambling around, and so we have to be great up front with regards to our rush lanes and keeping him in the pocket. And we have to be great in the back end with regards to plaster and staying connected to our coverage and understand that you’re not defending three plays, you’re not defending three seconds, you’re defending upwards around 10. You have to strain.”
Something is wrong with the Bills, who lost to the Jaguars last week, but they will find just enough to eke out a win against Mike White, who will be intercepted multiple times, and the Jets. It could be a last-second win for Buffalo.
Bills 24, Jets 23
Run over: The Colts ran for 260 yards against the Jets last week, and that left the defense feeling embarrassed, according to head coach Robert Saleh. The Jets have spent the week trying to correct their issues against the run and play more like they did earlier in the season. The Bills don’t have a potent running attack, outside of what quarterback Josh Allen can do, so this should be a better matchup for the Jets.
“[It] starts with run defense,” defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said. “That is something as a defensive coach, and I know the defensive players on this team would take great pride in, and we did not play the run even close to our standard last week, or the New England week for that matter. So, that’s absolutely being addressed.”
Turnover trouble: These are two teams on the opposite end of the NFL spectrum when it comes to turnovers. The Bills are No. 1 in turnover margin in the NFL at plus-11. The Jets are dead last at minus-12. It could be how the game is decided. Buffalo is tied for third with 11 interceptions. Jets quarterback Mike White has four interceptions in his three games and could give the Bills a shot at some.
The Jets have made just one interception this season, and that was by defensive end Shaq Lawson against the Bengals. It is a stunningly low number eight games into the season. Allen has been intercepted just five times this season.
Nowhere to run: The Jets’ offense has looked better in the past two weeks, but the unit is still struggling to run the ball. They are 30th in the NFL with 77.1 yards rushing per game. They have gained 100 rushing yards just once this season, in Week 2 against the Patriots. They nearly did it again two weeks ago against the Bengals, finishing with 97 yards. It won’t be easy to run on the Bills, who are fourth in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game at 85.6
No passing zone: The Bills have the No. 1 pass defense, allowing just 177 passing yards per game. They are a veteran group that has played together for years, with a secondary of Tre’Davious White, Taron Johnson, Levi Wallace, Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde making life tough on opponents.
“They’re very talented,” Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said. “They play very hard, and they’ve been in this system for so long. they know each other so well. It’s a machine, it really is. It’s that deal of they got there, whenever it was, 2018, it seems like those guys have been together and they don’t need to even communicate because they just know where they’re going to be.”
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