As the Buffalo Bills look for their 1st victory of the season, we asked Brian Bassett of The Jets Blog five critical questions about the this week four divisional match-up.
1) With Calvin Pace doubtful, and Darrelle Revis out for Sunday’s game, what changes do the JETS need to make on defense, after letting up over 430 yards of offense to the Dolphins?
The Jets defense is definitely having a tough time of it, especially when you also add in NT Kris Jenkins, who is out for the season. From a general standpoint, the Jets will use a four man front to better bring some of their personnel to bear in the pass rush.
As far as actual personnel, there are reports that the Jets have signed former Baltimore DL Trevor Pryce to help with the pass rush, as well as Rex Ryan said last night that he is going to give CB Drew Coleman a shot to start this weekend for rookie Kyle Wilson.
2) Has all of the JETS’ off the field issues been affecting their concentration and execution on game days?
They say that the off-field stuff hasn’t been a distraction, but it’s hard to imagine that. Players have mostly circled the wagons, and they’ve been asked to talk about it a lot, one teammate even spoke anonymously out of frustration on the matter … so you know it has to be a concern in the locker room.
3) What is the biggest difference you notice between last year’s Mark Sanchez and this year’s version?
Last year Mark understood his offense from a route perspective, but he was often guessing on his protections. This off-season OC Brian Schottenheimer has worked extensively with him to make sure he knew on any given play not only where his receivers were running, but where he’d be better able to set up and throw, and where the pressure would likely come from. This has been pretty big in allowing him to stand in the pocket and deliver the ball. It comes down to his maturity in the offense, along with guys like Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller. Also, his ability to throw check-down passes to a guy like LaDainian Tomlinson has been invaluable. Last year the Jets rarely threw to their running backs.
4) What are the JETS keys to victory in week 4?
I think it comes down to turnovers, which always seems to be key to how these teams fare against each other. Last year the Jets ran for over 300 yards on the Bills, but still lost the game in large part to Sanchez’s five interception performance. The Jets can’t afford to let a team with some real playmakers in the secondary and at skill positions hang around.
5) Final Score? Game Balls?
Not going to mess with my mojo of always picking incorrectly (but hoping my team wins) I am going to predict a shocker of a upset by the Bills, 28-17
Game Balls? On offense I’ll predict that RB Shonn Greene has a great day to break out of his funk, while on Defense OLB Bryan Thomas has a number of TFLs and a timely sack.