The Buffalo Bills have lost two of their last three to the New York Jets, failing to score more than 20 in any of those games. The Bills enter Sunday’s game in a bit of a slump, having lost three of their last four. The Jets, of course, are struggling badly on offense, so it’s quite possible the Bills won’t even need to score 20 to beat them. According to our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook, the Bills are favored by 7 points in this game.
Josh Allen is having an uneven season, as the Bills are struggling to adjust to some personnel losses. Despite posting a career-best completion percentage of 70, and leading the league in touchdowns, it’s arguably been a down year for Allen, who also leads the league in interceptions.
On Sunday, Allen had multiple interceptions for the first time since the opener, but that opener saw him intercepted three times by Jets safety Jordan Whitehead.
Backup Kyle Allen hasn’t started a game since 2020 and has only seen action in mop-up duties or as a brief injury replacement this year, without throwing a pass.
The Bills have had excellent continuity on the offensive line this year, with each of their starting unit having started all 10 games.
Center Mitch Morse and left tackle Dion Dawkins are the Bills’ best offensive linemen. Dawkins has been in double digits for penalties in four of the past five seasons, but he is showing much better discipline this season with only three so far.
Rookie guard Cyrus O’Torrence and tackle Spencer Brown man the right side and are tied for the team lead with five penalties each. Brown has also given up two sacks but he’s the only Bills player to have given up multiple sacks on the season.
The other starter is left guard Connor McGovern, who has struggled in the running game all season.
Reserves Ryan Van Demark, Ryan Bates and David Edwards have all seen brief action, with Edwards often being used as a jumbo tight end. The versatile Bates is the main reserve on the interior.
Veteran tackle Germain Ifedi and youngster Alec Anderson are also on the roster but haven’t contributed this year.
James Cook is the Bills’ best running back with over 600 rushing yards and 24 receptions. He’s coming off his second 100-yard game of the year in Denver.
Backup Latavius Murray is also coming off his best game of the year, as he had 68 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos.
With Nyheim Hines and Damien Harris on injured reserve, the Bills brought in former Jets running back Ty Johnson to add depth, but he hasn’t played much yet. Veteran Leonard Fournette, a recent practice squad addition, is another option.
The Bills also get plenty of running game contributions from Allen, who has a team-high seven touchdowns.
Reggie Gilliam remains with the team as a fullback and will also sometimes line up as a tight end.
The Bills’ passing game is still led by Stefon Diggs, who has 73 receptions, 868 yards and seven touchdowns. Diggs is showing signs of frustration. He is coming off a game where he had a season low 34 receiving yards. That marked his fourth game in a row with less than 100 yards after having had four 100-yard games in a row prior to that.
Tight end Dawson Knox was the Bills’ next-best option over the past few years, but he was having a down year and is currently on injured reserve. In his absence, first round rookie Dalton Kincaid has stepped up with 45 catches.
Gabe Davis is having another productive year as the number two receiver and Khalil Shakir is now listed as a starter too, as he has stepped up with 19 catches.
Off the bench, Deonte Harty has contributed 13 receptions, but Trent Sherfield and backup tight end Quintin Morris haven’t contributed much. Sherfield is listed as questionable after getting hurt in the Denver game.
Unlike the first time these teams met, the Bills now have Von Miller in their lineup. However, he’s clearly not up to full speed yet, as he has just one quarterback hit and no sacks in six games since coming off the PUP list.
Leonard Floyd, AJ Epenesa and Gregory Rousseau have stepped up with Miller out. Floyd leads the team with seven sacks, Epenesa has been filling up the stat sheet with 6.5 sacks, six passes defensed and a pick-six, and Rousseau has four sacks, 11 quarterback hits and three passes defensed.
Ex-Jet Shaq Lawson has also been in the rotation and the Bills have added youngster Kingsley Jonathan to their roster since these teams last met.
On the interior, it was a big blow for the Bills when Daquan Jones was placed on injured reserve. He had been playing really well. The good news for the Bills is that Ed Oliver has stepped up with Jones out. Oliver is on course for the most productive season of his career as he leads the team with 10 tackles for loss, including five sacks.
Alongside Oliver, Jordan Phillips is the other starter, with Tim Settle and Poona Ford in reserve. Phillips has been listed as questionable but did practice full on Friday.
Matt Milano’s leg injury was arguably an even bigger blow than the loss of Jones for the Bills defense.
With Milano out, Terrel Bernard and Tyrel Dodson have been starting. Bernard is making a run at the all-rookie team as he’s racked up 93 tackles, three sacks, four passes defensed and two interceptions.
The Bills brought back AJ Klein for depth after the Milano injury and also added Baylon Spector back to the roster after some time spent on injured reserve.
Third round rookie Dorian Williams has seen some rotational action and made two starts, but Tyler Matakevich remains just a special teamer.
Tre’Davious White was the third key defender lost to injured reserve for the Bills, leaving them downgraded at all three levels. Kaiir Elam was also recently placed on injured reserve.
Without White, Dane Jackson has moved back into the starting lineup with youngster Christian Benford outside, and Taron Johnson remaining in the slot.
At safety, the Bills can still rely on the solid veteran tandem of Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. Hyde has two picks although he is Buffalo’s only active defensive back with an interception.
Hyde and Benford were both out last week, so recent veteran addition Rasul Douglas filled in at cornerback and backup Taylor Rapp filled in at safety. Veteran cornerback Josh Norman was also activated off the practice squad, but Benford and Hyde should be back this week.
Damar Hamlin is the other reserve at safety. Cam Lewis and Siran Neal are listed as backups in the slot but both are versatile, although most of their contributions come on special teams.
The Bills’ kicking game is solid but nothing special. Kicker Tyler Bass has missed three field goals this year and Sam Martin had a punt returned for the game-winning touchdown against the Jets.
In the return game, Harty has been solid on punts, although his longest return so far is just 24 yards. On kickoffs, the Bills now list Ty Johnson as their main return man. Shakir backs up both spots.
In coverage, Neal is the primary gunner and Matakevich and Lewis contribute well, but it’s Williams who currently leads them in tackles. Lawson also contributed on special teams with a blocked field goal.