New York Jets Should Pound the Ball Up the Middle on Buffalo Bills

CHICAGO IL - DECEMBER 26: Shonn Greene #23 of the New York Jets runs against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 26 2010 in Chicago Illinois. The Bears defeated the Jets 38-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Jets ran for 5.6 yards per carry against the Bills in their Week 4 meeting. Nick Mangold thoroughly dominated nose tackle Kyle Williams of Buffalo. The Bills switched from a 3-4 base to a 4-3 after that game. Williams will spend most of his time not lining up over Mangold in the rematch, but I think the Jets should continue to run it up the middle frequently.

Buffalo has the worst rush defense in the league by yardage, just like last season. Football Outsiders shows us that their line ranks 31st against runs up the middle at 4.65 per carry. While they are bad across the board, 61% of runs against them have been up the middle against a 50% league average. Teams target this weakness and exploit it.

The Bills are pretty good against the pass, ranking fourth, just like last season. That same Kyle Williams has emerged as a top five pass rushing tackle. He might be the best player you have never heard of because he plays in Buffalo. He is excellent, however. While I think Matt Slauson has done a good job in his first year as a starter, I also think him matching up against Williams on passing plays will give Buffalo an edge. This doubles down on the emphasis of running the ball.

With a Playoff game on the horizon, this game seems to call for a simple game plan. There is no need to put anything too fancy on film for the first round opponent.

This is a week for ground and pound.

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