Image Credit: © Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
What a difference a week can make. After falling to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Buffalo Bills find themselves just a ½ game ahead of the New England Patriots in the AFC East.
On the bright side, the New York Jets are next up on the schedule. Unfortunately, the Bills have been playing down to their opponents for a few games now. We’ve mentioned it the past two weeks, but the Bills need to avoid another slow start against the Jets.
There is more optimism with this matchup, as the Jets allow a league-worst 31.4 points per game. Because it’s fun, let’s compare that to the Bills, who are allowing an NFL-best 14.8 points per game.
Hopefully, Zach Wilson suits up as their other quarterbacks have performed much better than the rookie out of BYU has in his first year. Specifically, Mike White had an impressive showing taking down the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8, throwing for 405 yards for just their second win of the season.
Zach Wilson 2021 stats - 104/181, 57.5% completion rate, 1,168 passing yards, 4 TD, 9 INT, 19 sacks, 2 fumbles - 6 games
Mike White 2021 stats - 64/88, 72.7% completion rate, 702 passing yards, 5 TD, 4 INT, three sacks - 3 games
Josh Johnson 2021 stats - 29/45, 64.4% completion rate, 334 passing yards, 3 TD, 1 INT - 2 games
Point blank, if Wilson plays, the Bills’ secondary will expose the No. 2 overall pick’s inexperience, forcing the 22-year old QB to turn the ball over. If coach Robert Saleh decides to ride the wave and start Mike White, this one could get interesting. Which, it sounds like Wilson won’t play until he’s 100%, which likely rules him out against the Bills.
But if Josh Allen can find ways to dissect the defense underneath without relying on deep bombs down the field, the Jets’ defense should prove to be no match for one of football’s best quarterbacks, both with his arm and his legs.
The Jets could run Joe Namath out there, and he still won’t be able to overcome this Bills team. And not just because he’s 78 at this point. They don’t have the talent on their roster to compete with the best team in the AFC East.
Buffalo Bills Week 10 game details, where to watch
- Sunday, November 14, 2021
- Start time: 1:00 PM ET
- TV channel - CBS
- Location - MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey
© Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
What happened last time the Bills played the New York Jets?
The New York Jets last played the Buffalo Bills in Week 7 of 2020. Gang Green was 0-6, nothing new there. Meanwhile, the Rumbling Herd was 4-2. Yet somehow, the Jets gave the Bills an actual run for their money by losing by only eight points.
Divisional matchups are always unique. One can practically throw out a team’s win-loss record simply because both organizations know each other so well. After all, they face off twice per season, each year. The incredibly incompetent Adam Gase coached the 2020 Jets. This year, Robert Saleh, a defensive wizard, has taken over, but their defense isn’t any better, as we mentioned earlier.
In fact, somehow, the defense has gotten worse, while the offense has taken a slight step forward.
2020 PPG - 15.2
2020 Points allowed per game - 28.6
2021 PPG - 18
2021 Points allowed per game - 31.4
The main issue in New York right now is a lack of talent on both sides of the ball. One year has not changed that fact.
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Matchups to watch
- Bills’ secondary vs. Jets QB
The Jets are throwing interceptions more than any other team in the NFL this season. Most of them have come off the hand of Zach Wilson, with him throwing nine picks so far. Another problem for the Jets is they don’t have any playmakers who can take over a game offensively.
Free-agent signee Corey Davis has the most receiving yards on the team, with 349. That would rank fourth among all Bills players this season. Davis hasn’t played since Week 7 while dealing with a hip injury. After being listed as doubtful last Thursday when the Jets played, Davis is expected to be ready to go for Sunday’s matchup against Tre’Davious White and the Bills.
If Davis still can’t suit up, Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde should have a much easier task limiting the other targets on the Jets. Advantage - Bills.
- Bills’ DL vs. Jets OL
We don’t know the exact problem, whether it’s Zach Wilson lacking experience and awareness in the pocket or if the Jets just have a shoddy offensive line. But we do know Jets’ QBs are being sacked at the tenth-highest rate in the NFL, taking a sack on 7.1% of their dropbacks.
One thing the Jets’ O-line has going for them is the consistency, and no, I’m not talking about them being bad. They’ve started the same OL group for seven of their eight games this season, which is an enviable position for most teams around the league.
According to Pro Football Focus, three of New York’s highest-graded players this season have actually come from the offensive line. This is interesting because they’re not running the ball well (3.7 yards per carry), and they’ve allowed the ninth-most sacks in the NFL.
It could simply be a product of how badly the team has played as a whole since those grades aren’t very high.
The main issue is Zach Wilson holding onto the ball for way too long. Wilson holds the ball longer than any other starting quarterback in 2021, taking an average of 3.1 seconds per snap before deciding to get rid of the football. It’s the worst/slowest rate in the league.
Mike White, their likely starter, is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Taking just 2.63 seconds to throw, White gets rid of the ball at the fifth-quickest rate among NFL quarterbacks in 2021. This will give the Jets a huge advantage on Sunday, with the Bills’ pass rush needing to get home quickly in order to have any success.
In case you’re curious, (you are) Josh Allen has been taking 2.88 seconds to throw, which is the ninth-longest in the NFL.
The idea is to get rid of the ball quickly, but even Lamar Jackson takes longer, unloading after 3.04 seconds, third-longest in the NFL. For Jackson, Allen, and to a lesser extent, Wilson, part of why they take longer could be because they know their athleticism can buy them some extra time in the pocket.
If Buffalo wants to take advantage of what should be plenty of sack opportunities, they’ll have to be more consistent and more abrupt with their pass-rush than they were against Jacksonville.
- Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders vs. Jets secondary
This is a matchup that’s overwhelmingly in Buffalo’s favor. Even before Marcus Maye tore his Achilles, wiping him out for the season, this looked like a great matchup on paper. The Jets’ secondary is perhaps one of the least experienced units in the NFL.
They have four rookie cornerbacks on the roster selected in the fifth round or later in April’s draft. The entire defense has intercepted only one pass among 291 attempts this season.
Once Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and Emmanuel Sanders step on the field Sunday, they’ll bring 29 years of NFL playing experience, with plenty of ‘veteran’ moves ready to deploy against these young bucks on the Jets. There will absolutely be moments of embarrassment for the New York secondary when they take on the Bills.
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Buffalo Bills Week 10 game prediction
- Last season’s record: Buffalo Bills 13-3, reached AFC Conference Championship
- New York Jets 2-14, last place in AFC East
With the way the Bills have played recently, it’s hard to continue predicting blowouts until their offense can start firing on all cylinders once again. However, if the Bills are going to turn their early-game struggles around any time soon, the Jets present the best opportunity in the league.
Lacking experience and star power on both sides of the ball, this Jets team looks more like a below-average college football team than it does an NFL roster. It’s hard to find a true strength on the team. They don’t pass well, especially without turning it over. Their longest rush has been 19 yards. And they have the worst defense in the league.
I know I said I’d be cautious against a blowout, but it’s going to happen Bills Fans. For what it’s worth, Vegas believes. Oddsmakers have set the betting line, with Buffalo being 13-to-13.5-point favorites. Let’s hope they cover this time. All I really want is another win. Let’s go Buffalo!
Game prediction: 36-17 Bills victory