When the Bills faced the Jets in week eight, many thought it would be the week they turned their season around. When in reality it was arguably the lowest point of the season. Geno Smith threw three interceptions in his first four series and was benched in favor of Michael Vick who also managed to turn the ball over three times himself.
Rex Ryan knows that the Jets will have to play much better this time around to continue their winning ways.
“We have to play a zillion times better than we did the last time we played Buffalo,” said Ryan. “I think that is safe to say.”
One of the areas the Jets will look to improve on from their last meeting with the Bills is defending against Sammy Watkins and the deep pass.
While the Jets held Watkins to only three catches, he totaled 157 yards and a touchdown. Those gaudy numbers should have been larger as Watkins should have scored another touchdown but was tackled by receiver Saalim Hakim while he was showboating.
“Well we did give up a couple in that game, for sure,” said Ryan. “Obviously Watkins got behind us one time and then we got beat on what we call a “speedo” one time. But, I think we are doing a much better job at playing the deep ball.”
One area the Jets have improved tremendously since week eight has been the turnover department.
The Jets have not turned the ball over in their past two games and Ryan said that limiting the turnovers will be a crucial part in the rematch against Buffalo.
“With that game, it starts with we’d better take care of the football,” said Ryan. “I don’t care if you run fullback dive 50 times. We’d have a better chance of winning that way than we would with how we played last time. So, I think that’s (limiting the turnovers) going to be the important thing.”
Although Vick has been turnover free the past two games, he did fumble four times (losing two of them) and threw an interception in that first game against Buffalo.
“Playing against Buffalo the first time, we knew what we were getting into,” said Vick. “We knew that they had a good defense. We turned the ball over six times and got down early. You can’t do that against a great defense. This time around hopefully we can come out there and do things differently. We have to protect the football.”
Since fumbling four times against the Bills, Vick has only fumbled once and Ryan says the improvement stems from an improved emphasis on taking care of the ball.
“I really think the focus is there,” said Ryan. “It has to be a huge emphasis because the one thing that sets Mike back is if he turns the ball over.”
According to Ryan, when Vick doesn’t turn the ball over the Jets are tough to beat.
“The skill set that he offers is outstanding,” said Ryan. “He knows if he takes care of that football, we’ll be tough to beat.”
Bills head Coach Doug Marrone acknowledged that containing Vick isn’t easy.
“We were able to see him in our last game when we played him and he did a nice job,” said Marrone. “He’s going to be better prepared and ready to go so we just got to do a good job of containing him and making sure that we can try to keep him in the pocket…and make sure he doesn’t create a lot of big plays which he’s done for a long period of time.”
One area where the Jets have struggled at times this season is in pass protection. The Bills’ defense led by their stout front four of Jerry Hughes, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Mario Williams were able to tally four sacks and added seven quarterback hits in their last meeting.
Ryan knows that containing the Bills defensive line, which leads the league in sacks will be a challenge.
“They’re doing a tremendous job,” said Ryan. “I look at the stats and Kyle Williams has got three sacks…Dareus has 10 and obviously the big dude, Williams has 10 sacks (and) Hughes (has) seven-in-a-half. Yeah it’s a formidable group, there’s no question.”
“I feel good about right now,” said Ryan. “I thought we had a couple of good practices before we went on the little break. Then since we’ve comeback I think we’ve had some good practices. I think we’ve got some momentum…but there is a lot of pep in our step.”
The Jets hope the added momentum will translate into a much different result than the one three weeks ago.