New York Jets 2020 Opponents – Buffalo Bills

Michael Meegan with an overview of the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets week 1 opponent

With the departure of Tom Brady, the man who ruled the AFC East with an iron fist for almost two decades, the Buffalo Bills look the most ready to dethrone New England. Buffalo made the playoffs last year as a wild card and are looking to prove that it was not a one off.  The Jets have to travel up to Buffalo Week 1 and get the return game not too far down the line in week 7…

Coaching –   Sean McDermott has proven to be one of the best young coaches in football since taking over in 2017.  He has made the playoffs in 2 of his 3 seasons and has brought a consistency to Buffalo that has not been seen in a long time.  He has done a great job building his staff, Leslie Frazier is one of the top DCs in football who has guided the Bills to two Top 6 defensive DVOA finishes the past two years. OC Brian Daboll is one of the hot names in the coaching search in 2021 as what he has gotten from Josh Allen who was a project QB coming out of school has been eye opening.  

Personnel –   The Bills star players are mostly on defense.  Tre White broke out into stardom in 2019 as a true shutdown corner and garnered first team All Pro Honors.  Micah Hyde and Jorden Poyer make up one of the best safety tandems in the league as their secondary is the real backbone of this defense.  They also have two rising young players in 3rd year LB Tremaine Edmunds and second year DT ED Oliver who were 2018 and 2019 first round picks and are both looking to emulate the jump Tre White took in 2019 and make this unit even more formidable.  

The Bills made noise in using their first round pick to acquire star WR Stefon Diggs to go along with John Brown and Cole Beasley.  They return all 5 starters on the offensive line and added bruising RB Zach Moss in the draft to pair with the shifty Devin Singletary.  This offense will go as far as volatile QB Josh Allen can take it.  The Bills gameplan in 2019 was if their defense can allow 20 or fewer points Allen was able to do enough to win the game most of the time as the Bills were 10-2 when this occurred.  When Bills defense gave up 24 points or more the Bills were 0-3 in those games as Allen could not overcome those obstacles.  Allen has been an effective game manager for Bills so far and if he can take the step to being the catalyst that wins the Bills games this offense has the potential to be one of the best in the league.   

Potential Weaknesses – The Bills have one of the best overall rosters in football and coupled with a very good coaching staff it is hard to find any glaring weaknesses. The Bills in 2019 were one of the healthiest teams in the league and health is something that normally varies season to season.  Coupled with the likely abbreviated training camps and practices it is unlikely they will be as fortunate in 2020.  Unfortunately for the Jets they play Buffalo twice in the first 7 games and will likely be facing them at full strength in both encounters.  Their biggest weakness will be if QB Josh Allen plateaus in year 3.  Allen took a step in year 2 but if he does not take another in year 3 it will severely limit the ceiling of the Bills.  We saw Blake Bortles plateau in 2018 and that ruined the Jaguars season and Mitch Truibisky did the same to the Bears in 2019.

Matchup with the Jets –  I hate the matchup of Sean McDermott’s defense vs Adam Gase’s offense for the Jets.  The Jets have a bottom 5 group of receivers and expecting the inconsistent Breshad Perriman and rookie Denzel Mims to get the better of Tre White is a real tough ask.  Buffalo also have the safeties and linebackers who can cover Le’Veon Bell and Chris Herndon who are going to be focal points of the Jets’ offense.  I do like Gregg Williams defense vs Brain Daboll’s offense.  The Bills are a run heavy team and the Jets have one of the stoutest run defenses in football.  Pierre Desir and Quincy Wilson are upgrades at CB from Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts.  CJ Moseley and Avery Willamson played a combine healthy 3 quarters of football in 2019 as those two will give the defense a big lift even with the uncertain future of Jamal Adams hanging over the team’s heads. 

The games will come down how much Sam Darnold can elevate his surroundings as the Bills are better than the Jets in basically every area.  Josh Allen has been prone to turnovers against the Jets and the Jets need to capitalize on those as they did not last season and that’s why they lost.  If Allen can limit the turnovers and be as effective with his arm as he normally is with his legs the Jets are going to be facing quite the uphill battle when facing the Bills this season.