Robert Saleh said it earlier in the week and he could not have been more correct. He said that the Buffalo Bills were the best team the Jets have faced this season. He cited their balance and starting QB as reasons the Bills would be a tough opponent. In the end, Saleh was right and the Jets were victorious.
Despite a slow start and an early 14-3 deficit, Zach Wilson and the Jets came roaring back to beat the Bills 20-17 at home.
Wilson didn’t do anything flashy, but made strides in some major areas. Most importantly, we didn’t see Wilson bailing out of clean pockets prematurely. This had been a major issue in recent weeks. In addition, Wilson was mostly sharp on the day and used his legs to convert on a big third-down play. Given the Jets struggles on offense and Wilson’s athleticism, it was good to see the QB make it work for him.
But the biggest story of the day was the defense. Facing one of the top offenses in the NFL, the Jets held the Bills to just seventeen points. After giving up a 42-yard reception to Stefon Diggs on the Bills’ first pass pay, the Jets secondary clamped down and limited Josh Allen to just 163 yards through the air the rest of the way.
Rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner had a big interception early in the second half and DJ Reed had a key pass break up on an Allen deep ball to Diggs. The Jets secondary was stout while the defensive line picked up five sacks despite blitzing Allen just twice all day. Quinnen Williams continued what should be an All-Pro season, picking up his seventh sack, tying his career high.
Jets only blitzed twice the entire game according to @ESPNStatsInfo, 2nd lowest amount in Josh Allen's career
— Mike Tannenbaum (@RealTannenbaum) November 6, 2022
Rookie Jermaine Johnson, Bryce Huff and CJ Mosley also picked up sacks while Kwon Alexander and Jamien Sherwood shared one. The two interceptions, five sacks and the performance as a whole has to put the Jets in the conversation for having the best defense in the NFL.
Aside from Wilson’s improvement, the story on offense was the running game. Starting the winning drive inside their own five yard line in a 17-17 game, the Jets pounded the ball down the Bills throats. It was a total of 10 runs, and seven in a row at one point, that saw the Jets march down the field to set up the game winning field goal. Also credit embattled wide receiver Denzel Mims whose only catch of the day came on the final drive, allowing the Jets to convert on third down and continue running the clock out.
The Jets would take the lead with 1:43 remaining and thwarted any Bills comeback by forcing them into a 3rd and 21 following a Bryce Huff strip sack which was followed by Sauce Gardner sealing the victory in breaking up a deep ball from Allen to Gabe Davis.
So now the Jets sit back and enjoy they bye, hoping to go up to New England and avenge their loss from last week to the Patriots at home.