The New York Jets take pride in their defense. Rex Ryan even went so far as to say that his "pride was hurt" by his team's defensive performance in Miami on Sunday night. The Jets continued to struggle on third down and allowed a big game to a quarterback allowing Chad Henne to slice them up last week.
Let's see how the match up with the Bills this week...
The Bills feature a two-headed rushing attack led by Marshawn Lynch and rookie C.J. Spiller. The Bills have a history of killing the Jets' defense with the rush. However, that was another Jets' defense and another running back. It was Willis McGahee, now of the Baltimore Ravens that used to torment the Jets.
It's no secret that the Bill are trying to integrate a two-headed rushing attack featuring the steady Lynch and the game-breaking Spiller. The Jets would welcome a Bills' attempt to run the ball as the Jets defend the rush as good as any team in football. They are currently holding running backs to 2.4 yards per-attemp.
At a glance, it would seem like the release of ineffective quarterback Trent Edwards and a move to Ryan Fitzpatrick would mean that the Jets defense would be licking their chops.
However, given the circumstances, I believe the Jets would rather have faced Edwards. When given the opportunity, Fitzpatrick has shown that he can make plays at quarterback.
He has faced the Jets before with mixed results. As a member of the Bengals, he started a game against the Jets completing 20-33 passes. He only threw for 152 yards in that game. Last season, he started two games against the Jets completing a combined 19 of 48 passes and turning the ball over three times including two interceptions.
However, the Harvard man has demonstrated that he is mobile at quarterback and the passing game has been a challenge for the Jets this season. Fitzpatrick looked very good last week making plays against the Patriots, he will look for similar results this week as the Jets are banged up along the D-line and the secondary.
Kyle Wilson was thrown at 11 times last week against in the game against Miami. The rookie corner allowed 10 catches and also took a 27 yard pass interference penalty. The coaching staff took notice.
Wilson will be moved to the nickel spot, where he was supposed to play when Revis was healthy, and now, he will cede his starting spot to veteran Drew Coleman.
Coleman is a journeyman whose roster spot seemed tenuous at best coming into the 2010 season, but he has played well in limited opportunities and came up with the clinching INT last week.
This week, Rex Ryan called Mike Devito and Sione Pouha two of the best players "unknown" players in the league (Uh oh, cue the holdouts!). As for the rest of the line, lots of question marks. Jason Taylor at times has looked very good, but at this point in his career, Taylor would be more effective if he was able to rest periodically during the game.
Here come the reinforcements! Calvin Pace looks to be a go for Sunday, which will greatly aid the pass-rush. Even more good news came from the front office. Mike Tannenbaum was monitoring the waiver wire judiciously this week and when the Ravens tried to sneak the veteran sack-man Trevor Pryce through waivers, the Jets pounced. Pryce has 90 career sacks, six and a half of them last season, and will bolster the Jet pass-rush. He will play on passing downs this week.
The move for Pryce doesn't bode well for Vernon Gholston's playing time this week and for the forseeable future.
The Specials have been solid as usual for the Jets under the leadership of Mike Westhoff. They will have a considerable challenge this week with the rookie C.J. Spiller. Spiller returned a kickoff for a TD last week against New England, and special teams figure to be a big part of the game this week. The Jets will need to avoid giving the Bills a short field in a battle of field position and kickoff and punt coverage of Spiller will be a huge part of this game.