New York Jets Know Your Opponent (Week 3 – Buffalo)

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Off a heartbreaking loss to the vulnerable New England Patriots on Thursday night, the New York Jets have had 10 days to prepare for Doug Marrone and the Buffalo Bills. The story-lines are a-plenty: for sociological purposes, this will be the 2nd time in Bills history that two African American quarterbacks face off against each other. From a coaching standpoint, Rex Ryan gets to have his offense go against his protege’s defense, as Mike Pettine returns to the scene of some of his most famous leaks (no pun intended.) And, from a strictly football standpoint, both teams are 1-1 and looking to notch their first win in the division. Let’s get to know the opponent the Jets will be facing this Sunday.

Week 2: Buffalo Bills (1-1), last week: a win vs Carolina (24-23)

2013 Offensive Rankings: 16th in points scored (22.5 per game), 15th in total yards (361 per game), 23rd in passing yards (218.5 per game), 13th in passing touchdowns (3), 5th in interceptions (1), 18th in yards per attempt (6.5), 4th in rushing yards (142.5 per game), 12th in rushing touchdowns (1), and 9th in yards per carry (4.3).

Overview: The Bills were able to pull off a last second win last week against the Panthers, thanks to a game winning drive by EJ Manuel. The rookie out of Florida State completed 27 of 39 passes, good for a 69% completion percentage, for 296 yards, a TD, and an interception. The Bills also ran for 149 yards (103 from CJ Spiller) on a defense that had held Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch to 43 yards on 17 carries during the previous week. Stevie Johnson leads the Bills in receptions with 11 and receiving yards with 150. Both Spiller and running back Fred Jackson have been beneficiaries in the passing game as well, as they have 9 and 8 catches respectively (both 2nd and 3rd highest on the team.) The Bills offensive line has only allowed one sack through 2 games this year.

Key Additions:

  • Wide Receiver Robert Woods
  • Quarterback EJ Manuel

Key Subtractions:

  • Offensive Guard Andy Levitre
  • Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Wide Receiver Donald Jones

Key Injuries

  • Wide Receiver Brad Smith

2013 Defensive Rankings: 15th in points allowed (23.0 per game), 18th in yards allowed (369.5 per game), 13th in passing defense (228 per game), 18th in passing touchdowns allowed (4), 30th in rushing defense (141.5 per game), 24th in yards per carry allowed (4.2), 1st in rushing touchdowns allowed (0), and 9th in turnovers forced (4).

Overview: Mario Williams is the leader of this defense, and he is coming off a four and a half sack game against Carolina. However, he is their only legitimate pass rushing threat. Jarius Byrd may be their best player on defense, but he missed last week’s game and is questionable for the Jets game. Both the Patriots and Panthers have been able to run the ball for over 100 yards, evidence that the Bills have struggled defending the run. The defense has forced three fumbles and picked off two passes, something that New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith will have to be wary of. You can move the ball on the Bills defense, as the defense is giving up an average of 25 first downs. Aaron Williams leads the Bills in tackles with 21.

Key Additions:

  • Linebacker Manny Lawson
  • Strong Safety Jim Leonhard
  • Linebacker Jerry Hughes

Key Subtractions:

  • Linebacker Nick Barnett (72 tackles, 2 sacks)
  • Strong Safety George Wilson (73 tackles, 5 passes defended)

Key Injuries

  • Cornerback Stephen Gilmore
  • Free Safety Jairus Byrd

Special Teams

Former New York Jets kicker (for all of a few days) Dan Carpenter handles kicking duties for the Bills, and he is 3-4 on the year thus far, but 1-2 from 40-49 yards. Shawn Powell is the Bills punter, and he is averaging 45.5 yards per punt. Powell has placed 4 punts inside the 20 yard line. Leodis McKelvin is the Bills primary punt returner, but he has 3 fair catches and just one return for 19 yards. TJ Graham is the primary kick returner, and he is averaging 19 yards per return.

