The NY Jets will take on the Buffalo Bills for the second time this season in Week 7.
The NY Jets will return home to play host to another division rival in Week 7. After getting shut out on the road against the Miami Dolphins last week, the Jets will hope for a better result when they take on the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
This will be the second meeting between these two teams this season. The Bills emerged victorious scoring the 27-17 win back in Week 1 in a game that was actually one of the Jets’ closest margins of the season.
Although that isn’t saying very much.
The Jets will likely receive some reinforcements this week with the returns of Sam Darnold, Mekhi Becton, and even Denzel Mims very possible. Given the many injuries the team has suffered this season, that’s certainly a breath of fresh air.
The Bills, meanwhile, are losers of their last two games and will look to get back on track against an abysmal Jets team. That probably shouldn’t present much of a challenge.
To gain some insight into the minds of Bills fans, we teamed up with Brandon Croce of BuffaLowDown. Brandon is an expert on all things Bills and he helped give us an idea of what to expect in this Week 7 divisional matchup.
Here are the results of our discussion.
Next: 1. How do the Bills get back on track?
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
1. How do the Bills get back on track against the NY Jets?
The Bills have lost their last two games after beginning the year 4-0. Granted, both losses have come to rather impressive foes in the Tennesse Titans and Kansas City Chiefs, but they haven’t looked like themselves in those games.
Fortunately for Buffalo, they’re set to take on a Jets team this week that is getting blown out every week. If there ever was a perfect week for a bounce-back, this is it.
But what do the Bills need to do to get back on track? What aspects of the team must improve this week?
That’s the question we posed to Brandon.
“The easy answer is to get Josh Allen back on track. The first four weeks of the season, Allen was playing at an MVP type level and his play helped minimize some of the struggles in other areas on this team.
If Josh Allen can get a little bit more accurate, stay in manageable down and distance, and keep the offense on the field, it shouldn’t matter if the run game struggles or if the defense is not playing at the level they did last year.”
Next: 2. How can the Bills fix their run game?
2. How can the Bills fix their run game against the NY Jets?
The Bills hosted a top-10 running game in the NFL last season, but for whatever reason, that same running game has become one of the worst in the league in 2020.
The Bills brought back Devin Singletary and added Zack Moss in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The majority of the offensive line is the same as well.
So what gives? And how could the Bills fix this against the Jets?
We asked Brandon his thoughts on the issue.
“This has been one of the biggest surprises for this team, especially with the high expectations rookie Zack Moss had coming into the season. I think the biggest issue has been the blocking up front and the absence of Jon Feliciano.
Last year, the Bills had Cody Ford at right tackle with Feliciano inside at guard and while Ford struggled a bit in pass protection, he was an excellent blocker from that position. I am not sure that Daryl Williams is at that same level.
The hope is that this week the Bills can get back on track but once again they are dealing with injuries as Ford is out and Feliciano’s availability is still up in the air.”
Next: 3. How will Brian Winters perform as a full-time starter?
3. How will Brian Winters perform as a full-time starter against the NY Jets?
The Bills made a surprising transaction last week when they released previously starting left guard Quinton Spain. This was despite the veteran guard signing a three-year, $15 million extension back in March.
The result? Former Jets guard Brian Winters is now a full-time starter. Winters has already been starting with Spain out injured, but the thought was once he returned to full health, Winters could be relegated to a backup role again.
Now, that won’t be the case.
Winters hasn’t played very well this season, but we asked Brandon how he felt now that Winters is essentially locked into the starting role for the rest of the year.
“The Bills actually made Winters the full time starter back in Week 3 against the Los Angeles Rams and outside of missing some snaps in Week 4 due to injury he has been on the field almost every play.
In terms of his performance, he has been serviceable but not great by any means. As mentioned previously about Feliciano, I think when the Bills are completely healthy, Winters will go back to being a reserve with Cody Ford at left guard and Feliciano at right.”
Next: 4. What positional matchup are you most looking forward to?
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4. What positional matchup are you most looking forward to in this game between the Bills and NY Jets?
On paper, the Bills are better than the Jets in almost every conceivable way. Now, that’s likely a statement that’s true for most teams, but it still remains factual.
For that reason, it’s hard to pinpoint a positional matchup that shifts in the Jets’ favor. Still, there are quite a few to keep an eye on.
How will Becton fare in his return against Jerry Hughes? He stonewalled him in Week 1, can he do it again? What about Sam Darnold and the Jets’ receivers against a beat-up Buffalo secondary?
We asked Brandon which individual matchup he’s most looking forward to and this was his response.
“I don’t know if I am looking forward to it but the one I am probably watching the closest will be Jamison Crowder versus Taron Johnson.
The nickel corner for the Bills is a position that has struggled this year and Crowder is one of the better slot receivers in the NFL.
The Bills coaching staff needs to see something positive from Johnson this week or they could be thinking about making a switch or looking at other options.”
Next: 5. Final predictions for the game?
5. Final predictions for the game between the Bills and NY Jets?
The Bills are going to win this game. That isn’t just the opinion of this writer, that is an accurate prophecy made by the football gods.
The only question remains, how competitive will the team look?
The Jets are yet to even lose a game by one score this season, but perhaps that could change on Sunday. After all, the likes of Darnold and Becton returning certainly provides a boost.
That being said, the Bills are still the vastly superior team so it’s hard to be too optimistic. We asked Brandon for some predictions and what he thinks the final score will be.
Needless to say, he was pretty optimistic that his team would win.
“The Buffalo Bills have struggled the past two weeks, but it was against the two teams that were in the AFC Championship games last year.
The hope was that they would look a little bit more competitive to help make the case they should be in the discussion for the best in the AFC.
Those two losses aren’t necessarily reasoning to panic but a loss to the Jets absolutely changes that narrative. The Bills should come out focused for this game and I expect them to try and make a statement to leave no doubt in anyone’s mind.
The Bills should win by double digits and I expect it to be a score of like 27-13 at the end of Week 7.”
Special thanks again to Brandon for his help and make sure to check out more of his work over at BuffaLowDown.