The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets kick off Week 9 on Thursday Night Football. These two teams met in Week 1 and the Bills were victorious in Orchard Park, 21-12. Tonight they head to the Meadowlands for a rematch. At 5-2, they are just a half game behind the perennial division winning New England Patriots and look like they are here to stay. The Jets were thought to be one of the worst teams heading into the season, but they’ve shocked the league with three wins through Week 8. Yes, they still have five losses, but only one was a blowout and three of the five have been decided by seven points or less. With the help of Remarkable! let’s breakdown the strengths and weaknesses of each team.
The Bills do not throw the ball often because their running game is so strong. LeSean McCoy leads the way in the backfield, averaging 74.4 rushing yards per game, eighth best among RBs. Adding to the running game is the elusive quarterback, Tyrod Taylor. He has averaged 34.6 rushing yards per game (761/22) since the start of last season, fourth best among QBs (League Avg: 11.0). Taylor does not throw the ball often, leading to the fourth worst passing attack in the league, but he makes sure to not turn the ball over. He has committed just 2 turnovers on 259 plays (0.8 percent turnover percentage) this season, second best of 35 qualified QBs (League Avg: 2.6 percent).
The Bills acquired Kelvin Benjamin in a last second trade before the deadline on Tuesday afternoon. While Benjamin will be a key piece for the Bills moving forward, don’t expect the big bodied wide receiver to be in the fold Thursday night.
While the offense is doing enough to secure victories, the Bills defense is the bread and butter of Sean McDermott’s team. The Bills have allowed 5 touchdowns on 160 completions (32.0 Completions Per TD) on plays where the Bills have not pressured the QB this season, best in the NFL (League Avg: 14.8 completions per TD). What might be most impressive about the Bills secondary is the amount of interceptions they’ve accumulated. The Bills defense has allowed 0.5 touchdowns per interception (6 TDs allowed, and 11 INT) this season, second best in the NFL (League Avg: 1.7). Micah Hyde, the Bills safety, leads the NFL with five interceptions.
Will the opportunistic Bills defense continue forcing turnovers in Week 9 against the Jets offense?
Josh McCown was supposed to be a placeholder until the Jets drafted a better QB, but McCown has the Jets vying for victory every week. Josh McCown has completed 70.6 percent of passes (180 completions/255 attempts) this season, second best among QBs (League Avg: 62.6 percent). One of his favorite targets, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, is another big reason why the Jets are competing. Last season, Jets tight ends did not catch a single touchdown pass, but Seferian-Jenkins bucked that trend in Week 5 this year. This season, Seferian-Jenkins has:
- 31 receptions on 39 targets (79.5 % Reception Pct) this season (3rd best of 37 Qualified TEs in NFL; League Avg: 65.8%).
- 31 receptions this season (tied for 8th most among TEs in NFL).
Despite missing the first two weeks of the season when he was suspended, Seferian-Jenkins ranks among the top tight ends.
Unlike the Bills defense, the Jets have been suspect against the passing attack. They have allowed 17 touchdowns on just 167 completions (9.8 Completions Per TD) this season, worst in the NFL (League Avg: 14.5 completions per TD). Despite allowing a large amount of passing TDs, they do not allow a lot of completions at home. The Jets defense has allowed a completion pct of just 53.7 percent (79 completions/147 attempts) at home this season, best in the NFL (League Avg: 62.3 percent). Against the rush, the Jets defense has allowed 1,026 rushing yards this season, fifth most in the NFL. This week, they will have their hands full with the rushing ability of the Bills.
Will the Jets contain the running game? Can the Bills create more turnovers? Tune in tonight to find out!
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