The Bills started the season with four consecutive wins and Josh Allen was being discussed as a potential MVP candidate. He had 15 total touchdowns, completed over 70 percent of his passes, over 1300 yards passing and just one interception. The defense wasn’t playing at the top three level we’ve seen over the last two years but the offense made up for it by averaging over 30 points per game. Then their next two contests were against Tennessee and Kansas City. It would be a great litmus test to prove that Buffalo could make a deep playoff run. They failed that test miserably. The Titans hung 42 points on the flailing defense while Allen and the offense managed only 16 of their own. Allen threw two costly interceptions and looked rattled for the first time all season. It was a disheartening outing but it’s a long season. Almost every team puts up a clunker at some point. There was a quick turnaround for redemption on a rescheduled game against the Chiefs on Monday night. This game could show the nation that the loss in Nashville was a one-off anomaly. Instead, it showed the nation that the Bills are very flawed on run defense, giving up 245 rushing yards. All the MVP talk about Josh Allen turned into questions if he could ever be a franchise quarterback. Allen completed under 52 percent of his throws for only 122 yards and had another interception on their last desperation drive. Despite the two consecutive ugly losses, the Bills remain the division leader at 4-2 with Miami closest behind at 3-3. This upcoming Sunday the Bills travel to New Jersey to take on the Jets. The only team yet to win this season. This is the perfect game for the Bills to regroup, get a win and get some confidence moving forward. Or is it?
Why it’s good?
The simplest reason is that, well, it’s against the Jets. The Jets are 0-6 and coming fresh off a loss where they were shutout by the Miami Dolphins and lost by 24 points. This helped their offense rank dead last in the NFL in points per game with 12.5. They are second to last in yards per game gaining only 277 each week. Quarterback Sam Darnold has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury but is scheduled to play on Sunday. Darnold has thrown for just three touchdowns and has four interceptions in his four starts. If Darnold has a setback and is sidelined again, journeyman Joe Flacco hasn’t made a case for comeback player of the year as his replacement. Flacco has one each score and interception in his two starts, 381 passing yards and a 51-completion percentage. The Jets defensive numbers are much better yet still mediocre. They rank in the bottom half of the league in rushing, passing and total yards given up per game. Though Buffalo’s defense has struggled, they should be able to handle the paltry Jets offense while Josh Allen and company right the ship, getting the Bills to 5-2.
Why it’s bad?
This is a division game. These teams know each other very well and, in most cases, you can throw stats and records out the window. The Bills won the first contest in the season opener but after having a 21-3 lead at game’s mid-point, they were outscored and held to just six points in the second half. No one expects the Jets to go 0-16 which means someone will fail against them. Pride and competition are in every NFL player’s blood. The negative talk and media attention the Jets receive playing in the largest market has to be frustrating and gives them extra reason and drive to get a win. There was quiet talk of firing head coach Adam Gase after just 3 games and those voices have to be near deafening at this point. Gase and the rest of the coaching staff have to prepare each week as if their livelihoods depend on it, because they do. Already with six losses, the jets have nothing to lose. Desperation inspires trying new things that haven’t been seen before or expected. Catching a superior opponent off guard in any facet of life gives you an advantage. The gut check and pride for the Jets coupled with the trap game potential for the Bills makes this Sunday’s matchup more of a coin flip than a sure thing.