Monday, your New York Jets (2-8) will travel to Detroit to take on the Buffalo Bills (5-5). Because of Buffalo getting six months worth six feet of snow this week, travel is too dangerous for everyone involved making the trip to Western New York. Instead, the teams will play Monday Night in Detroit for a Bills “home” game. The game will kickoff at 7 p.m. and can be viewed locally on CBS. For those not in the Buffalo or New York City region, DirecTV has announced they will carry the game.
These two teams met previously in week eight, in was a game that featured the benching of quarterback Geno Smith after three first-quarter interceptions and a 43-23 Bills win. In that game, the Jets actually held an advantage in nearly every offensive category but had six turnovers and let up numerous big plays to rookie wide out Sammy Watkins.
The Jets were on a bye last week but defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-13 the week before. The Jets did some things in that game that they haven’t done previously and will need to continue to do if they want to win more games this season.
First, the Jets actually forced turnovers. They went up against a red-hot Ben Roethlisberger and forced two interceptions and sacked him twice. Safety Jaiquawn Jarrett, making his first start of the year, had the game of his life by recording both interceptions and a sack in the game. Jarrett also added ten tackles and a fumble recovery to get AFC Defensive Player of the Week. The Steelers had two fumbles total.
The play of cornerbacks Marcus Williams and Phillip Adams were both particularly impressive. Williams had a deflection on the goal line that led to a key interception. There was only one lapse in coverage very late in the game that led to a long touchdown pass, but the game was pretty much decided by that point. The Jets need to continue to force turnovers.
The red zone defense was also impressive. Despite having a defense ranked in the top-ten in numerous categories, the Jets scoring defense is fifth worst in the league. Why? Because the red zone defense had been horrendous. Against Pittsburgh, they limited the points inside the 20. They forced an interception, a missed field goal, and one 27-yard field goal. Three trips inside the red zone resulted in only three points.
Finally, the Jets struck with a big play and is something they should continue to try and do. Vick, who still has one of the strongest arms in the league, hooked up with the speedy T.J. Graham for 67 yards.
The recipe of big plays, turnovers, and red zone defense is a good blueprint to follow the rest of the year. The Jets have a strong running game and will again be tested against one of the better defenses in the league.
The Bills are coming off two straight losses and face a near must-win to make the playoffs. While their defense is playing well (they rank first in the league in sacks, seventh in passing, and ninth in rushing defense) the offense isn’t doing its part, scoring just 22 points total their last two losses.
The Jets have to make Kyle Orton beat them. Avoiding turnovers is the first place to start. The Jets defense should limit the rushing attack led by Fred Jackson but have to be weary of the big play ability Sammy Watkins brings. Watkins had 157 yards receiving and a touchdown last meeting.
The Jets secondary will get another boost with Darrin Walls returning. Walls will compete with Adams and Williams for playing time at corner. Jarrett (calf) is listed as questionable for Monday’s game and could find himself in a wild rotation at safety with Calvin Pryor, Antonio Allen, and Dawan Landry all pressing for action.
Overall, the Pittsburgh game was a step in the right direction. The Bills are not a very talented team but have a defense that can keep them in nearly every game. Because of the snow, they also have not had a lot of practice time. It could be a sloppy game in Detroit.