Series History:

The Buffalo Bills lead the all time series against the New York Jets 55-49, but the Jets have won eight of the last ten meetings and are 6-2 under Rex Ryan against the Bills.

Most Memorable Moment

  • KAsh

    This will be a test both for Manuel and the Jets defense. By the end of the match, we will know if Manuel is a threat this year and if we have a true top-5 defense. This Bills team can burn you through the air or on the ground.

  • John C

    A great test for the Jets D, and the Jets Offense. The Bills have dangerous weapons that have burned the Jets before (Spiller and Johnson), and some new pieces, (Manuel and Woods), that are doing better through two games then any new Jets Offensive players. A good defensive performance against the Bills, would be an accomplishment, and bode well for later games.

    The Offense will probably need at least 20 to win. Can the Jets line shutdown Williams? Can Geno avoid ints against an opportunistic D? Can the running game go for 150?

    A solid win against the Bills will leave me believing we have a legit shot at 9-7, another game like the New England game, and maybe 6 is our ceiling.

  • mike

    i fully expect rex ryan to confuse the absolute bejeezus out of EZ manual
    whether or not that amounts to a win depends on geno and our running game

  • JetOrange

    I want to see how much Marty runs the ball. The big rap on Marty in Philly was that he got a little “pass happy” and the Jets seemed to abandon the run against the Patriots.

  • JetOrange

    I want to see how much Marty runs the ball. The big rap on Marty in Philly was that he got a little “pass happy” and the Jets seemed to abandon the run against the Patriots.

  • Angel

    This is a test for Geno… I don’t know what the rest of you are talking about.

    This is a game he absolutely HAS to win and HAS to play well in. I think if he gets us this win, the Jets have a legitimate shot at an 8 – 8 season. If not… hello 6 – 10.

  • Circles26

    I think Marty gets pass happy when trailing. We were only down three, and I do question that tactic. Also after Ivory fumbled he immediately increased the pass ratio, but after drops/picks he did not increase the run ratio. That said, the Pats have a good run defense. The Bills are a completely different animal, and I think Marty may have some incite into how to best exploit their tendencies. I’m glad Rex is back in charge.

  • Dalbin Osorio

    Thanks for the comments guys. I agree with Kash; it is a definite test for Geno and he needs to deliver. Through 7 quarters he looked solid, the 4th quarter against the Patriots was atrocious, and he needs to show that he can bounce back from adversity. That being said, Geno vs the Bills defense is an easier matchup than EJ vs the Jets defense just because the Jets defense is that much better than Buffalo’s. It should be an interesting test, but the Jets absolutely need to come out of September at 3-1 (I think they will) in order to have a shot to make a run.

  • Circles26

    Not mentioning Kyle Williams is a gross oversight. I think he’s the best player on the Bills, and highly underrated. If Vlad/Mangold/Colon can keep him on the line with one, or one plus a chip then we neutralize the Bills line. If he gets penetration, or commands a full double team, then Mario will cause us a lot of problems. Williams makes that defense go.

  • Daniel

    Can we just talk about the fact that after last weeks abismal WR performance, the jets have still not brought in any WR to shake things up? Beating a dead horse at this point but…Edwards is still sitting out there and even if he can cut or break like he used to, at least he isn’t Clyde “what’s a football” Gates. And why did Spadola only play in 7 god damn plays last week. Jets…you hurt my brain

  • Lidman

    Make them beat you on the ground. This will be Manuel’s first game, on the road, and that makes a difference. Last week NE showed NY if you keep a rookie QB on the field and force him to have long, sustained drives, that eventually he will make mistakes.

    The one wildcard is Spiller, whom the Jets bottled up in week 1 last year, but wound up with a few ‘Barry Sanders’ moments using his break away ability to rip off 2 big runs.

    I think the the DL is healthier, younger and more athletic this year. Add the improved play of both Harris and Davis, and we should be hopeful CJ has a tough go of it.

  • John C

    Daniel, I thought with Kerley out, that Spadola would play more, but on his one target, he contributed a drop of his own. That probably hurt his chances.

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