STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel |
QB Kyle Orton ranks third in the NFL in completion percentage at 68.5, having completed 85 of 124 passes for 890 yards with five TDs and 3 interceptions.
RB C.J. Spiller has been placed on the injured reserve/designated to return list after undergoing surgery to repair his broken collarbone. The earliest he could return is Week 16, but it seems like a longshot that it could happen.
RB Fred Jackson will be inactive against the Jets due to a groin injury. The Bills are on a bye the following week, and Jackson hopes he can return for the Nov. 9 home game against Kansas City.
WR Sammy Watkins leads all NFL receivers with a 77.1 percent success rate converting first downs. In all, 27 of his 35 receptions have gone for first downs.
DT Marcell Dareus already has seven sacks which ranks second in the NFL behind Denver's Von Miller. Miller and Dareus were the second and third overall picks, respectively, in the 2011 draft.
CB Leodis McKelvin has established a new career high for interceptions with four after making a pair last week against Minnesota.
LB Preston Brown leads the Bills with 51 tackles, second-most among NFL rookies behind Baltimore's C.J. Mosley who has 63.
RB Anthony Dixon will likely get the start against the Jets in place of injured C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. He will probably share the load with RB Bryce Brown.
RB Phillip Tanner was signed off Dallas' practice squad and added to the Bills' 53-man roster to serve as a third RB and to play special teams. He will probably fill some of the kicking game duties of Dixon, who figures to have more time on offense.
You can say this about many games in the NFL, but this one will almost certainly be won in the trenches, on both sides of the ball. These are two of the best defensive lines in the league, and it stands to reason that the better offensive line play will greatly help determine the outcome. The Bills have struggled to run, and now they're without C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, so look for Kyle Orton to try to exploit a Jets secondary that has made just one interception and ranks 31st in passing yards allowed. Sammy Watkins needs to play a vital role as he did last week against Minnesota.
On defense, the Bills have to find a way to corral Chris Ivory, who found his legs against New England with a 100-yard game, and force Geno Smith to throw. The Bills lead the NFL in sacks with 24, and if they can generate pressure against a veteran Jets offensive line, they can force Smith into mistakes.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Bills DT Marcell Dareus vs. Jets C Nick Mangold.
Mangold is a grizzled veteran, but he'll have his hands full dealing with Dareus. Dareus is second in the league in sacks with seven, and has been playing the best football of his three-plus-year career as he's been stout against the run, too. The Jets need to find a way to block him if they hope to replicate the ground success they enjoyed against New England.
Bills WR Sammy Watkins vs. Jets CB Antonio Allen.
Watkins is coming off the best game of his NFL career, Allen is coming off one of his worst. Watkins will have to be an even bigger part of the Bills offense now that Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are injured. Allen was torched by the Patriots in coverage.