QB Mike White will make his third start on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills (5-3). Many expected another magical performance from him last week against the Colts but an early injury exit combined with horrendous defensive performance led to a massive letdown. The Buffalo Bills unexpectedly lost last week to the Jaguars, scoring only 6 points, their lowest offensive output since last week of 2019 when they lost to the Jets. Can the Jets repeat that performance and shut down Josh Allen and Co.? The Gang Green are a 13.5-point underdog, as the bookies are expecting Buffalo to rebound after last week's fiasco. You can check this NFL betting forum to see people's picks for the upcoming week. The over/under on this matchup is 47.5, while the straight money line is Buffalo -750.
As the odds show, the Jets have an extremely difficult task at hand. Buffalo's defense is ranked #1 in the league (#1 against the pass, #4 against the run), while their offense is ranked #8, averaging almost 400 yards per game. On the other hand, the Jets are on the totally opposite side of the NFL strength spectrum. The offense is ranked #24 (#30 on the ground, #14 in the air), while the defense allows the league worst 408 yards per game.
The Gang Green's front four, that got completely dominated last week by the Colts' offensive line, will go head to head against another formidable opponent. The Bills have allowed only 12 sacks in the entire season (2nd best) and are averaging respectable 4.4 yards per carry. Applying pressure on Allen is going to be crucial, as the young Jets' secondary has no interceptions this season and is expected to struggle against Buffalo's speedy receivers.
If Mike White is to ever have a chance to become a full time starter, then this is the game where he has to perform. Besides having #2 defense in the league, the Bills are also #2 in takeaways (18) and #1 in third down defense (30.3%). Recently acquired QB Joe Flacco will finally suit up and serve as White's backup for this game.
"If Mike is playing phenomenal football, it is what it is," Saleh said. "You might call it a controversy or not, but I think I can pull up an article on every single one of you guys that has mentioned that the best thing for a young quarterback is to watch. So, there's no harm in either way. We have the utmost confidence in Zach when he gets ready to play and he gets back on the football field that he's going to do a phenomenal job. His talent is undeniable. There is a great amount of growth that can happen, whether he’s playing or not. Those are facts. Those are history proven throughout the history of time. Playing or not playing, you can get both done. At the end of the day, it comes down to what's best for the organization and the team. That, I’m very confident will happen organically."
On paper this looks like another potential blowout loss for Robert Saleh's team but the last five games between the teams were decided by 10 points or less. The Gang Green might have a chance if the defense finally shows up and Mike White has another performance similar to the game against Cincinnati.
Interesting Jets vs. Bills facts:
- Ryan Fitzpatrick is the last Jets QB to throw for over 300 yards against the Bills (374 yards in 2016)
- Matt Forte is the last Jets player to rush for over 100 yards against Buffalo (100 yards, 3 TDs in 2016)
- Jamison Crowder is the last Jets WR to gain over 100 yards against the Bills (115 yards last year)
- Jeremy Kerley is the last Jets player to have a return touchdown on special teams against the Bills (68-yard PR in 2012)
- WR Jamison Crowder also holds Jets single game receptions record against the Bills (14 catches in 2019)
- Three Jets QBs threw 4 TD passes in a single game against Buffalo. Mark Sanchez was the last one in 2011.
- Bills QB Josh Allen has a 3-2 career record against the Gang Green