The Jets (5-3) have their work cut out for them in week nine’s matchup against the top team in the AFC in the 6-1 Bills on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium. Not to mention New York sits behind Buffalo in the AFC East standings.
Zach Wilson and the Jets are coming off a bad home loss to the Patriots last week. Let’s not mince words here, Wilson played horribly, and New York struggled to generate offense, despite the second-year quarterback having the green light to air the ball out. His 355 passing yards don’t tell the whole story. Wilson finished the game with a 48.78 completion percentage and three interceptions. He is visibly uncomfortable and does not have the football IQ of other young signal callers.
This week will be Wilson’s toughest test, as he faces the best defense in the league on Sunday. Buffalo’s defense has been a powerhouse this season, allowing just over 2,000 total yards and forcing 14 turnovers. Overall, opponents struggle to establish the running game against the Bills, with their squad allowing just 665 total yards for an average of 95 yards each week.
Without rookie running back Breece Hall last week, the Jets managed just 62 rushing yards on 17 attempts. This is important as the Jets will need to rely heavily on Wilson’s arm and decision-making.
Not only do the Bills boast the top defense, but they are also No. 1 in the NFL in total yards and pass yards per game and second in points and first downs. Josh Allen is an MVP candidate with a 34.3% touchdown drive rate, only behind Patrick Mahomes (39.1%). Allen has a top target in Stefon Diggs, who is tied for first in touchdown catches (7), second in yardage (764), and third in receptions (55). Gabe Davis leads the league for receiver with five-plus catches and 26.1 yards per catch.
Both Garrett Wilson and Tyler Conklin are coming off big weeks against New England. G. Wilson hauled in six passes for 115 yards, averaging 19.2 yards per reception. Meanwhile veteran tight end Conklin had 79 yards on six receptions with two touchdowns. Look for him to be even more involved this week.
As for the obvious, the Jets must protect the football and Z. Wilson at all costs. Z. Wilson can’t afford to make mistakes against one of the best teams in the NFL. This will be the Jets’ biggest game yet against a division rival.
Betting Odds (Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook as of 11/5):
Spread: Bills (-11)
Moneyline: Bills (-560); Jets (+430)
Over/Under: 46 (-110)
My initial thought is 11 points is a lot. But then I remember Allen has orchestrated a beautiful offense this season and the Bills defense continues to force turnovers. I don’t like to bet against the Jets, so I won’t, but if you just want a play for this game I would take the Bills (-11). Buffalo’s skillset on both sides of the ball is clearly overwhelmingly better than the Jets. I’m just being realistic here. That being said, I like the over 46 as the Bills will run up the score. If you want a touchdown scorer you can go with the favorite, Diggs (-110) anytime. But a better value is Davis anytime TD scorer at +135.
My picks: For the people: Bills (-11); Bets I will play: Over 46; Gabe Davis Anytime TD (+135)
(Photo: New York Jets via newyorkjets.com)