Throughout the season, NewYorkJets.com reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg and Randy Lange will each give their predictions to a series of questions regarding this year's Jets.
Today's question: How will the soaring Jets offense fare against the Bills No. 1 ranked defense?
EA: The Jets offense comes into this matchup scorching hot. It hasThey've gained 450+yards and scored 30+points in consecutive games for only the second time in franchise history (1998). The 997 yards combined against the Bengals and the Colts are the third-most gained by the Jets in consecutive games. In those contests, they had 10 and 11 different pass catchers, respectively, AND Corey Davis might be back in the lineup against the Bills. Mike White will get the rock for this third NFL start and the last time he was at MetLife Stadium the fans were chanting his name. This week is a step up in class for the Jets, though, because Buffalo ranks No. 1 defensively in the following categories: total defense (262.6 Yds/G), scoring (14.8 Pts/G), passing (177.0 Yds/G), third down (30.3%) and red zone (40.9%). They rank second in takeaways (19) as the safety pair of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde lead the way with 3 apiece. This is an elite unit and the only club thatwho found consistent holes in it was the Tennessee as the Titans posted 34 points in a Monday night win while getting 143 yards and 3 TDs from Derrick Henry on the ground. White has to continue to take what the defense gives him underneath and not force the action against a savvy group that excels on third down. The Jets will have success moving the ball at times and I'd anticipate White playing well because this unit is oozing with confidence with everyone contributing. But the Bills will present the Jets offense their most formidable challenge yet.
EG: Facing the Bills defense is a tough test for any offense. It ranks atop the NFL in total yards allowed per game, passing yards allowed per game, third-down conversion and scoring. It also ranks No. 2 in takeaways with 19 and No. 4 against the run. The unit played extremely well in its loss last week in Jacksonville. The Jaguars totaled 218 yards on offense and completed 2 of 13 on third down (15%). Jags rookie QB Trevor Lawrence completed 57.7% of his passes for 118 yards and 0 touchdowns. It'll be a tough test for the Jets with Mike White under center, making his third NFL start. White looked great in his first NFL start against the Bengals and looked comfortable against the Colts, leading the Jets on a scoring drive before exiting with an injury. The recipe against the Bills defense, according to Bills team reporter Chris Brown, is in the run game because the defense is "designed to stop the pass." RBs Michael Carter and Ty Johnson have been ascending the past two weeks, particularly through the air on short passes. The last time the Green & White was home, Carter ran for 77 yards on 15 carries (5.1 avg) and had a touchdown. The Jets could also be have reinforcements in the backfield with Tevin Coleman (hamstring) potentially back in the fold. Corey Davis (hip) should also provide a boost to the offense this challenging Bills defense.
RL: On the one hand, the Bills are No. 1 in the NFL in a lot of defensive categories. On the other, Mike White, making his third start for Zach Wilson, has popped up in my unofficial QB drive rankings as fifth among the 36 QBs with at least 20 possessions (31.8% TD drive rate on his 22 drives) and is first in the league in three-and-out rate (4.5%). Then there's home/away: The Jets in their last two home games averaged 32 points/game, the Bills in their last three road games — even after holding the Jags to 9 points — allowed 21 points/game. And WR Corey Davis returns to action so that's also a good thing for the Green & White. But the real test will be turnovers. Buffalo is second-best (behind Indy) among NFL defenses with takeaways on 19.1% of drives, while the Jets are second-worst (behind KC) with giveaways on 18.7% of their drives. I don't expect the Jets to light it up vs. the Bills as they did vs. the Bengals and Colts, but if White & Co. can keep a tight lid on their TOs, the yards and points they do produce could keep Sunday's game interesting.