Mon, 30 Nov 2020

3 Matchups to Watch: Jets vs. Bills

New York Jets
23 Oct 2020, 17:56 GMT+10

Green & White Must Contain Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs  Ethan Greenberg

Josh Allen vs. Jets Defense

Bills QB Josh Allen has had a scorching start to 2020. His 16 passing TDs rank second in the NFL and he's fourth in the league with 1,711 passing yards. He completed 71.7% of his passes in Week 1 against the Jets, throwing for 312 yards and 2 TDs for a QB rating of 104.6. He also ran for 59 yards and 1 TD in the first half in Buffalo's 27-17 win over the Green & White.

"We have to do a better job against their quarterback runs, their zone-read stuff," Head Coach Adam Gase said. "It's tough because the amount of Cover 2 that we play where we have wider boxes, we have to do a great job with the front. You won't want one-on-one matchups with [Stefon] Diggs and [John] Brown, so we have to be great up front at stopping the run and make sure we create turnovers, which we did last time."

Bills WRs vs. Jets Secondary

The early return on the trade for Diggs in the offseason seem to be paying off. He ranks third in the NFL with 555 receiving yards on 42 catches for an average of 13.2 yards per reception, with 3 TDs. Diggs had 8 catches for 86 yards in Week 1 against the Jets.

"I mean, there's a reason why in four of [Buffalo's] wins they had all of those explosive plays and in the two losses they didn't," Gase said about Diggs' impact. "I think it was something where they had 20-plus-yard receptions for receivers. I think it was 19 in the four wins, 1 in the two losses. He's made a huge difference for them. But anytime you get a No. 1 receiver added to the group that he already had, you put him and John Brown on the outside, you've got some real speed."

The Green & White did a good job of containing Dolphins WRs Devante Parker and Preston Williams in Week 6, who combined for 5 catches for 53 yards and 1 TD. If the Jets contain Diggs and Brown, who did not practice Wednesday with a knee injury, that could result in more targets to slot receiver Cole Beasley.

"He has a lot of similar skill sets that [Jamison] Crowder has," Gase said of Beasley. "Initial quickness, ability to run those options routes. He has still enough speed to press vertical, threaten them, hit the brakes. He's a competitor, for sure. ... He's a tough cover for these nickels because he does what a lot of the really good slot receivers do. They make a lot of the routes that are different look the same."

Jets WRs vs. Bills Defense

When these teams met in Week 1, the Jets struggled to move the ball through the air and totaled 202 passing yards. Jamison Crowder, who was limited in Wednesday's practice with a groin injury, had 115 yards and a 69-yard touchdown in Week 1, but the rest of the receiving corps was quiet and/or injured. Since then, Breshad Perriman missed three games with a knee injury, Chris Hogan was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 13 and rookie WR Denzel Mims has been activated from IR (hamstring) after missing the first six games of the season, although Gase said the that team is ramping up his workload this week.

The Bills ranked No. 4 against the pass in 2019 (195.2 yds/g) but have been struggling on defense this year. They rank No. 23 overall and No. 24 against the pass, allowing 256.2 yards per game.

"When you think about the Bills, they haven't been a team that's super aggressive blitzing, but they're going to blitz the Jets because the Jets have struggled with interior blitzes and blitzing from the outside," Jets former LB Bart Scott said on The Official Jets Podcast. "[The Jets] are going to need to have their hot routes together and have their plan because they're going to get it until they're able to stop it. You think about maxing it up, getting two-, three-man routes and seven- or eight-man protections. That's something you're going to have to consider because the Buffalo Bills in their past have been conservative, but against the Jets they feel emboldened because they feel they like their matchups on the outside. Hopefully that can change."

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