Bills Try to Use Momentum to Shoot Down J

Those expecting another high-scoring affair this week will likely be disappointed. The Bills were only able to score more than once when the ball was initially placed within the Cards' 30-yard line. The only other scoring drive begun outside of that range had begun near midfield and was predicated on all runs without a single pass having been thrown. The Jets bring a substantially better defense, although one that's banged up, to the Ralph than the Cards did.

Defense:

Rush D: Bills 4th, Jets 8th
Pass D: Bills 5th, Jets 14th
Yardage D: Bills 2nd, Jets 9th
Scoring D: Bills 6th, Jets 4th

Offense:

Rush O: Bills 21st, Jets 2nd
Pass O: Bills 27th, Jets 16th
Yardage O: Bills 27th, Jets 8th
Scoring O: Bills 26th, Jets 8th

Key Players and Matchups:

Bledsoe vs. himself:

Center ring: Once again, how Bledsoe reacts when he gets pressured, if that even happens, will have fans holding their breath until either the receiver has the ball or it falls incomplete. Yes, Bledsoe had two touchdown passes last game. But those two passes along with two or three others were his only contributions through four quarters of ball. He mishandled a snap costing the Bills nearly 30 yards and critical field position and was fortunate that the miscue did not hand the Cards a TD. He will need more than a few passes in this game if the Bills are to win. Fans expecting the special teams to set the Bills up four times inside the Jets' 30-yard line will also be disappointed. It was fun while it happened, but it rarely happens like that.

Bills OL vs. Jets DL:

The injury statuses of Shaun Ellis and John Abraham should be watched. Abraham had three sacks in the first game against the Bills. Obviously having to play the Jets minus one and/or the other of these defensive linemen would aid the Bills. The Bills are eventually going to need some solid push from their line in order to be able to establish some very long consistent drives, something that has yet to occur this season. Alas, they do not have the talent on the line to do this however.

Jets RBs vs. Bills Front-7:

Curtis Martin and Lamont Jordan are both coming off of 115-yard rushing weeks and the Jet rushing game has been tearing it up generally speaking over the last three weeks since the first meeting between these teams. If their momentum is not halted quickly, this game has the potential to become a blowout such as the Jets inflicted on Miami last week again, especially if the Bills offense cannot score more than seven points again through three quarters of play. If the Bills can contain Martin and Jordan the way that they did in the first game in NY, then the game may remain close throughout although they would still have to solve Pennington and the Jet air game.

Bills LBs and Secondary vs. Jets Receivers:

Pennington is extremely deft at spreading the ball out among seven or eight receivers. This is the style of attack that runs roughshod over the Bills defense witness the first game between the two teams with the Jets netting nearly 300 net passing yards utilizing 8 different receivers. With the balance of a rushing game that has averaged 177 yards/game over the last three games and since the first meeting with the Bills, this is not a good indicator.

Summary:

What does one say? The offense and defense have played similarly from week to week all season long for the most part. The defense seems to be unable to prevent any team from having at least one banner half. The offense has yet to score more than 14 points other than ala "T-Ball", and then usually less.

Why this game should be any different is baseless. The Jets are not Arizona. They are a much more experienced team with a far better and more experienced QB, better RBs, better WRs, and a better defense. They are also used to the type of weather that appears to be in the forecast for Orchard Park on Sunday whereas the Cards clearly were not. Perhaps the Jets will lapse somewhat following a big Monday night win vs. divisional rival Miami in grand fashion. Even if the Jets do lapse however, it will have to be nearly entirely for the Bills to be able to eke out a win. This Bills team is not good.

Bottom line:

The Bills put up 209 net offensive yards vs. the Cards' D.
The Jets put up 472 net offensive yards vs. the Dolphins D.

The Bills had one offensive scoring drive that began within 70-yards of their own goal line.
The Jets had six of seven offensive scoring drives begin on their own half of the field starting the drive inside their own 30-yard line three times.

The Bills allowed 128 non-QB rushing yards to a team led by 35-year old Emmitt Smith and one without a viable passing game for several reasons.
The Jets allowed 52 non-QB rushing yards to a team led by a RB that lit up the Bills for nearly 100 yards three weeks ago.

The Bills scored 31 offensive points on drives averaging 28 yards.
The Jets scored 41 offensive points on drives averaging twice that at 56 yards.

The Bills average offensive drive went for 12 yards.
The Jets average offensive drive went for over three times that at 37 yards.

The Bills scored 10 offensive points through three quarters of play this past week. The Jets scored 34 offensive points through three quarters of play this past week.

The Bills rushed for 128 yards vs. what is now the 23rd ranked rushing defense in the league.
The Jets rushed for 275 yards vs. what is now the 30th ranked rushing defense in the league.

Without the defense or special teams setting up the offense inside the opponents' red zone or very close to it, the Bills have been unable to crack the 14-point mark offensively this season. This past week vs. Arizona, the Bills had put up a modest 17 points through three quarters, seven of which came on McGee's kickoff return, before a cascade of special teams efforts set the Bills up three times in the fourth quarter at the Arizona 30, 11, and 19-yard lines as the Cards were forced to take to the air as they were down by ten points. Would that have occurred had the Cards been up by ten? Since special teams efforts such as that displayed by the Bills this past Sunday, while spectacular, are rare. It would be unusual for that to repeat itself again this season to be sure. The special teams on Sunday was pivotal in setting up or actually scoring every point on the board by the Bills.

Simply put, the offense has done nothing on its own to date and need serious "hand-holding" and "encouragement." They have more than proven that they are unable to establish any long, sustained drives and can rarely score when starting a drive from their own end of the field. Therefore, fans should expect more of the same, which is not much.

This is a Bills team with serious, serious issues both now and for the future, a very depressing state for fans. A simple game in inclement weather won in blowout style in atypical fashion vs. a young up-and-coming team with few seasoned veterans and one that rarely plays in poor weather is no basis for significant hope on the season. It'll be back to reality this week for this Bills team. The combined record of the two teams beaten by the Bills is 3-12. The Jets come to Buffalo 6-1, a record which the type of team the Bills have rarely beaten during the Commander Tom-Bledsoe-the-Clown era and then only amid mitigating circumstances.

On defense, if the D again allows the Jets offense to explode in the first half they way they did vs. Miami and the Cardinals, two teams with rushing talents and lines less than that of the Jets, then expect this game to be over at the half. Otherwise with Jet miscues, the Bills may hang around long enough to prevent the fans from heading to the exits prior to the 4th quarter.

Prediction:

Bills 16, Jets 27.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

Comments: mweiler.billsreport@cox.net


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