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Previewing the Jets’ opposition: Buffalo Bills

Syndication: USA TODAY Jamie Germano / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Jets have a chance to play spoiler on Sunday as the Bills can clinch the AFC East division title with a win in the season finale. Buffalo already blew out the Jets once this year, although New York was without Zach Wilson in that game. Since the teams last met, the Bills lost three of four to lose the division lead but have since bounced back with three straight wins to reclaim it. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Jets are 16.5 point underdogs on the road against the Bills to close out the 2021 season.

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen has been good this year, but not as good as last year when he was a Pro Bowler. His completion percentage is down from 69 percent to 64, he’s thrown for fewer yards per game and has a worse interception rate. Still, he’s accounted for almost 5,000 total yards and 40 touchdowns in total.

One interesting stat is that Allen, who had eight comeback wins and 11 game winning drives in his first three seasons, hasn’t managed one of either this year. He has set a career-high for rushing yardage with 700 though.

Reserve Mitchell Trubisky has only thrown seven passes all year in mop-up duties.

Offensive Line

The Bills have had remarkable health all season. They have just four players on injured reserve and only nine key contributors have missed more than one game on the season. By comparison, the Jets have usually had around 20 players on their reserve lists and Bryce Hall is the only player on either side of the ball to start every game.

They have, however, had some disruption on the offensive line. Their two most reliable linemen - center Mitch Morse and pro bowl left tackle Dion Dawkins - have each played over a thousand snaps, but every other position has been in flux.

Jon Feliciano started the year off at left guard but Ike Boettger replaced him and held onto the job when Feliciano returned. Then Boettger went onto injured reserve and the Bills have instead turned to Ryan Bates over the last two games.

Darryl Williams is listed as the right guard and Spencer Brown at right tackle, but reserve Cody Ford also started several games at right guard, with Williams kicking outside.

Another reserve, Tommy Doyle, has been getting work recently as an extra tight end. The Bills also recently added Bobby Hart for extra cover.

Running Backs

Devin Singletary is the Bills’ best running back and he’s averaged 4.6 yards per carry as he’s racked up almost 800 yards and six touchdowns on the year.

Zack Moss is the backup, but has averaged just 3.7 yards per carry. He and Singletary have also caught 59 passes between them.

Matt Breida is the third string back but he’s often inactive. Taiwan Jones is a special teamer and Reggie Gilliam is the fullback.

Pass catchers

Stefon Diggs is the team’s best receiver with 94 catches for over 1,100 yards and nine scores on the season. He was voted to the pro bowl along with Dawkins.

However, Diggs isn’t their only formidable weapon as Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders and Gabriel Davis all also have over 500 receiving yards on the year. Davis has six touchdowns and should start again as Sanders has been listed as doubtful.

Isaiah McKenzie has 19 catches and eight carries off the bench but Jake Kumerow has just one catch and sixth round rookie Marquez Stephenson hasn’t contributed yet on offense.

At tight end, Dawson Knox has nine touchdowns on 46 catches. Backup Tommy Sweeney is mostly just a blocker and Gilliam can contribute at tight end too.

Defensive Line

Jerry Hughes and rookie Greg Rousseau are the Bills’ starters at defensive end but reserve Mario Addison actually leads the Bills with five sacks. Rousseau has been developing nicely with four sacks and 10 quarterback hits, but Hughes hasn’t had a single quarterback hit since week nine.

Second round rookie Carlos Basham hasn’t played much but AJ Epenesa is a useful reserve against the run. Efe Obada has been ruled out though.

On the defensive interior, Harrison Phillips has moved ahead of Star Lotulelei and into the starting lineup alongside Ed Oliver. Oliver leads the team with 11 quarterback hits.

Justin Zimmer is on injured reserve but Vernon Butler is also on the roster. Last week, the Bills activated Eli Ankou off the practice squad and put him in the rotation ahead of Butler though.

Linebackers

The Bills were without Tremaine Edmunds when these teams last met, but reserve AJ Klein filled in well in his place. Edmunds has only missed two games all year and leads the team with 104 tackles. The other starter, Matt Milano, leads the team with 14 tackles for loss.

The Bills typically play in the nickel and don’t substitute much in the back seven, so Klein, Tyrell Dodson, Tyler Matakevich and Andre Smith might not see any time.

Defensive Backs

The Bills did suffer one major injury loss when pro bowler Tre’Davious White was ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. With him out, the Bills basically employ Levi Wallace, Taron Johnson and Dane Jackson in full time roles with Johnson in the slot.

At safety, Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde remain one of the league’s most reliable pairings. They lead the team with five interceptions each.

The versatile Siran Neal can play in the slot or as a third safety and Cam Lewis has seen some reserve reps at cornerback. Sixth round rookie Damar Hamlin and Jaquan Johnson provide safety depth off the bench.

Special Teams

Kicker Tyler Bass has made all 48 of his extra points this year but did miss four field goals, including two in the blowout loss to the Colts and one in the 14-10 loss to New England. The Bills haven’t had many close games this year but he did make a late chip shot to send the Bucs game into overtime.

Punter Matt Haack hasn’t fared too well in his first season with the Bills as he’s 26th in the league in net average with one blocked and returned for a touchdown against the Steelers.

McKenzie has been the team’s main returner but his numbers aren’t outstanding and Stephenson has taken over in recent weeks.

Finally, on the coverage units, Neal and Matakevich lead the team in tackles and Jones, Kumerow and Smith have also been productive.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.