Looking Back at 3 Key Bills/Jets Matchups

The Buffalo Bills moved to 6-5 after blowing out the Jets. The 38-3 final score was made possible by the Bills winning just about every matchup on the field. Here's how the team fared in my three key matchups.

In November and December, the Buffalo Bills are supposed to have homefield advantage thanks to the weather. Last week, Buffalo was hit with a massive snowstorm. The entire stadium was filled along with surrounding areas. Over 220,000 tons of snow needed to be removed from the areas near One Bills Drive. This was too much snow, even for Buffalo. Buffalo's game against the New York Jets was moved to Ford Field in Detroit. Inside of a dome, both teams benefit from not battling the elements. Ford Field has a reputation of being a bit of a fast track, and neither team lacks speed. As the game approached, I looked at three matchups the Bills needed to win if they hoped to move to 6-5. How did the Bills fare? Although it's pretty evident based upon the 38-3 final score, let's take a look!

Matchup of the Week: Bills WRs vs. Jets CBs

Leading up to the game, Marquise Goodwin was listed as being probable. I thought that the Bills would utilize his speed inside of Ford Field, but he was a healthy scratch. Were the Bills planning on using Mike Williams in the red zone? Apparently not, as he didn't see one snap. The Bills mainly used three receivers: Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Chris Hogan.

In their first matchup, Watkins caught three passes for 157 yards. New York's game plan in their second matchup was to roll their defenses toward Watkins. It certainly slowed the rookie down as he only had three catches for 35 yards on 5 targets. Hogan only added two receptions for five yards. New York was effective at stopped two of Buffalo's receivers, but Woods took advantage of his matchups with the Jets.

The second year receiver was targeted 11 times on Monday. He caught nine passes for 118 yards and one touchdown. Woods made some very difficult catches look routine in Buffalo's rout of the Jets. His success shouldn't be a surprise. In their first matchup, Woods had three receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown on 18 snaps. He left that game with a back injury. 

In all, Buffalo's three receivers caught 14 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown. Not a bad day at the office.

Michael Vick vs. Bills Defense

This matchup worried me a bit as a Bills fan. Vick isn't the same guy who used to create havoc on the field with the Atlanta Falcons, but he still flashes that talent at times. In a dome, Vick wouldn't have to worry about throwing a wet or slippery ball and he'd be able to run on a dry surface. 

While the elements were great for Vick, he still had to go against the Bills defense. This didn't work in Vick's favor. Mario Williams tormented Vick and actually ran him down from behind. Williams' freakish athleticism was on full display. Vick couldn't finish the game and his final stat line was seven completions on 19 attempts for 76 yards and an interception. He also ran the ball for four yards on two carries. Geno Smith relieved Vick of his duties and didn't fare much better.

Buffalo clearly knew Vick's weaknesses and exploited them on Monday.

Percy Harvin vs. Stephon Gilmore

Harvin was added to the Jets, just before the Bills played them for the first time in late October. He didn't know the playbook at that point and seemed to be getting a better grasp of the offense. Against the Chief, Harvin went over 100 yards receiving. In their game against the Steelers, Harvin accounted for 56 yards rushing and receiving. Slowing Harvin down was a big priority.

On Monday, the Bills accomplished their goal of slowing Harvin down. He was targeted five times but finished with one reception for two yards. Harvin did not carry the ball at all against the Bills. 

Stephon Gilmore wasn't the only cornerback to shut Harvin down, but he is the team's top cornerback. Against the Jets, he was targeted four times and gave up three receptions for 45 yards. Gilmore was in coverage on Eric Decker's 34 yard reception. That said, the former first round pick continued his strong play for the Bills.

Buffalo did very well in all three matchups. It's no wonder why the team cruised to their sixth victory of the season.


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