Off a heartbreaking loss to the vulnerable New England Patriots on Thursday night, the New York Jets have had 10 days to prepare for Doug Marrone and the Buffalo Bills. The story-lines are a-plenty: for sociological purposes, this will be the 2nd time in Bills history that two African American quarterbacks face off against each other. From a coaching standpoint, Rex Ryan gets to have his offense go against his protege’s defense, as Mike Pettine returns to the scene of some of his most famous leaks (no pun intended.) And, from a strictly football standpoint, both teams are 1-1 and looking to notch their first win in the division. Let’s get to know the opponent the Jets will be facing this Sunday.
Week 2: Buffalo Bills (1-1), last week: a win vs Carolina (24-23)
2013 Offensive Rankings: 16th in points scored (22.5 per game), 15th in total yards (361 per game), 23rd in passing yards (218.5 per game), 13th in passing touchdowns (3), 5th in interceptions (1), 18th in yards per attempt (6.5), 4th in rushing yards (142.5 per game), 12th in rushing touchdowns (1), and 9th in yards per carry (4.3).
Overview: The Bills were able to pull off a last second win last week against the Panthers, thanks to a game winning drive by EJ Manuel. The rookie out of Florida State completed 27 of 39 passes, good for a 69% completion percentage, for 296 yards, a TD, and an interception. The Bills also ran for 149 yards (103 from CJ Spiller) on a defense that had held Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch to 43 yards on 17 carries during the previous week. Stevie Johnson leads the Bills in receptions with 11 and receiving yards with 150. Both Spiller and running back Fred Jackson have been beneficiaries in the passing game as well, as they have 9 and 8 catches respectively (both 2nd and 3rd highest on the team.) The Bills offensive line has only allowed one sack through 2 games this year.
Wide Receiver Robert Woods
Quarterback EJ Manuel
Offensive Guard Andy Levitre
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
Wide Receiver Donald Jones
Wide Receiver Brad Smith
2013 Defensive Rankings: 15th in points allowed (23.0 per game), 18th in yards allowed (369.5 per game), 13th in passing defense (228 per game), 18th in passing touchdowns allowed (4), 30th in rushing defense (141.5 per game), 24th in yards per carry allowed (4.2), 1st in rushing touchdowns allowed (0), and 9th in turnovers forced (4).
Overview: Mario Williams is the leader of this defense, and he is coming off a four and a half sack game against Carolina. However, he is their only legitimate pass rushing threat. Jarius Byrd may be their best player on defense, but he missed last week’s game and is questionable for the Jets game. Both the Patriots and Panthers have been able to run the ball for over 100 yards, evidence that the Bills have struggled defending the run. The defense has forced three fumbles and picked off two passes, something that New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith will have to be wary of. You can move the ball on the Bills defense, as the defense is giving up an average of 25 first downs. Aaron Williams leads the Bills in tackles with 21.
Linebacker Manny Lawson
Strong Safety Jim Leonhard
Linebacker Jerry Hughes
Linebacker Nick Barnett (72 tackles, 2 sacks)
Strong Safety George Wilson (73 tackles, 5 passes defended)
Cornerback Stephen Gilmore
Free Safety Jairus Byrd
Former New York Jets kicker (for all of a few days) Dan Carpenter handles kicking duties for the Bills, and he is 3-4 on the year thus far, but 1-2 from 40-49 yards. Shawn Powell is the Bills punter, and he is averaging 45.5 yards per punt. Powell has placed 4 punts inside the 20 yard line. Leodis McKelvin is the Bills primary punt returner, but he has 3 fair catches and just one return for 19 yards. TJ Graham is the primary kick returner, and he is averaging 19 yards per return.
The Buffalo Bills lead the all time series against the New York Jets 55-49, but the Jets have won seven of the last eight meetings and are 7-1 under Rex Ryan against the Bills.
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