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Previewing the Jets’ opposition: Buffalo Bills

The Jets look to sweep an AFC East rival

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The Jets upset the Bills 20-17 last month, but have lost two of three since then. Buffalo lost their next game in overtime to the Vikings but have since bounced back with three straight wins and look to consolidate their position atop the AFC East with a win over the Jets on Sunday. Both teams will look a little different heading into the rematch. The Bills are favored by 10 points on DraftKings SportsBook.


Josh Allen has fallen back somewhat in the race to be this year’s MVP but he’s still having a solid year with over 3,400 yards and 25 touchdowns through the air.

Allen is always a threat on the ground and averages 6.5 yard per carry this year, which is his best average since his rookie year. He also has five touchdowns, including two in that last Jets game.

Case Keenum remains the Bills’ number two. It looked like he might get a start or two after Allen hurt his elbow on a Bryce Huff hit when these teams last met but Allen battled through that injury and has practiced full all week so is presumably back to something like 100 percent.

Offensive Line

Free agent signing Roger Safford is the only offensive lineman to start every game so far for the Bills, but the other four starters have only missed a few games each. Ryan Bates is the other starting guard with ex-Jet Greg Van Roten being the primary interior reserve.

Left tackle Dion Dawkins missed the last game, with swing tackle David Quessenberry making his third start of the season in his place. Dawkins should be back on Sunday, although he has been listed as questionable despite practicing full on Friday. Dawkins is the Bills’ best starter, although he does lead them with seven penalties.

Center Mitch Morse is also a solid player, but the other starter, right tackle Spencer Brown, might be the Bills’ weakest link in pass protection.

Bobby Hart - who sees action regularly as a jumbo package tight end - and Justin Murray round out this group.

Running Backs

Devin Singletary has been the Bills’ main running back and leads the team again with over 600 rushing yards, along with 31 catches. However, second round rookie James Cook has seen his role increase in recent weeks. Cook rushed for 86 yards against the Browns a few weeks ago and had over 100 yards from scrimmage for the first time against New England on Sunday.

The Bills had just traded for Nyheim Hines before the previous Jets matchup but he’s still mostly just seen action on special teams so far.

Fullback Reggie Gilliam has been dealing with an ankle injury and has been ruled out of Sunday’s game.

Taiwan Jones rounds out this group but he has just been a core special teamer and doesn’t feature on offense.

Pass catchers

Stefon Diggs has continued to be unstoppable this season, as he now has 91 receptions, over 1,200 yards and 10 touchdown catches. In last month’s game against the Jets he had five catches for 93 yards halfway through the second quarter but then was shut out the rest of the way, though.

Behind Diggs, Isaiah McKenzie and Gabe Davis have 35 catches each. Davis has six touchdowns and leads the league with an average of 19 yards per catch. However, he also has five drops.

The only other receiver currently on the 53-man roster is fifth round rookie Khalil Shakir, who has just eight catches. Jake Kumerow recently joined ex-Jet Jamison Crowder on injured reserve. Crowder has been running in practice but is not activated yet so the Bills have elevated John Brown from the practice squad. Brown had 33 catches for the Bills in 2020 but hasn’t had a catch since despite being on four other teams before returning to the Bills a few weeks ago.

At tight end, Dawson Knox has just two touchdowns after having nine touchdown catches last season. However, he had a season-high seven catches for 70 yards in the win over the Browns three weeks ago so may be ready for a bigger role. Quintin Morris and Tommy Sweeney are the backups and have just eight catches between them.

Defensive Line

The Bills recently placed stud edge rusher Von Miller onto injured reserve and have since discovered that he had a torn ACL which means he’s out for the year. Without Miller, the Bills have been starting Shaq Lawson who is an obvious downgrade.

With Miller out, Gregory Rousseau is now the Bills’ best edge defender. He has five sacks with reserve AJ Epenesa also having added 4.5. Boogie Basham is the other main reserve.

Daquan Jones and Ed Oliver are still starting on the inside with Jordan Phillips and Tim Settle as the main reserves. Phillips has been ruled out of Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury though.

Undrafted rookie CJ Brewer was recently added to the roster to provide depth inside. He has played one game so far and will probably be active again with Phillips out.


Tremaine Edmunds has had an excellent season this year, as he’s racked up 71 tackles, four tackles for loss and four pass breakups. He only has one sack and no turnovers though.

Matt Milano missed the previous meeting between these two teams and his status for Sunday is uncertain as he’s been dealing with a leg injury. The Bills are optimistic he can play after he practiced on a limited basis on Friday, but he has been listed as questionable. Without Milano, the Jets were able to run the ball down the Bills’ throats on the game-winning drive.

Last year, Milano missed a game against the Jets but AJ Klein filled in and did a great job in his place. Klein left the Bills at the end of last season but he returned a few weeks ago when he was claimed off waivers.

Third round rookie Terrel Bernard and Tyrel Dodson have seen action over the course of the season, although they are now listed behind Klein. Tyler Matakevich is mostly just a special teamer and seventh round rookie Baylon Spector is usually inactive.

Defensive Backs

The secondary for the Bills has changed a lot since these teams last met. Cornerback Tre’Davious White and safety Jordan Poyer are back from injury and Xavier Rhodes was promoted to the active roster a few weeks ago and he’s now starting too.

With Micah Hyde out for the year, Damar Hamlin has been starting at safety and is actually the team’s leading tackler this season. Taron Johnson also plays a key role as the team’s nickel back, although he has given up five touchdowns in coverage this year.

Previous (temporary) starters Kaiir Elam, Dane Jackson and Jaquan Johnson have now moved back to the bench. Jackson did see some action at cornerback in the New England game last week and Johnson could still see action in three-safety sets.

Rookie Christian Benford is now on injured reserve while Cam Lewis, Siran Neal and Dean Marlowe mostly contribute on special teams.

Special Teams

The main change for the Bills on special teams has been that Hines is now handling returns on punts and kickoffs. He’s been solid so far but is yet to break a long one. Shakir and McKenzie are available in reserve.

Kicker Tyler Bass is still having a solid year. He’s missed three field goals and one extra point but made his second game-winner of the season two weeks ago against the Lions.

Former Bronco Sam Martin was also having a good year as he had been leading the league in terms of fewest return yards surrendered. However, Kalif Raymond broke a 41-yarder two weeks ago to drop him back to third place in that category.

The Bills have several productive players in coverage. Neal, who is their best punt gunner, and Jaquan Johnson currently lead them in tackles.

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