The last time the New York Jets faced the Buffalo Bills they were annihilated, 41 - 10 a month ago at MetLife Stadium. Sam Darnold was injured and did not play in that game, leaving 39 year old Josh McCown to suffer the abuse at the hands of the Buffalo Bills defense. There is some hope the expected return of Darnold to the Jets starting lineup will make a big enough difference for the Jets offense that the Jets should emerge victorious this Sunday in Buffalo. I wouldn’t count on that.
It is not widely appreciated just how good this Bills defense is. They are in fact a dominant unit, doing some historic things. Let’s take a look at some of the impressive things the Bills defense has done this season.
Let’s begin with something that is perhaps flying under the radar, but shouldn’t be. The Bills have held opposing offenses under 200 total yards in three of their last four games. That is a remarkable feat in an era where offense is at an all time high in the NFL. To appreciate just how remarkable that is, consider this: the Jets held the Miami Dolphins offense to under 200 yards a few weeks ago. It was the only such game for the Jets this year. In fact, the Jets defense hasn’t held any other opponent offense under 250 yards this year, and have only held an opponent under 300 yards twice all year. The last time a Jets defense held an opponent’s offense under 200 yards prior to this year Rex Ryan was the coach. In the entire NFL in 2018 only 15 games have seen a team held to under 200 yards on offense; the Bills have three of those games in their last four contests.
It gets worse. The Bills have held their last four opponents to 126 passing yards or less. That is remarkable in a passing league. How remarkable is it? It has happened only four times in the last 30 years, and before the Bills just did it the feat had not been accomplished by any NFL team in the last decade.
But wait, there’s more. The Bills have held opponents to 156 passing yards or less in seven of their last eight contests. No other team in the last decade has accomplished that feat; no other team has gotten all that close.
This is a Bills defense that is doing remarkable, historic things. Jets fans are hoping the return of Sam Darnold will inject new life into the Jets offense. Careful what you hope for. If the game against the Bills in East Rutherford was throwing Josh McCown and the Jets into the frying pan, this game, on the road, against a Bills defense as hot as any NFL defense has been in a decade, is throwing Sam Darnold and the Jets into the fire. It will take a herculean effort for Sam and the Jets offense not to get burned.