Heading into a Week 10 matchup with the Buffalo Bills, there are actually some reasons for New York Jets’ optimism against the 5-3 division leader.
For starters, Gang Green has been a much better football team at MetLife Stadium under head coach Robert Saleh, with a 2-1 home record in 2021 including upset wins over the Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals — arguably the best two teams the Jets has played this year.
The Bills are also in the midst of a slump. Buffalo has lost two out of their past three games and the one win over the Miami Dolphins was not all that convincing. Last week, they were beaten 9-6 by the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.
And then there’s Mike White, the confident backup quarterback that has stolen the hearts of many fans in Zach Wilson’s absence. Against a number one ranked Buffalo defense, Week 10 should provide an adequate test for the “white-hot” signal-caller.
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Good Morning Football Crew Backs Jets
The theme was that this is no slam dunk victory for Buffalo. NFL analyst Kyle Brandt gave his two cents after a brief open from the two-time All-Pro:
We’re getting a return of Magic Mike in this game, that’s very exciting and that’s very scary maybe for Buffalo. The dirty little secret about this game is that the Bills have won it of course recently cause the Jets have been struggling but the Bills always struggle against the Jets, like the Jets play them tough, they play them scrappy. I’m talking about the last four times and the Bills are coming off the worst performance of the [Sean] McDermott-Josh Allen era. I actually think this is a very scary game for the Bills, get up early.
Co-host Peter Schrager then supported Brandt’s narrative about this being a winnable game, elaborating that everyone thought the Jags would be a get-right game for Buffalo too.
He stated: “[The] Jets are coming off a Thursday night game where they’ve had 10 days to prepare. This is their Super Bowl, they’re playing this Super Bowl contender in their building and I think Nick Mangold might be at the tailgate.”
All jokes aside, Schrager made a solid point about how the Green & White are coming off a mini-bye. Then again, after a normal bye, the Jets had one of their worst performances of the season so far on the road in New England.
You never know which Jets team you’re going to get during this roller-coaster season and with the Bills motivated off a loss, this could just as easily get ugly fast. At the same time, all the points from GMFB are valid and this group has shown heart in front of their fans.
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Can White Repeat the Brilliance of Week 8?
At the start of the segment, Mangold noted that his main point of intrigue for Jets-Bills is finding out whether or not Mike White is the real deal.
A lot of fans would probably agree with that, even if they lean Wilson in the QB debate. As mentioned in the open, there’s no greater measuring stick than Buffalo, who has allowed the least passing yards in the NFL and only five passing touchdowns compared to 11 interceptions.
According to Michael Nania of Jets X-Factor, the top passer rating versus the Bills defense this season was an 83.9 from Ben Roethlisberger.
This unit gets to the QB fast, with a league-leading pressure rate of 32.1%. White’s quick-release style will come in handy in this regard if the Jets’ weapons can get open before pass-rushers get home.
Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur must also stick with his more creative brand of playcalling. That’s proven to be the winning combination for this offense no matter who’s under center.
Buffalo does not blitz often at 18.5%. If LaFleur and the offensive line can give White some time to throw, who knows what can happen in Week 10.