The Bills are coming off an impressive “home” win in Toronto against a shaky Washington Redskins team that started the season among the league leaders at 3 and 0. They recorded a season high 10 sacks having only recorded a total of 4 sacks previous to that. They also intercepted John Beck twice and cruised to an easy victory across the border. But that leaves the question up for debate, which Bills defense will we see against the Jets?
Tom Brady and Michael Vick both threw four interceptions against the Bills, which resulted in two wins for the home team. The applied pressure on the quarterback and the lack of a consistent running game were reasons for the picks. Marcell Dareus is starting to gain confidence and has improved game in and game out. The first thing on the Bills agenda is going to be stopping the run. Shonn Greene and Ladainian Tomlinson will take a bulk of the carries today and under Rex Ryan, the Jets have averaged just shy of 280 yards rushing per game. If the Bills can take the ball out of the running backs’ hands and place pressure on the shoulders of Mark Sanchez, they have a solid opportunity to come away with another division victory to keep them atop the AFC East. Sanchez has only thrown a single pick over his last three games but he is known for getting trigger happy and making arid throws into double and triple coverage. The Bills defense usually relies on turnovers and making big plays when it matters so it will be interesting to see what sort of impact Plaxico Burress will present. He is a big receiver that towers over our inconsistent corners. He will get plenty of targets in the redzone so the Bills must defend him with double coverage to prevent him from exploding.
On the other side of the ball, the Bills offense should look to stick with what they do best, utilizing Fred Jackson. Whether its rushing the ball or simply spreading out the defense and slipping a screen pass to him, they must get him involved early if they want a chance to win. The Jets defense is self-acclaimed as being one of the best and that is thanks in part to their star corner, Darrelle Revis. He is a lockdown corner and will most likely be matched up with Stevie Johnson. The Bills have several different possession receivers like David Nelson, Naaman Roosevelt, and Scott Chandler, who can all catch the ball downfield to balance the attack and leave Stevie with one-on-one coverage on the outside.
The remaining matchup is one that not many would have predicted. Aaron Maybin was the 10th overall pick for the Bills and he turned out to be an undersized, soft defensive lineman. The Jets picked him up after the Bills cut the 1st Round bust and have moved him to outside linebacker for certain packages. He has surprisingly excelled in NY but everybody from Buffalo could really care less. Although he will be playing with a sense of revenge, I imagine we will see just how big of a bust he is when he takes the field today.
In a battle of defenses I believe that the Bills will get the job done today as long as they come out with the same intensity as the victory against the Skins. In what will turn out to be the most important game since the ’90s, the Bills will have the ultimate advantage playing home in the Ralph. The crowd is ready and this team is for real. Go Bills.