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How can the New York Jets score a critical divisional win over the Buffalo Bills?
Joe Caporoso – Offensively, the Jets need go back to their spread rushing attack and find some semblance of a balanced offense. Buffalo can be run on and with Nick Mangold playing, the Jets should be able to get more of a push, particularly if they drop the Brent Qvale at TE package. You beat a Rex Ryan defense by playing uptempo, getting the ball out quick and attacking the middle of the field with your slot receiver or tight end. If the Bills are going to leave Nickell Robey on Eric Decker all night, he should be looking at 9-12 targets. They also shouldn’t shy away from throwing to their running backs frequently either, as Chris Ivory has quietly been effective as a receiver this season (14 catches on 18 targets with a receiving TD).
Defensively, it is about one thing: stopping the run. Greg Roman builds his offense on everything flowing from his running game and his quarterback being to be able a weapon as a runner. If they can consistently force 2nd and longs and keep Tyrod Taylor in the pocket, the jets are going to find success particularly since they have Darrelle Revis to cover Sammy Watkins.
Dalbin Osorio – The Jets enter a tough divisional game against a team they are jockeying for playoff position with. Buffalo’s defense hasn’t been as good against the run as many expected after their showing last year. This is a team that can get after the quarterback and beat you with their speed. The Jets are going to have to find a way to get Chris Ivory going, whether it’s spreading the field and running him out of the shotgun so he has clearer lanes or utilizing heavier sets to offset the loss of Quincy Enunwa.
Utilizing more shotgun formations is a way for Ryan Fitzpatrick to mitigate the Bills pass rush because he’ll be able to scan the whole field. That’s what I’d do: I’d spread the field with Marshall, Cumberland/Thompkins, Decker, Kerley, and Ivory. This will force the Bills to move a banged up Ronald Darby into the slot to cover Eric Decker, where he has struggled a bit. This also forces Leodis McKelvin to cover Jeremy Kerley and that’s a matchup Kerley has exploited in the past. It also leaves Stephen Gilmore on an island against Brandon Marshall, and that’s a match-up the Jets will win. Finally, it makes the Bills defense that much easier to play against because you’re not forcing your OL (which has been terribly average over the last few games) to block the Bills DL for no more than 3 seconds. That’s how the Jets get a victory.John Hargaden – A part of me wants to say this is just any regular game against a division rival that could contend with a AFC wild card spot along with the Jets. However, this is not just any other game.
As always, Rex Ryan teams love to run the football. They are 2nd in the league with over 140 rushing yards a game. The Jets defense has allowed just over 80 yards rushing a game. A huge key is going to be the push of the defensive line and stopping the run. LeSean McCoy has been dealing with a shoulder injury but should be able to go. McCoy does worry me especially with his cut backs, the Jets need to maintain their lanes and be ready. Their big WR, Sammy Watkins has started to come on of late, look for Darrelle Revis to be covering him early and often. Tight end Charles Clay has also emerged as one of Tyrod Taylor’s main passing targets.
On the defensive side of the ball, it is going to be containing Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes and keeping the pocket clean for Ryan Fitzpatrick. If Willie Colon can not play, expect Brian Winters to once again start at RG. Winters looked horrible against Jacksonville, I am hoping with Nick Mangold back, he can help Winters at times. The Bills secondary does not scare me to be quite honest with you. As Joe has pointed out a few times, If Nickell Robey covers Eric Decker, look for Decker to have quite a nice evening. Look for Stephen Gilmore and at times a safety to be covering Brandon Marshall. I can see Chan Gailey putting Marshall into motion and moving him into the slot to cause some confusion.
The one thing that us Jets fans know all too well about Rex Ryan coached teams are the penalties that are committed, that has not changed in Buffalo. The Bills have averaged over 10 and a half penalties per game so far this season. Get in their heads early, OUR fans must be LOUD all night and the penalties will come.