Riding a five game winning streak the New York Jets take their team upstate this Sunday for a do-or-die matchup against the Buffalo Rex Ryans. Boobie Dixon decided to make himself known to Jets fans by declaring this weekend is the Bills Super Bowl because they have nothing to play for. And since I nor any other Jets fan has any idea who that is, I decided to look at some Bills players that we should actually be concerned about come Sunday.
Mike Gillislee, RB
All indications are LeSean McCoy is going to be out again, so the Bills rushing attack comes down to two players, Karlos Williams and Mike Gillislee. Gillislee got his opportunity after Shady went down with his knee injury and hasn’t looked back. Rushing for an absurd 239 yards on only 23 carries (10.4 ypc!) and 3 touchdowns in three straight games. A former practice squad player, Mike has made the most of his touches, including a fifty yard touchdown run last week against a Dallas defense that helped seal the win. The Bills are a run first offense that beats you deep on play-action when corners and safeties cheat up to help. The front seven of the Jets will need to control the line of scrimmage and tackle well if they want to win the game on Sunday.
Jerry Hughes, DE
The Bills defense was supposed to be legendary this year with all of the existing talent joining forces with the game planning of Rex Ryan, and well it has not quite worked out that way. That doesn’t mean the defensive side of the ball isn’t talented and should be taken lightly. Hughes only has five sacks on the season (first on the team), but as the Jets saw last weekend, it only takes one strip sack to change the momentum of the game. Making sure Fitzpatrick stays upright is going to be a key in winning this football game, and blocking 55 will go a long way in helping them achieve that goal.
Bacarri Rambo, SS (may not play, Shoulder)
You could definitely argue that Rambo was solely responsible for the Bills week ten win in New York after he forced two fumbles and had an interception. Especially the first fumble he caused on a kickoff that was returned for a TD by Duke Williams. That play changed the momentum of the game and had the Jets struggling to dig themselves out of a hole for the remainder of the contest. Now, if you look at Rambo’s stats they aren’t particularly impressive outside of that game, so the Jets won’t treat it like Ed Reed is playing safety. They will however be aware of him, especially his penchant for forcing fumbles.
Sammy Watkins, WR
Finally, these last two are a package deal. The Jets also saw in week ten that Sammy Watkins was not afraid of taking a trip to Revis Island, and like DeAndre Hopkins, he actually had a nice time there. Outside of the running game last week at Dallas, Watkins carried the offense catching 5 balls for 84 yards. You can bet Rex is going take multiple deep shots this weekend in an attempt to take the top off of the defense. Watkins is fast, runs really good routes and has elite hands. The Jets might have to bring some extra safety help over the top, in order to prevent Revis from getting beat. Make no mistake Sammy Watkins is an absolute game changer who could ruin the Jets playoff hopes in one or two plays. The Jets secondary has their work cut out for them this weekend if they hope to secure the final wildcard.
Tyrod Taylor, QB
Last, but not least, the biggest threat to the Jets playoff hopes is QB Tyrod Taylor. While Buffalo does not want to rely on the arm of Tyrod to win football games, he is certainly capable of doing so. He has a great deep ball and doesn’t force the pass if the receiver isn’t open (only 6 INT’s on the season). The real scary thing about Tyrod is his ability to escape the pocket and rush for yardage. A heavy blitzing team like the Jets could get burnt if Tyrod takes off and all of the DB’s and safeties are twenty yards down the field. The D-line needs to make sure they are sealing the edge, and when they actually get to Tyrod, securing the tackle and making sure he doesn’t find a way to escape. He is not quite the Houdini in the pocket that Russel Wilson is, but he can make plays with his feet and the Jets will have to contain him if they hope to win on Sunday.
There you have it, five players the Jets are definitely game planning for, as they get ready for the big matchup this weekend in Buffalo. If everything goes according to plan, hopefully next week I will be writing about five players from Cincy or Houston that we should watch out for in the wildcard! Happy New Year everyone, and GO JETS!