The Buffalo Bills offensive line has been absolutely terrible throughout the entire season. The squad, consisting of rookies Eric Wood and Andy Levitre, along fellow rookie Jamon Meridith replacing injured Jonathon Scott. Four starters have a combined 14 starts. This line has allowed QB Trent Edwards to be sacked 18 times this season, in only five games, just ahead of Aaron Rodgers(20) for most in the league.
This weekend Buffalo faces the stingy, 9th ranked New York defense, with a style of play unlike any other team in the NFL. A variety of exotic blitzes will surely push the Buffalo offensive line to their limit. Although the Jets are last in the league in sacks(4), they constantly force the Quarterback out of the pocket, resulting in poor judgement, and incompletions.
The Jets started the season 3-0, causing seven turnovers, yet have consecutive losses to the New Orleans Saints, in which they allowed 343 total yards of offense, and the Miami Dolphins, in which they allowed 413 yards of total offense. After watching the New York Defense, in these two games I realized a few things the Bills hopefully did as well.
Things to Watch For
For once, maybe Mr. Check-down can succeed if the line can hold for an extra second. Linebackers Bart Scott and David Harris are the Jets' main blitzers, which would leave the middle of the field open for cross-patterns, and slot receivers to benefit.
Mark Sanchez will play in the cold, about 33-40 degrees and 19 mph winds. Lowest kickoff temperature in his 16 USC starts was 55.
The run game will be a factor, due to the heavy winds. Both teams have solid running tandems, Buffalo with Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson; the Jets with Thomas Jones and Leon Washington.
Paul Pozlusny and Donte Whitner return from injuries, which have plagued the Bills all season. Paul Pozlusny is a key leader of the Bills and he is an impact player. Furthermore, with Jericho Cotchery doubtful due to a hamstring injury, Terrence McGee will likely cover Braylon Edwards, allowing Donte Whitner to read and react to the Jets offense.
Alex Van Pelt and Dick Jauron's play calling. This has been an issue all season long, and they need to utilize the offensive weapons they have at their disposal. Terrell Owens and Lee Evans each have only 12 receptions and one touchdown apiece.
WR Terrell Owens vs. CB Derrelle Revis
CB Derrelle Revis has quickly established himself as one of the best defensive backs in the NFL, and has already been lined up with top receivers Andre Johnson, Randy Moss and Marques Colston, and is usually matched up with the #1 receiver each game.
Terrell Owens needs to play physical football, and create separation if he wants to beat Derrelle Revis. T.O has had opportunities, and if he doesn't drop balls in key situations, he can make big plays.
The much overlooked Buffalo Bills have 12 sacks this year, while the highly acclaimed Jets defense has 4.
Quotes From Both Sides
Trent Edwards stated "We need to win. That's the bottom line and we're trying to find a way to do that,"
"I know the players in this locker room are, the coaches are, but the bottom line is you've got to learn from it, you've got to grow, and we have another one here on Sunday."
"Honestly it's the little things. The good teams don't make those little mistakes and we're making the little mistakes way too often, and that's what's frustrating because they're not happening in practice, they're not happening throughout the week, and for some reason or another it's happening on Sunday We need to find a way to make sure those little things don't go wrong."
Rex Ryan stated "First off, it was a complete embarrassment by our defense and by me, obviously we need to prepare better. I didn't have the defense prepared the way they should have been"
"We made that quarterback look like Dan Marino. He was pretty good though, he deserves credit. We have to do a better job at defending that long pass."
" You know, we're a hell of a team and I believe that. I think we have plenty of talent, but we just have to play a hell of a lot better than we did today."