The NY Jets will take on the Buffalo Bills in this Week 7 divisional matchup.
It’s become abundantly clear that the norms we’re used to seeing the NY Jets abide by mean virtually nothing anymore as this 2020 Jets team has completely floundered in every which way.
The Jets were 4-1 in their last five and 5-2 in their last seven against the Indianapolis Colts and still looked nowhere near competitive.
They were 6-3 all-time versus the Arizona Cardinals including being 6-1 in their last 7 and 4-1 at home all-time and they sadly got beat down 30-10.
Then we come to last week against the Miami Dolphins, a team they have historically played about as close as any overall rivalry in football not to mention Joe Flacco being 6-0 against the Dolphins,and they couldn’t even cover a 9.5-point spread.
Not only that, but they got completely blanked and didn’t convert a third down until many of us already turned the game off.
I’m as disappointed as you guys are at how bad the Jets looked last week on the offensive side, and really how bad they’ve looked all year on that side of the ball.
Their defense has done what it can with what it has, but with how inept the play-calling has been on the offensive side, no defense in football can overcome that kind of mismanagement regardless of how talented or well-coached it is.
Washington would have a top-three defense if their team was a little better.
I went back and forth with this week’s game versus the Bills. Not in terms of whether or not the Jets would win because I can’t take that plunge again, not after seeing six weeks of this team hobbling along on offense.
But rather, I’m intrigued to see if this is the week the Jets can at least keep the game close. 12 points is a lot of points to cover, especially if you’re a team that is struggling right now like the Bills are.
They’ve had two tough weeks coming into this game. They were plagued by COVID-19 that forced their Tennessee Titans game to an unprecedented Tuesday affair — one in which they got completely blown out.
Then last week they went from a scheduled Thursday night game to a double-dip Monday night game with the already-scheduled Arizona Cardinals/Dallas Cowboys matchup and couldn’t stop the Chiefs offense if their lives depended on it.
Here’s the thing about the Bills this season, it’s going severely underrated how bad they’ve been on the defensive side.
Remember last year how this was one of the top defensive units in the game with a loaded secondary? That secondary that put Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a quandary?
Well, as of right now, the Bills have given up 387.5 total yards per game, 256.2 passing yards per game, 131.3 rushing yards per game, and 28 points per game.
On top of that, I think last week’s performance against Kansas City was indicative of a defensive unit that has completely lost its way.
Patrick Mahomes had his way with this group on third down. Nobody could bring him down in the backfield or stop the passing attack. Until the fourth quarter, their run defense (which has fairly been banged up this season) got completely ramrodded.
And when they did get stops, they negated those great stands by committing unacceptable personal fouls after the play.
The NY Jets could take advantage against a struggling Bills defense.
If there was ANY defense for a Jets team with Sam Darnold, Mekhi Becton, and possibly Denzel Mims returning with Jamison Crowder, Chris Herndon, Breshad Perriman, and Ryan Griffin in the receiving corps, it would be this Bills defense at the present moment.
Remember that big stat — the Jets have never won without Sam Darnold since he has come into the league — the last two weeks included.
Conventional wisdom screams out that the Jets should at the very least be able to keep this game within 12 points.
I’ll even go to this extreme. The Jets have 64 losses to the Bills in their long history. Of those 64 losses, the Jets have covered a 12-point spread in 44 of those games- meaning they’ve lost by 12 points or more (this week’s spread) in just 20 games all-time to the Bills.
That puts the Jets’ success rate at fending off a 12-point spread against the Bills at 68.75 percent which we can round up to 69 percent. So, about 70 percent of the time the Jets do not lose to the Jets by more than 12 points.
To contrast that, they had a 9.5-point spread to overcome last week versus Miami. In 54 losses to the Dolphins in their history, the Jets had lost by more than 9.5 points (so the Dolphins won by 10 points or more) 25 times.
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That puts the Jets success rate at covering a 9.5-point spread against the Dolphins at 53.7 percent rounded up to 54 percent.
So, this week we have a Jets team with better odds to cover a big spread than they had last week against the Dolphins.
If there was any week to step up to the plate and come through in some way offensively, it would be this lone against a Bills team that, I don’t know if y’all remember or not, actually plays the Bills and Dolphins pretty tight on a yearly basis.
Sam Darnold and Josh Allen have split four games 2-2 since they’ve both come into the league and the Bills won this matchup in Week 1 by 10 points.
The Bills are struggling badly right now and also have injuries to John Brown and Dawson Knox on the offensive side and Josh Norman, Tre’Davious White, and Matt Milano on the defensive side while the Jets are getting Darnold, Mekhi Becton, and maybe Denzel Mims back.
But this is not a Jets season that mathematically makes sense. So, as the Jets have now lost all five of their spreads as underdogs this year on top of losing all six games outright, I cannot say they’ll cover 12 points.
Even though I almost convinced myself to do so whilst writing this article with all my nerdy little stats that I’m utterly ashamed of.
So, I have the Bills winning this game 33-17 and covering this big spread. I’ll take the loss if the Jets find a way to finally get their offense going.
Give me the over 45 points as well because Buffalo (now playing a bad team instead of the likes of Kansas City or Tennessee) may be able to cover that 45 points all by themselves.
Let’s see if the Jets can finally step up and play a decent football game.