Five Jets to keep an eye on as the Green & White travel to Western New York for their season finale against the Bills on Sunday:
QB Zach Wilson — This game is big for Wilson, not because it's Zach vs. Josh Allen but because Zach can solidify the improvement he's shown in his two "halves" of '21. His accuracy has been about the same, as has his four TD passes in each sixpack of games. But he's thrown two INTs in his last six games to nine in the first six and no picks in the last four games. And the rate at which his offense scores touchdowns has jumped — from 11.8% of drives early to 19.7% late. The Jets have won two of their last six and were in position to make it three of six against Tampa Bay. But what matters now is that Wilson wrap up his rookie season with a solid, if not strong, performance against a division rival in a hostile venue he'll be visiting once a year for the foreseeable future.
RB Michael Carter — Moore (quad/COVID) and Carter (concussion) practiced this week with an eye to return vs. the Bills. Unfortunately, Moore was "trending south" about returning to action, so the Jets' two rookies won't likely be reunited with Wilson for only the sixth game this season and the first since October. Moore still leads the Jets with 538 receiving yards (on 43 catches) and six touchdowns. Carter has team highs of 620 rushing yards, 138 carries and a 4.5-yard average plus four TDs. Carter plus the anticipated returns of WR Jamison Crowder (calf), RB Tevin Coleman (COVID) and TE Tyler Kroft (COVID), but minus Braxton Berrios (quad) and Moore, mix up the skill positions for Wilson. No guarantees against a tough Buffalo defense, No. 1 in the NFL overall and vs. the pass and No. 2 in third-down D.
See the Top Practice Images from Wednesday of Bills Week at 1 Jets Drive
DL Quinnen Williams — Williams returns from the COVID protocols with one more game to put his stamp on the 2021 season. It's been a good but not a great year as Quinnen has 6.0 sacks and 12 QB hits, both tied with John Franklin-Myers for the team lead. Up next are the Bills and offensive pilot Josh Allen, who is dangerous with his arm (64% accuracy, 4,168 yards, 34 TDs) and legs (700 rush yards at 6.0 a pop) but can also turn the ball over (18 giveaways this season). Williams is acquainted with Allen in the Buffalo backfield (1.5 sacks and 5 QB hits the last three meetings) and pressure from him and JFM would sure help a Jets defense that has shown flashes but still has struggled to gain traction all season and, like the offense, could use a feelgood performance to take into year two of the Robert Saleh regime.
CB Bryce Hall — In the first meeting with the Bills, WR Stefon Diggs made plays on nearly everyone in the Jets secondary in erupting for 162 yards and a TD on eight catches. Hall (14 pass defenses, most by a Jets corner since Mo Claiborne's 14 in '18) and Brandin Echols (two INTs in the last three games) plus rookie nickel Michael Carter II seem to be getting the hang of Saleh's and DC Jeff Ulbrich's scheme. Bryce would love to get his first pick in 19 games, but job one is, whether it's Hall matching up on Diggs or the DBs spreading the wealth, keeping a lid on Buffalo's dynamic wideout so he doesn't run free for something like the 49- and 43-yard connections with Allen that he had in November.