Fast Start Imperative
The Bills are one of the league's fastest starting teams and rank No. 3 in the NFL with 75 first-quarter points (the Jets rank No. 26 with 37 points). The Green & White need to be within striking distance of Buffalo after the first frame to avoid playing from behind, which did not happen the last time QB Mike White played the Bills (Week 10 last season).
White threw for 251 yards, 0 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while completing 54.5% of his passes.
"I'm sure there's a lot of things that he learned from even in that moment just to take his game forward from that moment on to where we are now," HC Robert Saleh said. "The game was going OK in the first half, we were moving the ball, we just weren't able to score. … They scored right before the half [to make it 17-3]. Then scored right out of the locker room, now we're down 24-3. Then we throw an interception and now it's 31-3, just like that.
"Now you're chucking it all over the place and doing what you really don't want to do, which is push the ball downfield in a desperate frame of mind, and when you're playing a top defense like that, you're probably going to turn the ball over. It was one of those games that kind of snowballed on the entire team, not just him. He was put in a really bad situation."
In two games with White starting at QB this season, the Jets have totaled 10 first-quarter points, the same as Buffalo in that span.
In two games this season, White has thrown for 684 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 picks, both against the Vikings. He's one of three players since 1950 with 120-plus completions and 1,400-plus passing yards through 5 career starts (Kirk Cousins and Justin Herbert are the others).
Takeaways and Third Down
Buffalo is on both ends of the turnover scale. The offense has 20 giveaways, tied for No. 29 in the NFL; and 20 takeaways, which is tied for fourth. The Jets are tied for No. 12 in the league with 15 takeaways but have 1 takeaway over their last two games. The last time these teams played, the Jets picked off Allen twice.
The Jets need to improve on third down for a chance to win on Sunday. The Vikings converted 50% on third down against the Green & White's defense in Week 13 and Buffalo leads the league, converting 59.3% on the money down while the Jets defense ranks No. 19 (41.9%).
"Third down is the money down, it has to get better," Saleh said.
See the top photos from Wednesday's practice leading up to the Bills game.
In Week 9, the two teams were missing starters.
Buffalo played without three starters on defense – S Jordan Poyer, who leads the team with 4 interceptions; LB Matt Milano; and All-Pro CB Tre'Davious White. But the defense is without All-Pro pass rusher Von Miller, who leads the Bills with 8 sacks. The offense was without starting LT Dion Dawkins and RT Spencer Brown in Week 9, they are expected to play Sunday.
The Jets, on the other hand, were without WR Corey Davis, whose 445 yards ranks second on the team. The Green & White were also without T George Fant, who was on injured reserve.