Leon Washington is 4th among NFL rookies with 511 rushing yards
The Jets climbed to the top of the wild card race by racking up 31 first-half points last week, cruising to a 38-10 domination of the Packers at Lambeau Field. Buffalo, who had consecutive late-game victories against Houston and Jacksonville, could not make it three in a row after falling behind early against the Chargers.
In the Week Three matchup between these teams, it was Buffalo that went 69 yards in two plays to take the early lead, but the Jets methodically battled back for the victory. With its newfound running game and Buffalo's inability to stop the run on a consistent basis, New York should be able to present a more balanced attack this week. But both quarterbacks also have a solid corps of receivers that could turn this game into an aerial war.
Match up 1
DE Aaron Schobel (6'4", 262 lbs) vs. LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson (6'6", 313 lbs).
Ferguson was able to hold Schobel without a sack in their Week Three matchup, but the Bills pass rusher has had 4.5 sacks in his last five games and appears to be in peak form. Ferguson can use his athleticism and long arms to win on outside moves but gets pulled off balance when defenders redirect their charge across his face. Look for Schobel to use his inside spin move to collapse the pocket, putting quick pressure on QB Chad Pennington and forcing him into rushed throws.
Match up 2
RT Terrance Pennington (6'7", 319 lbs) vs. DE Shaun Ellis (6'5", 285 lbs).
A rookie who became a starter with the midseason shakeup of the offensive line, Pennington has the size and long arms to neutralize a defender but tends to gather himself after the initial contact, which allows the defensive lineman to recover. Ellis has improved against the run, especially in pursuit when the ball goes away from him. But while Ellis has the quickness and experience to win this matchup, he will not be able to break free if Pennington locks up with him. So he will have to make good use of his hands to keep Pennington off his body.
Match up 3
SS Donte Whitner (5'11", 205 lbs) vs. TE Chris Baker (6'3", 258 lbs).
Whitner is instrumental in stopping the run but is also responsible for the tight end as the linebackers are bunched inside the tackles. Whitner will be giving up a notable height advantage but delivers a hit after the catch that can separate the receiver from the ball. If the play action fakes freezes the linebackers, Baker should be able to square-out or get behind Whitner in coverage.
Things to Look For:
Teams: The Bills hold a 49-42 advantage in the series overall, but the Jets have won the last two meetings and three of the last five…The Jets have also won the last four at home in the series and scored 30 or more points in three of those games…One more win this season will double the Jets 2005 win total…Eight of the Bills last 12 games have been decided by a touchdown or less…
Chad Pennington: Became the 5th Jets QB to surpass 11,000 career passing yards with his performance in Green Bay last week…The Jets are 3-0 against Buffalo when Pennington records a passer rating of at least 90 and 0-2 when he doesn't…He is 6-2 for his career as a starter in December.
Leon Washington: Washington is 4th among NFL rookies with 511 rushing yards.
Laveranues Coles: Coles is 3rd in the NFL with 71 receptions…He also leads the AFC in 3rd down receptions.
Jerricho Cotchery: Cotchery has 60 receptions this season, making the Jets one of only three teams in the league to have two WR with at least 60 catches.
Chris Baker: Baker has a TD catch in two of his last four games against the Bills.
Ben Graham: The former Aussie star is 3rd in the AFC with a 44.8-yard punting average.
J.P. Losman: Buffalo has won three of the last four when Losman has completed at least 65% of his passes…
Willis McGahee: McGahee has rushed for at least 110 yards in each of his last four games against the Jets, averaging over 134 yards per game in that span…He has carried the ball 20+ times in six straight divisional road games…He needs 14 yards to move into 6th place on the Bills career rushing list.
Lee Evans: Evans recorded eight catches for 107 yards in the last meeting between these teams in Week 3…He needs 71 yards to produce the Bills 1st 1,000-yard receiving season since 2004.
Chris Kelsay: Kelsay has recorded a sack in three of his last five games against the Jets.
Aaron Schobel: Has 4 ½ sacks in his last five games.
Roscoe Parrish: Parrish is 2nd in the NFL with 13.5 yard punt return average…He has at least one return of 15 yards or more in six of his last eight games, and has turned in a 20-yard return in three of his last six games.