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Jets Set To Welcome Bills In Desperate Reach For First Win

Jets vs Bills Week 1

Next up, the Jets are scheduled to welcome the Buffalo Bills in Week 7 of the 2020 NFL season. That’s right, the end of the nightmare is nowhere to be seen. Most recently, the Jets visited the Bills in New York in their opening-week matchup, losing 27-17 in a disappointing game that set a low tone for an even worse campaign.

The Week Seven game at MetLife Stadium comes as quarterback Sam Darnold has missed the team’s last two games. This week, he is ruled questionable and not 100 percent for the third week in a row.

However, even if Darnold somehow brings his healthy self, the New York Jets have been a hot mess. Having lost their first six games of the year, they still have the sixth-most difficult remaining schedule within the AFC. Every component of the team has been a subject of wild conversations so it may be too repetitive but nonetheless correct that the offense’s numbers are not going up. The air unit is dead last in the league in yards per game. Meanwhile, Frank Gore, the top option on the ground with the release of Le’Veon Bell, averages 3.3 yards per rush (a career-low). The defense is a lot more promising but not anything beyond the term “subpar”.

The Jets enter their second game versus the Bills as ten-point underdogs at home. After weeks, in which NYJ seemed like a good bet with massive spreads, this is no longer the case. These two teams are on very different levels, and the discussion is not in the Jets’ favor.

Three Keys

Jets vs Bills Josh Allen
Credits: AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes

Bills’ Air Raid To Shine at MetLife

As opposed to Josh Allen‘s first two seasons in the NFL, the Bills’ passing game has been very efficient in 2020. Buffalo ranks sixth in the league with 277 yards per game through the air. Moreover, this is the third-best figure in the AFC, after Houston and Las Vegas.

The addition of Stefon Diggs, who was acquired from the Vikings for a 2nd-round pick, would assume a huge focus on downfield passes. However, this has not been the case. Thus far, the Bills average 11.7 yards per completion, while the club’s top three pass-catchers all have fewer than 14.0 yards per catch. Diggs has successfully transformed into that role – with 59 targets, he’s the fourth-most targeted receiver in the NFL. In the meantime, 71.2 percent of successful catches is the second-best mark in his career.

Furthermore, Cole Beasley has been beyond solid with a 75% catch percentage on 37 targets, while John Brown struggled with 51 percent before missing their last game. Devin Singletary has also been heavily involved in the air game but even Diggs and Beasley alone create a WR duo force to be reckoned with. With Josh Allen completing about 67 percent of his throws, the passing game not only has many valuable weapons but is very consistent and efficient in moving the ball through the air.

The matchup with the Jets passing defense is an absolute mismatch. New York hasn’t been amongst the good passing defenses, allowing 253.3 yards per game, inside the bottom 10 in the NFL. As during most cases, the secondary and the rest of their air defense is in the center of a tough matchup. The Bills are amongst the most difficult oppositions in this department.

How Big Will the Defensive Line Hole Be?

Shortly after the Jets’ loss to Miami last Sunday, New York started what’s likely to become a trading spree. The first player lucky enough to be dealt was defensive tackle Steve McLendon, was traded in exchange for a sixth and a seventh-round selection.

This puts a very big question mark direct towards the hopes for a Jets success against the Bills running game. McLendon was an enormous part of the unit which finished third in fewest allowed yards on the ground 12 months ago and ranks in the higher part of the table now. Currently, the Jets rank 11th, having conceded 4.2 yards per rushing attempt on 171 attempts, third-most allowed in the NFL.

With or without McLendon, this will be one of the detrimental component matchups throughout the game. The Bills have not run the ball yet during this young season. With 3.8 yards per carry, they have the seventh-worst running group in the NFL.

Can the Passing Game Become More Consistent?

Apart from the Jets being the least productive team in the competition, they are also the least efficient team through the air. They rank last with 56.7 percent completions by Darnold and Joe Flacco.

In addition, all receivers except Jamison Crowder have failed to establish themselves as valuable weapons. Crowder already has 46 targets, catching 29 (63%). However, Chris Hogan, Breshad Perriman, Braxton Berrios, and TE Chris Herndon are all under the 60-percent mark. With none having more than 30 targets and Hogan landing on the IR, whoever is a QB for NYJ is bound to struggle.

While the Jets passing offense has an easier opponent in Week Seven, the talent and consistency are not seemingly present for the club to start stringing together long drives. The Bills have allowed the ninth-most yards through the air per game with 256.2. Yet, they might have a chance to move up the table at MetLife Stadium.

Key Matchups

Jets WR Crowder
Credits: Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Bills passing offense (277.0 yards/game, 6th) vs. Jets passing defense (253.3 yards/game, 23rd)

Jets defense against the rush (4.2 yards/rush, 179 rushes, 22nd) vs. Bills running game (3.8 yards/rush, 145 rushes, 26th)

Jets passing game (171.1 yards/game, 32nd) vs. Bills passing defense (256.2 yards/game, 24th)

Jamison Crowder (46 targets, 29 receptions, 63% catch percentage, 13.2 yards/reception) vs. Tre’Davious White (17 targets, 123.2 allowed passer rating)

Injury Report

New York JetsBuffalo Bills
QB Sam Darnold [QUESTIONABLE]CB Cam Lewis [QUESTIONABLE]
K Sam Ficken [DOUBTFUL]OT Cody Ford [OUT]
WR Jamison Crowder [QUESTIONABLE]LB Matt Milano [QUESTIONABLE]
G Alex Lewis [DOUBTFUL]LB Tyrel Dodson [OUT]
OT George Fant [QUESTIONABLE]CB Josh Norman [OUT]
RT Mekhi Becton [QUESTIONABLE]CB Tre’Davious White [QUESTIONABLE]
OT Chuma Edoga [QUESTIONABLE]TE Dawson Knox [OUT]
WR John Brown [QUESTIONABLE]

Prediction

Yet again, the Jets, touted as one of the worst NFL teams ever, are a lot worse than their opponent in nearly each and every department possible. However, this time don’t make the mistake to think that they can cover the spread, especially if Sam Darnold is not ready to take the field for the third week in a row. Prediction: Buffalo Bills win 30-7


Follow me on Twitter @TeodorTsenov for more of my content and follow @OT_Heroics!

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Teodor
Jets and Marlins writer for Overtime Heroics, as well as an NFL and MLB writer for Franchise Sports UK. From Bulgaria.
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