Tale Of The Tape: New York Jets At Buffalo Bills

(Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
  • Quarterback
    The Jets went into the bye week with a small burden lifted off their shoulders, as they beat the Steelers and ended their eight-game losing streak. Michael Vick may not be the long-term answer at quarterback, but he is quite a bit better than Geno Smith. He has a strong arm, athleticism and is capable of making highlight-film plays. He still struggles reading defenses.
    Kyle Orton has given the Bills some steadiness at the quarterback position, but he is not going to be able to carry the team on his shoulders and he is not an upper-echelon quarterback. Orton is a smart and experienced leader, and he generally understands where the defense is going to be vulnerable. He is completing 64.3 percent of his passes and his accuracy is an attribute.
  • Offense
    The Jets should be able to come at the Bills with a credible running attack that will test the 10th-ranked rushing defense. Chris Ivory is not fast, but he runs hard and punishes tacklers. Chris Johnson has explosive speed and can be a difference maker if he gets into the secondary. Eric Decker is a dependable receiver while Percy Harvin can turn a game around with his big-play ability.
    The Bills are also dependent on their running game, and they will give Fred Jackson a chance to attack the Jets if he has recovered from the groin problem that kept him out of the lineup in Week 11. Rookie wideout Sammy Watkins has game-breaking ability, but he lacks consistency. Robert Woods is an underrated route runner who has dependable hands.
  • Defense
    The Jets rank eighth overall on defense and are especially tough against the run (fifth). Muhammad Wilkerson (4.5 sacks) and Sheldon Richardson (3.5 sacks) anchor the defensive line and they have the ability to collapse the pocket as well as stop the run. David Harris and Demario Davis are both dependable linebackers, and they have combined for 148 tackles this year.
    The Bills have played consistently on the defensive side of the ball and rank seventh overall. Defensive end Mario Williams is a wrecking crew when he is on his game and has 10.0 sacks. He teams with Marcel Dareus (10.0 sacks) to threaten opposing quarterbacks on an every-game basis. The Bills suffered a major blow with the loss of cornerback Leodis McKelvin to a fractured ankle.
  • Special Teams
    The Jets generally do a fine job covering kickoffs and punts, but they don’t get enough from their own return teams to make up for the team’s sporadic offensive play. Placekicker Nick Folk has had a fine season, making 17-of-19 FG attempts.
    The Bills have been quite solid in their coverage, but the loss of McKelvin is a huge blow to their return game. Placekicker Dan Carpenter has a strong leg and he has made 22-of-25 FG attempts, but he missed a key field goal in the fourth quarter in the Week 11 loss at Miami.
The Jets have at least some peace of mind because they have not lost a game in two weeks (victory over the Steelers and a bye). They should be able to play a relaxed game against the Bills, and if they can hold on to the ball and avoid turnovers, they have a chance to come away with the upset. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports