Encouraging Signs for Jets as they Look Ahead to Matchup with Bills
The Buffalo Bills will be keen on a win after a rather embarrassing loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bills have the New York Jets up next and will hope to make good this time around, having lost 9-6 to the Jags, a result they did not feel like taking on the chin.
The Bills did not want to keep the performance on their mind too much and are now looking forward, but New York will be intent on kicking them while they’re down.
“Of course we’re all extremely frustrated just because we’re losing, nobody wants to lose,” wide receiver Stefon Diggs said after the loss. “Especially not me. Anybody who takes a loss easy, I’ll show you a loser. I digested it, looked at the game, watched the tape, and figured out things I could do better. Just try to move forward.”
“We can’t just focus on one game, one loss,” quarterback Josh Allen added. “We talked on Monday and we communicated what went wrong, what went right, what we needed to fix.”
Buffalo has performed fairly well this season but six points against a struggling Jaguars team doesn’t look great, especially when they could have been 6-2 instead of a likely unimagined 5-3. The Jets haven’t been that great, admittedly, at 2-6. But they will fancy their chances against a team looking to bounce back from an upset.
Allen threw two interceptions against the Jags, also losing a fumble. Their offense was only good for 17 first downs, which brought about the end of a 23-game run in which they recorded 20 or more first downs. The Bills also failed to score a touchdown, a first since an 18-10 win over the Jets last October.
New York will be cautious over Sunday’s game as they know all too well how primed their opponents will be after their shock defeat. The Bills, of course, are favored to win this one at 2/13 with the bookies and any NFL picks forum will advise one to bet on Buffalo despite recent results. To many people the performance against Jacksonville can be seen as just having an off day, more of a fluke win for the Jags.
“Yeah, I’d imagine Buffalo’s going to be really upset after going back and watching that tape,” Jets coach Robert Saleh warned. “That’s an explosive offense, it can go off at any time. They’ve got talented players everywhere.”
As for Allen, the Jets are well aware of his prowess.
“He’s a great quarterback,” Jets defensive end John Franklin-Myers remarked. “As we know, he does a lot on his feet, he moves around, makes plays down the field. He can kind of do everything. He has a great arm and a great mentality as a quarterback, so it’s a good challenge for us. We’re ready for it.”
The Jets have allowed opponents an average of 463 yards over their last four outings and cannot afford to be as generous on Sunday.
“It’s not good enough,” defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said of the team’s defending. “From a coaching perspective, it’s not good enough and from a playing perspective, it’s not good enough.”
Backup QB Mike White will start for a third time this season, with rookie Zach Wilson nursing a sprained right knee. White was the star of the show against the Cincinnati Bengals two weeks back, throwing for 405 yards and three TDs in a 34-31 win. The game had provided the quarterback with his first start as a pro.
Our Top 10 heading into Week 10. pic.twitter.com/eKsVTXxNbG
— New York Jets (@nyjets) November 11, 2021
He got off to another good start last week as he threw an early touchdown pass against the Indianapolis Colts before suffering a bruised nerve in his right hand that numbed his fingers. White is good to go for Week 10, which should be encouraging to the Jets as they don’t have to rush Wilson back to action.
“What you see in practice and OTAs and training camp, and what we’ve seen is just this calm, cool, loose personality,” Saleh said, praising White. “It’s not too big for him.”
New York’s rookie wide receiver Elijah Moore has also offered encouragement as he’s started his breakout after a quiet start to the season. Moore has helped the team score 64 points and register 997 yards in their last two games. He has 13 catches for 51 yards over the period which includes the first two TD receptions of his career. He made a TD run against the New England Patriots three weeks ago and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur has high hopes.
“He’s getting the production with (the offense), but you could tell he’s really just getting comfortable,” LaFleur said. “I think that’s just been shown throughout our entire offense, particularly in the pass game.”