This is a rematch both teams are awaiting.
The Jets (7-5) travel to Buffalo Sunday, Dec. 11, for a game that could solidify their Wildcard hopes or derail them. The Bills (9-3) are looking to tighten their grip on an AFC East title.
In the earlier meeting, the New York Jets shocked the Bills, 20-17, in a similar situation. Former starting quarterback Zach Wilson completed 18 of 25 attempts for 154 yards and a touchdown. Wilson, who was sacked once, ran for 24 yards. Tailback Michael Carter ran for 76 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown. Kicker Greg Zuerlein booted two field goals.
The Jets’ defense held Bills quarterback Josh Allen in check, as he had one of his worst outings of the season. Allen was 18 of 34 with two interceptions and was sacked five times. The Jets’ defense stopped the Bills on downs in the final minute.
Current Jets’ starter Mike White faced the Bills in his final relief appearance for the injured Wilson last year, and he was 24 for 44 for 245 yards with four interceptions.
The Jets’ attempt to duplicate their first effort this season against Buffalo will be more difficult as the Bills have won three straight, and they are 4-1 at home this season. However, the Jets are 4-2 on the road.
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N.Y. Jets vs. Buffalo Bills Betting Odds
If you do enough line-shopping you could find the Jets at +10 for Sunday’s game. Otherwise, you’re likely to settle for Jets +9.5. That 10 is a key number, though, so if you’re looking to back the Jets, be patient and wait for the hook to disappear at the sportsbook of your choice.
Here are some of the best odds available at a few sportsbooks.
A Closer Look at Each Team
The Jets will enter the game 18th in total offense, recording 339.2 yards per game. Their passing offense is 15th (224.1), and their rushing offense is 20th (115.1).
With Michael Carter out last week, they did get a big lift in the run game from rookie Zonovan Knight, who rushed for 90 yards on 15 carries — one a 48-yarder. Getting their running game going is a must, as White shouldn’t be throwing 57 times in a game. There are still questions about the use of James Robinson, who was acquired from Jacksonville. He was a healthy scratch against the Bears and had four carries for 10 yards against Minnesota. This will be a big test for White against the Bills’ linebacking corps and secondary. He threw four interceptions against them last year.
Kicker Greg Zuerlein has been a steady points producer, as he has hit on 23 of 27 field goal attempts.
Postseason bound?: NY Jets odds to make the NFL Playoffs
The Bills are ranked second in total offense, amassing 410.8 yards per game. They are third in passing (274.5) and eighth in rushing (136.3).
Allen has thrown for 3,046 yards with 25 touchdowns, but he also has 11 interceptions. His primary target continues to be Stefon Diggs, who has 91 catches for 1,202 yards with 14 touchdowns. In the previous two games, Isaiah McKenzie has become more of a target, having five catches against New England last week. McKenzie has 35 catches for 350 yards this season.
Devin Singletary also has raised his stock in recent weeks, as he now has 603 yards rushing with four touchdowns. Kicker Tyler Bass has converted 24 of 27 field goals and is one of the league’s clutch kickers.
The unit continues to improve, as it is the league’s fourth-best in total defense (307 yards). Against the pass, the Jets are sixth (194) and they are 12th against the rush (112.7). The Jets have 36 sacks, which is tied for sixth, and their 15 takeaways are tied for 12th. They have allowed 18.6 points per game (sixth)
Linebacker C.J. Mosley has been a tackling machine and is one of the league’s top 10 at his craft with 116 stops. Rookie corner Sauce Gardner is near the top is passes defended with 12.
The Jets’ secondary held Diggs to five catches for 93 yards in the first game, and they will need an overall encore performance of allowing 317 total yards or fewer to the Bills in the final season showdown.
Buffalo’s 11 is ranked 10th overall in total defense (320.2). The Bills have allowed 218.3 (17th) through the air and 101.8 on the ground (fifth). The Bills have 25 sacks (ninth) and 20 takeaways (fourth). Buffalo is tight in the red zone, ranked third at 47.2%. They issue 17.4 points per game (fourth).
Like the Jets, the Bills truly have a group effort with the unit. Safety Damar Hamlin has a team-high 75 tackles, followed by linebackers Tremaine Edmunds (76) and Matt Milano (71). Safety Jordan Poyer has four of their 13 interceptions.
The unit was dealt a devastating blow when edge rusher/linebacker Von Miller was lost for the season with an ACL injury.
A big key for the Bills will be to rattle White as they did in last year’s game.
Series History and Injuries
The Bills lead the overall series, 67-57. The Jets stunned the Bills, 20-17, in the first game between the two this season on Nov. 6. Buffalo had won the previous four meetings.
The last time the Jets swept the series was in 2011. They won 28-24 in New York and 27-11 in Buffalo.
The last time the Jets won in Buffalo was on Dec. 29, 2019, by a 13-6 score.
A flu bug has ravaged its way through the Jets’ locker room, and it was caught by wide receiver Corey Davis, defensive end Michael Clemons, offensive tackle George Fant, and cornerback D.J. Reed. However, all are expected to be on the field Sunday with Fant back at right tackle. Rookie offensive tackle Max Mitchell, who has performed admirably, has been placed on the non-football-related list and is out for the year.
Milano ( knee) and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (arm) both did not practice Wednesday. Offensive tackles Dion Dawkins, David Quessenberry, and fullback Reggie Gilliam all have ankle issues and are questionable for Sunday.
Prediction (Overall Record 7-5)
The line (Jets +9.5) has taken into account the Bills’ recent resurgence and the Jets’ recent inconsistency. New York desperately needs a win here to keep its respectability alive, and it can’t afford a blowout. The team has rallied around White, and he has looked more comfortable in the pocket. This can be a statement win for the Bills, who need to further establish their presence as a Super Bowl contender.
I like the points (+9.5), but Buffalo’s home environment may be too much for this rising Jets program…Bills, 24-17
AP Photo/Bryan Woolston