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EA Q&A: Jets-Bills An Interesting Chess Match

Fitz Continues to Play Well, Kerley Coming On & Secondary Shuffle Continues


EA: No it hasn't been overlooked. Calvin Pryor, who totaled 37 tackles along with 1 INT and 1 FF in 5 games, was playing very well for the Jets. The 5'11", 207-pound Pryor had established a good rapport with Marcus Gilchrist and the tandem gave the club plenty of versatility at the safety spot. Marcus Gilchrist, a former cornerback who is the quarterback of the secondary, handled more coverage responsibilities down the field while Pryor patrolled more of the short to intermediate routes. Gilchrist expects Pryor to play down in the box and take on tight ends while the former plays deep. Pryor's coverage had significantly improved and you could say the same for his recognition. He got faster and improved his coverage skills in the offseason while working with tight ends and wide receivers. Since Pryor went out, the Green & White had to start Marcus Williams in Week 8 and then Dion Bailey in Week 9. Bailey also was injured last week, so the Jets are going to need someone to step up there against the Bills. Rontez Miles could get the start and Ronald Martin could be a practice squad call-up.

EA: We don't get to see much of practice, but Ryan Fitzpatrick played well with the special glove last week. As far as my keys, the Jets have to be the more disciplined team throughout. The Bills are a talented group who has committed an NFL-high 85 penalties. The offensive line has to win more 1-on-1 battles up front, providing time for Ryan Fitzpatrick to make plays down the field and also getting some yards on the ground. Fitz gets the ball out quick and the Bills are going to bring pressure and press the Jets on the outside. Defensively the Green & White have to prevent the big play through the air and on the ground. The Bills just rushed for 266 yards in their win over the Dolphins, but the Jets have the NFL's No. 1 ranked defense. Can the Jets put Taylor in a situation where he has to throw the football from the pocket to win?

EA: Ryan Fitzpatrick will have surgery to repair the torn ligament in his left thumb.  The question is when. He'll start Thursday night and could undergo the knife as soon as Friday. If that happens, there is a chance Fitzpatrick still could return and face the Houston Texans in Week 11. Fitzpatrick told the media this week that waiting too long could complicate the nature of the procedure.

EA: Coach Bowles is not confident Cromartie can play. If the veteran doesn't show significant progress Wednesday – he won't be active vs. the Bills.  Now if Cro can't go, you have options with Skrine. You can start him outside on base downs and then shift him inside while potentially lining up Marcus Williams on the outside. But if Cromartie is healthy, he is playing cornerback. The final injury report will be out in hours.

EA: Pressure is in Coach Ryan's DNA, so the Bills will not go away from bringing the heat. The Bills will likely focus on stopping Chris Ivory, who has been contained the past three games. But last week, the Bills had difficulty slowing down both Lamar Miller (141 total yards, 2 TD) and Jay Ajayi (8 YPC). And this aggressive Bills defense hasn't tackled well at times and has occasionally fell victim to over-pursuit. Perhaps the Jets can get some yardage with Ivory catching passes out of the backfield. Despite playing with the banged-up thumb, Ryan Fitzpatrick played very well vs. the Jaguars. He gets the ball out quickly and both Brandon Marshall, who will likely face CB Stephon Gilmore, and Eric Decker, who might be matched with a rookie in Ronald Darby, would figure to see a bunch of press coverage. If the Jets can get some explosive plays down the field and contributions from guys like Jeremy Kerley, Jeff Cumberland and Kenbrell Thompkins, they should be fine. Kerley has caught 11 passes for 112 yards the last two weeks, including converting 4-of-5 third down targets into first downs. The line has to win more one-on-one matchups up front and it's a boost that Nick Mangold is expected to play.

EA: Definitely… at times.  I don't know if he'll be on Watkins every play, but he certainly figures to see a lot him. It's a fascinating matchup because Watkins can flat out fly and Revis is a top-flight press corner. Watkins was a force last week, but Revis is a different animal.

EA: Even with Percy Harvin on injured reserve, the Bills have an intriguing group of wideouts with Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Chris Hogan. In 3 WR sets, Hogan will line up inside. Watkins is a dynamic talent and Woods and Hogan are shifty, savvy players. The Bills like to go up top to the outside and Charles Clay is the target the Jets will have to contain in the middle. They certainly will take their shots down the field. It all starts with the run in Buffalo though. The Jets have the NFL's No. 1 ranked rush defense and they have to keep both LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams in check. The Bills like to get to the perimeter in their run game as well, so the Jets have to turn everything back inside to their run stuffers.

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