Tale Of The Tape: New York Jets At Buffalo Bills
- QuarterbackRookie quarterback Geno Smith has been good enough to take advantage of open receivers when his offensive line has given him protection. He can also make plays with his running ability. However, Smith has made far too many mistakes when he has been under pressure because he does not read defenses well at this point in his development.E.J. Manuel has shown that he may be a very good quarterback in the foreseeable future for the Buffalo Bills. While he is not there yet, he seems a lot further along in his development than Smith does for the Jets. Manuel is quite solid in the pocket as he knows he can shake off the first hit and find a way to make the play. Manuel has a nice touch on his deep ball.
- OffenseThe Jets have done a much better job on offense than expected, particularly in the running game. Bilal Powell was productive early in the season while Chris Ivory has taken the baton in recent weeks. Jeremy Kerley can be quite adept at catching the ball in traffic and making plays for Rex Ryan, but he is not a big-play threat. Stephen Hill can make the occasional explosive play.The Bills support their rookie quarterback Manuel with a big-time running game. Fred Jackson has the power and leg drive to run inside, while C.J. Spiller can break the long ones to the outside when he is healthy. Stevie Johnson is a legitimate big-play threat, but he doesn’t always seem motivated. Tight end Scott Chandler has good hands and knows how to get open.
- DefenseThe Jets have been a hard-hitting and tough defense under Ryan this year and they rank seventh overall and first against the run. Linebacker David Harris has been the Jets’ most dependable tackler, as he leads them with 68 tackles and he also has 2.0 sacks. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson has proven to be a major find with 8.0 sacks.The Bills rank 20th overall on defense and they have played better at home in games where they are more competitive. Rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso has played with toughness and athleticism and has become the unit’s most dependable player. Defensive end Mario Williams is one of the best pass rushers in the league when he is motivated. Williams has overpowering strength.
- Special TeamsThe Jets play hard on special teams and they are not going to give up big plays very often. Josh Cribbs has the speed and strength to run away from and out of tackles. Placekicker Nick Folk has had a brilliant first half as he has made 23-of-23 FG attempts.The Bills have had some problems with their coverage teams as they have given up a punt return for a touchdown and they have not been able to produce any reciprocal plays when they have the ball. Placekicker Dan Carpenter has been adequate, but punter Brian Moorman is just ordinary.
The Bills are a very competitive team at home and they will be looking for revenge after losing to the Jets at Met Life Stadium in Week Three. Look for Manuel to set the tone early and Williams has the ability to make life miserable for Smith. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor