Bills vs. Jets: How New York Should Attack Buffalo

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Bills vs. Jets: How New York Should Attack Buffalo
Al Bello/Getty Images

Despite prognostications of doom, the New York Jets have a fighting chance to win their game against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1.

After all, they have won five straight games against their rivals from the north. The Jets have done it with a stingy defense that has given up just 1,202 yards in five games (240.4 yards per game) and 69 points in five games (13.8 points per game).

The Bills were not healthy for the last meeting and were short running back Fred Jackson, center Eric Wood, defensive tackle Kyle Williams and others. This time, there will be no excuses.

The Jets, meanwhile, return much of the same lineup on defense that has contributed to Buffalo's struggles. They, too, will have no excuses.

But just to make sure they don't need any, here are some pointers for the Jets to defeat the Bills.

 

Mix Up Coverages, Blitzes

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is a smart cookie from Harvard University, but the Jets need to do everything possible to keep him more confused than a Rubik's Cube.
The Jets have been successful with a wide range of defensive strategies against Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. They should look to use a mix of the looks that have worked for them in the past.

Courtesy Pro Football Focus.
In the first meeting against Buffalo, the Jets blitzed on 21 of Fitzpatrick's 31 drop-backs (67.7 percent), but in the second meeting, they blitzed on just 12 of his 46 drop-backs (26.1 percent), according to Pro Football Focus.

Clearly, the Bills handled Fitzpatrick better with the blitz overall last year. Think he hasn't studied that?

The Jets' best bet is to mix it up—show blitz when they're dropping seven in coverage, and disguise blitzes well at the line of scrimmage.

Fitzpatrick has worked on his mechanics this offseason, and the best way to put those mechanics to the test is by blitzing him—under heavy pressure is how his old habits are most likely to rear their ugly head.

 

Test Buffalo's Run Defense

Al Bello/Getty Images

The Jets want to implement the ground-and-pound mentality on offense, and if they want it to become their identity, they'll need to establish it early.

With defensive tackles Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams eating up the middle of the trenches, the Bills are better equipped to defend the run than they have been in years past, but the Jets would be wise to test them out early anyway. It's a new scheme with some new components in place at defensive end. 

We already know that the Jets plan to unveil the Wildcat against the Bills; we just don't know how they plan to utilize it.

If they're smart, though, they'll run the ball frequently out of those sets. That way, they create the best mismatches possible on the field, while forcing the Bills to respect both the pass and the run.

 

Revis Being Revis

If Revis wants to prove that the fun and games are over between he and Johnson, he can't let himself be on the receiving end of another one of these.

Much has been made of the rivalry within the rivalry developing between Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis and Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson. While Johnson has dominated the stat sheet, Jets head coach Rex Ryan wasn't so quick to say that he has Revis' number. Per the New York Daily News:

"Stevie Johnson's a good receiver and he's caught some balls, but I wouldn't say he's got Darrelle Revis' number," Ryan said. "He goes up against all types: Big, strong, fast, shifty. He goes against them all. And I've never walked out of a game saying, 'This player got the best of Darrelle Revis.' Never. Never felt that way. Do you realize how special this guy is? It is amazing what we ask him to do."

Revis himself even laughed it off:

"That’s the position I’m in," Revis told the Daily News. "The success that I’ve had is the reason why maybe people criticize me a different way. You just roll with the punches. I’m not panicking over nothing. I know how to play ball. I play great ball. I’m not panicking because a guy got 70 yards."

Give Johnson credit for having some good games against the best cornerback in the league, but it shouldn't be expected every time.

Revis has all the physical tools to match up against Johnson, and with the media's insistence upon poking the proverbial bear, it's safe to say Revis has spent a healthy amount of time watching tape on the receiver he'll most likely be matched up with this Sunday.

Courtesy Pro Football Focus.

He's statistically one of the best cornerbacks in the league, so it's hard not to like his chances to get it right this time. Johnson may get some receptions against Revis, but if he's not blowing the top off the defense, the Jets should be able to withstand some of that punishment. 

 

Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand.

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