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The Buffalo Bills get to play the New York Jets on Sunday, only this isn't the same Gang Green we've seen in recent season's past. Instead of the 2021 version of Robert Saleh's Jets, who scored just 18.2 points per game (28th) and allowed 29.6 per contest (32nd), this year's team has vastly improved, at least on defense. They've improved to 11th in the NFL, reducing their points allowed from 29.6 to 19.9 in one season.
Offensively, the Jets aren't much improved, with Zach Wilson still battling major inconsistency issues with his accuracy. While they appeared to be headed for a much better season, the loss of rookie sensation running back Breece Hall for the season has cratered their offensive punch.
From Weeks 4-7, when Hall finally started receiving double-digit touches, the Jets averaged 26.7 points per game, raising their season average to 22 points per game, good for 18th in the NFL. Yet, even after the acquisition of James Robinson, the Jets no longer have the long-range speed Hall provided. Expect their offensive output to continue trending back down, despite having a deep and versatile cast of receivers.
The Jets posted a dud against the Patriots once again, where they were able to rattle Wilson into throwing three interceptions. What the Patriots were able to do, was pressure Wilson 18 times. Following this same blueprint, if the Rumbling Herd can rattle Wilson's bones early, winning shouldn't be a problem.
Buffalo Bills vs. Jets game details, where to watch
- Sunday, November 6, 2022
- Start time: 1:00 PM ET
- TV channel - CBS
- Location - MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
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Matchups to watch
- Nyheim Hines makes his debut
Acquired at the trade deadline for Zack Moss and a sixth-round pick, Nyheim Hines immediately becomes one of the fastest players on the team, and the tailback's already made a strong impression on his teammates. Hines ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine but has always been underutilized by the Indianapolis Colts.
Don't expect him to steal the starting share, but Hines should receive plenty of opportunities on third downs as the Bills try and find a way to utilize their newest weapon.
- Stefon Diggs vs. Sauce Gardner
Just like we saw last week with Stefon Diggs and Jaire Alexander talking smack to each other, expect to see more pre and post-play chatter from Sauce Gardner and Diggs. While they don't have a history with each other as Diggs and Alexander did from their previous battles in the NFC North, they both love to antagonize their opponent.
Unfortunately, the Jets actually got a great player with the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner has quickly earned a reputation for being a top-notch cover corner, and he only just appears to be rounding into form.
He's posted his best three coverage grades in the past few weeks, where he's allowed just 20 yards on 19 targets. As much as I'd like it to be, that is not a typo. For the season, Gardner has allowed 19 catches for 147 receiving yards on 43 targets.
At 6-foot-3, compared to Diggs' 6-foot frame, Gardner will cause plenty of problems with his length. Seeing how Diggs, the NFL's second-leading receiver manages will be the matchup of the day.
- Bills offensive interior vs. Quinnen Williams
While the Jets are improved, it's hard to envision them taking down the Bills. One area that could become problematic is the offensive interior. Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is finally looking like the former No. 3 pick he was back in 2019. Williams has been a menace at stopping the run but has somehow been even better as a pass rusher, where he's already racked up six sacks.
Rocking No. 95, seeing how Williams does against players such as Rodger Saffold and Mitch Morse, could have a big impact on Josh Allen being forced into bad decisions or possibly being on the run all day. Luckily, if Williams does prove to be a problem, it shouldn't come as a surprise. The Bills already have a plan in place. Just what that is, well, we'll have to wait until Sunday to find out.
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Buffalo Bills vs. Jets game prediction
- This season's record: Buffalo Bills 6-1, 1st in AFC East
- New York Jets: 5-3, 2nd in AFC East
It's mind-blowing to think the Jets have just one fewer win than Bills Mafia. But they've been picking so high for a number of years. Eventually, they're bound to luck into a few good players. Luckily, they still haven't found their QB of the future, and that's what will be the biggest difference on Sunday.
As solid as the Jets' defense may be, the offense won't be able to put enough points on the board to consistently hang with Buffalo's second-rated NFL offense. The Jets may win a few more individual battles on Sunday than we're used to, but the Bills will still win the war.
The Bills are favored by Vegas by 12.5 points, but that seems far too high on the road against a team that has improved nearly everywhere but quarterback. Maybe New York's headed for a major downfall, but there's too much talent to put forth a complete embarrassment.
Then again, they haven't faced anyone like the Bills just yet, and we'll still hear some very loud cheers from the Buffalo faithful, who won't be afraid to cross state lines into Jersey to show who the real team from New York is.
Game prediction: Bills 27, Jets 13 - Bills victory
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