On Sunday the New York Jets (1-6) take on the Buffalo Bills (4-3) at MetLife Stadium. The Jets enter the division match-up as losers of 6 in a row, while the Bills have won two of their last 3 games. Here are some of the keys to the game for Gang Green.
Offensive line play- Once again the New York Jets offensive line will be tested as the Buffalo Bills have a tremendous front seven that is ranked 4th against the rush. The Jets line must try to establish some type of leverage in order to implement their physical running game. Keep an eye on the play of guards Willie Colon and Oday Aboushi.
Geno’s decision making-There is a good chance that quarterback Geno Smith will be facing a lot of pressure in the pocket which will put a premium on his decision making. Smith must use his legs when protection breaks down and not force throws into coverage. With the potential to be a low scoring game, the second year signal caller cannot turn the ball over.
Red zone efficiency- At some point the New York Jets have to find a way to maximize their opportunities within the red zone. The Jets remain one of the worst teams in the NFL in terms of red zone efficiency and that trend must change if the team wants to start racking up victories. A fade pass to Eric Decker perhaps? Take advantage of the size and athletic ability of Jeff Cumberland and Jace Amaro?
Debut of Percy Harvin- It is going to be very interesting to see how offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg utilizes wide receiver Percy Harvin on Sunday. With only a week of practice under his belt Harvin could be used in some read option packages and in the vertical passing game.
Dominate the line of scrimmage- The New York Jets defensive front must completely dominate a Buffalo offensive line that is battered and bruised. The Bills line gave up 6 sacks last week to the Vikings and there is no reason why the Jets cannot replicate that type of performance. Keep an eye on the play of Quinton Coples as he was benched in favor of Jason Babin and Antwan Barnes last week.
Defend Watkins and Woods- There is a good chance that the Jets will stifle the Bills running game especially when you consider the fact that both Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller will miss the game due to injuries. The Buffalo passing attack could cause some concern as rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins is off to a great start with 35 catches and 4 touchdowns, including the game winner last week. Watkins is a dynamic playmaker that can stretch the field and he is complimented by Robert Woods (25 catches, 1 td) and Chris Hogan.
Contain Chandler- Lost in the Buffalo passing game is tight end Scott Chandler (22 catches, 278 yards) who has been consistently contributing each week. The Jets defense, which continues to struggle against tight ends, must prevent Chandler from becoming a go to option, especially on third down.
This game will be dominated by the play of the defensive lines which will put the focus on the decision-making and performance of the quarterbacks. Kyle Orton will not do enough to beat the Jets and Geno Smith will not lose the game for Gang Green. Percy Harvin will give the team a boost on offense and special teams. 13-10 Jets.