Breaking down Week 2 vs Buffalo Bills
The New York Jets are set to face the Bills in Buffalo for a Week 2 game with hopes of seeking revenge for being swept in 2015.
Woah, what a game this will be. Rex Ryan and his Buffalo Bills got the best of the New York Jets in 2015 not once but twice, ironically enough by the same score, 22-17. The first match-up was a game where the Jets shot themselves in the foot, committing three turnovers, one resulting in a touchdown for Buffalo.
Related Story: Breaking down Week 1 vs Cincinnati Bengals
The second match-up, well, there is truly no need to tell any Jets fan what happened in that game. Once again, with the NFL Playoffs on the line in a “win and get in” scenario, Ryan got the last laugh.
Heading into 2016 though, the Jets are better equipped offensively than in 2015. They added running Matt Forte, who replaced Chris Ivory as the lead tailback. Although Ivory ran for over 1,000 yards in 2015, he was unable to establish himself as a weapon in the passing game, which is Forte’s well, forte.
Make no mistake about it, Forte is a crucial weapon that wasn’t with the Jets last year and could be the deciding factor this time around. The Bills’ two inside linebackers are Preston Brown and rookie second-round pick Reggie Ragland. Brown ranked among the worst linebackers in the league according to Pro Football Focus, and Ragland is more of a run-stopping thumper than agile cover-man. Forte should be a match-up nightmare out of the backfield for the Bills against their slow linebacker corps.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets should target TE Hunter Henry in free agency
- NY Jets: Why the team should target cornerback Shaquill Griffin
- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
One of the biggest reasons why Ryan was able to shut down quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and force him to turn the football over was the absence of running back Bilal Powell in both contests.
Powell alone would’ve taken the immense pressure off of wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.
His explosiveness in the passing game would’ve allowed the Jets to move the chains more often, rather than forcing the ball to Marshall and Decker.
If there’s one thing the Bills have on defense, it is two young, fast cornerbacks that excel in press-man coverage.
The Jets lack of a deep threat allowed Rex to load the box. This strategy took away the Jets’ ability to run the ball and the quick passing game, which is a staple of Chan Gailey’s offense. This year, the Jets will have rookie Charone Peake, who made some big plays downfield for Clemson. Yes, Peake was a seventh-round pick, but only because of his injury history. This guy is a third-round talent that could make an early impact, with the expected absence of wide receiver Devin Smith.
Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) chases Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 22-17. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
On defense, the Jets allowed the Bills to run it down their throat most of the game both times. The Bills were constantly in third and short, which allowed them to convert at a high rate. The Jets’ outside linebackers in 2015 were a 325 pound defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson and 35-year-old graybeard linebacker Calvin Pace. Translation, there wasn’t a slower duo in the NFL than who the Jets had at the positional group.
This year, linebackers Lorenzo Mauldin and Jordan Jenkins are young athletic players who will surely improve the Jets’ run defense and contain the likes of running back LeSean McCoy, who has a penchant for running outside. The aforementioned duo will also have to keep their eyes on quarterback Tyrod Taylor as he is another threat in the Bills’ multi-faceted run attack through the zone-read.
The Jets game plan to defeat the Bills is simple. On defense, contain the run, force the Bills into third and long, and bracket/double wide receiver Sammy Watkins. The Bills have no other threat in the passing game that warrants attention. There is absolutely no reason for Watkins going off the way he did in Week 17.
must read: Video highlights of every 2016 NFL Draft pick
The Jets will bring exotic blitzes to confuse Taylor, which in turn will disrupt the simple script passing game that Bills’ offensive coordinator Greg Roman concocted for Taylor in 2015. On offense, the Jets need to feature Forte and Powell in the passing game. Keep the defense honest and use the two backs to keep those chains moving. Eventually, Ryan will get cranky and play cover-0, which will create one-on-one match-ups for Marshall and Decker. The Jets are the better team, and they will show it this time in front of a national audience.