Week 3: New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills Preview
Added by Justin O'Connell on September 22, 2013.
Two rookie quarterbacks with two different stories are coming into week three and both have a lot to prove. Geno Smith, for the New York Jets, has played admirably, but his last quarter was one to forget, as he threw three interceptions (four on the season). E.J Manuel had a 68% completion rate, but his average yards per throw is only 6.2. Both teams are looking for their first win in the division and are trying to keep pace with Miami and New England (both 2-0). The Jets have won eight out of ten against the Bills, with one loss coming in overtime.
1) Run Someone Run
The Bills run defense ranks 30th in the league, and the Jets running backs, well they need to produce. Bilial Powell and Chris Ivory are averaging 3.5 yards per rush, on 50 attempts. They need to get the running game going in order to protect Smith from the Bills defensive line, especially Mario Williams, who had a career game last week (4.5 sacks). Ivory has been used most in the first half and very sparingly in the second. If Marty Mornhinweg decides to run the ball, not only will it give their offense a nice change of pace, but it could help Smith in the passing game. So far this season, the Jets offense has been far from Rex Ryan’s typical game plan, but it may be time to revert to old habits.
2) The Two-Headed Monster
Yes, I am going back to the run game for this point. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson have been a dynamic duo, as the Bills have the 4th best run game in the NFL. Spiller is one of the fastest players in the NFL and has the elusiveness to make players miss; unfortunately for him, he’s going against the 3rd best run defense in the league. First rounder, Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Damien Harrison have both the size and athleticism to clog the middle and break off to the edges; not to mention big Kendrick Ellis is a formable backup. The Jets may have Quinton Coples back as well, and if he is, then the Jets run defense will be only better. Spiller and Jackson will have their work cut out for them, but do not think they cannot succeed, as they have all season thus far.
3) Kyle Wilson vs. Stevie Johnson
Stevie Johnson is without question the Bills greatest receiving threat (well maybe expect for Spiller), and one of his most unique talents is his ability to play in the slot. Kyle Wilson, however, is the second best slot defender in the NFL, according to profootballfocus.com. This should lead to a classic WR-CB battle and could be the difference in the game. Johnson does play on the outside much of the time, but with Antonio Cromartie there, the Bills might be more included to move him around.
4) We Need More Howard!
Austin Howard has been a stud this year, and in his only appearance against Mario Williams last season, he man-handled him. Howard is a massive human-being at 6-7 and 333 pounds, which is bigger than Patriots NT, Vince Wilfork. He has the size, but his speed and athleticism were in question before he became a starter, but since he has been possibly the Jets best linemen besides for Nick Mangold. Williams seems to be back in form this season though, so this will definitely be a matchup to watch.
5) Tight Ends. SHOW UP!
Geno Smith will need the help of his tight ends if they hope to win this game. Kellen Winslow was huge in the first game, but only had one catch against the Patriots. Jeff Cumberland and Winslow will have their opportunities against a weak coverage linebacking core. The Jets wide receivers have been struggling to hang on to the ball, so if Smith can get his tight ends involved his job could be a whole lot easier.
(Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News)
6) Hurry UP!
Geno Smith has had his issues with holding on to the ball, as he has been sacked nine times already (the majority of them are his fault). He tends to hold onto the ball rather then running when he has the open lanes. His other issue is, that he tends to drift back in the pocket rather than moving up. This makes the o-lines job that much more difficult, which leads to his high sack totals. If Smith can move up into the pocket and figure out when he needs to run the ball, the Jets will be in good shape.