Buffalo Bills (5-3, 4-3-1 ATS) at New York Jets (2-6, 2-6), 1 p.m.
Brolley’s Bills Stats and Trends
The Bills are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four divisional games.
Buffalo is 6-2 toward unders in its last eight games as a favorite.
The Bills managed just 4.6 yards per play, 301 total yards, and nine points against the lowly Jaguars last week.
Josh Allen flopped with a season-low 12.6 FP in a great spot against the Jaguars last week. The Bills haven’t been able to get their downfield passing attack going with his aDOT plummeting from 10.1 yards through Week 7 to just 6.6 yards in the last two games. The Jets have given up 21+ FP in four straight games, including 272/3 passing for Carson Wentz last week. New York’s defense got ravaged for 45 points and 532 yards in their defeat, and they suffered an even bigger loss with S Marcus Maye going down for the year with an Achilles injury.
Stefon Diggs has had a limited ceiling this season as he’s topped 90+ receiving yards just once and he’s scored three TDs, but he’s averaging 6.0 catches per game to keep his weekly floor high. Ja’Marr Chase posted 3/32/1 receiving in this matchup two weeks ago, and the Jets are giving up the seventh-fewest FPG (32.1) to WRs.
Emmanuel Sanders got back to double-digit production with 4/65 receiving on eight targets after his goose egg game against the Dolphins in Week 8. He’s posted 48+ receiving yards in seven of his eight games and the Jets are giving up a solid 13.1 YPR.
Dawson Knox Is expected to return this week after missing two games for hand surgery. He had five touchdowns in a four-game span in Weeks 2-5 before posting 3/25 receiving with a two-point conversion pass in his last game when he broke his hand. The Jets have given up four TDs to TEs in their last four games.
Zack Moss landed in concussion protocol after getting knocked out in the third quarter last week, so this backfield could belong to Devin Singletary with Matt Breida also mixing in. The Bills had a non-existent rushing attack last week behind their banged-up offensive line. Allen had 54 dropbacks out of 65 plays, and they attempted just nine RB carries against Jacksonville despite never trailing by more than a field goal in Week 9. Singletary posted 14/80 scrimmage on a season-high 75% snap share the last time he had the backfield to himself in Week 1. The Jets have been eviscerated by opposing RBs, allowing a healthy 4.7 YPC while giving up a league-high 8.0 catches per game.
The Bills had run for 115+ yards in each of their first five games, but they’ve fallen below that mark in three straight games while averaging 85.3 yards per game. Cole Beasley has turned into the running game with 25/231/1 receiving on 33 targets after managing just 26/215/0 receiving on 34 targets through five weeks. Zach Pascal posted 4/58 receiving on seven targets in this matchup last week.
Brolley’s Jets Stats and Trends
These teams have split their season series in each of the last four years.
The Jets are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games.
New York has played over the total in five straight games.
The Jets aren’t allowed to have nice things. Backup QB Mike White generated buzz for the sputtering franchise with a comeback victory over the Bengals in Week 8, but he picked up a forearm injury after an impressive early scoring drive against the Colts. He’s expected to be the starter this week with Zach Wilson (knee) still likely a week away. White is averaging 8.0 YPA with a 5.7% TD rate and 72.7% completion percentage in three appearances, which totally eclipse Wilson’s marks (6.5, 2.2%, 57.5%). The Bills are giving up a stingy 12.6 FPG to QB, which is three fewer points than the next closest team (Denver, 15.6 FPG).
Elijah Moore has three straight games with double-digit FP after breaking through against the Colts on national TV last week. He posted 7/84/2 receiving on eight targets (15% share) while playing a seven-week high 60% of the snaps. He could be destined for big things in the second half of the season if he comes through in the worst matchup of the league for WRs — the Bills are giving up just 25.7 FPG.
Corey Davis is expected to return to the lineup this week off of his hip injury. He has two performances with 21+ FP and he’s fallen below 10+ FP in three of his other four contests. Marvin Jones posted just 3/21 receiving on five targets in this matchup last week.
Jamison Crowder has 4+ catches in each of the last five games, but he’s fallen below nine FP in three of his last five games because of his career-worst 8.6 YPR average. The Bills limited Jamal Agnew to 3/27 receiving last week.
The Jets have been rolling with Michael Carter as the lead back and Ty Johnson as the passing back in their first three games out of their Week 6 bye, and hopefully Tevin Coleman (hamstring) stays out of the mix now that he’s healthy again. Carter has 13+ touches in five straight games and 85+ scrimmage yards in his last three contests. Johnson has produced 11+ FP in four straight games, and he played a five-week high 42% of the snaps with the Jets chasing the Colts all game last week. The Bills have allowed just two individual RBs (Antonio Gibson, Derrick Henry) to reach double-digit FP this season.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 26.6 (5th)
Plays per game: 71.4 (5th)
Pass: 61.9% (13th) | Run: 38.1% (20th)
Pace: 27.6 (14th)
Plays per game: 68.5 (10th)
Pass: 68.8% (1st) | Run: 31.2% (32nd)
Buffalo basically didn’t even try to run the ball last week, which has been a common theme in their last three outings as Josh Allen has dropped back to pass 50, 42, and 51 times against the Titans, Dolphins, and Jaguars. The Bills are now up to fourth in pass rate above expectation (+7.5%) in neutral situations (game within a score in 1st-3rd quarter) and I’m fully expecting them to air it out here to get the taste of last week’s loss out of their mouths. After last week’s embarrassment in Jacksonville, the Bills have an easy get-right spot here against a Jets defense that has gotten waxed for 54 (Patriots), 31 (Bengals), and 45 (Colts) points in their last three games.
Meanwhile, the Jets are the seventh-most pass-heavy team when trailing (71.1%) and this certainly profiles as yet another pass-heavy plan by necessity – especially with Mike White back. In fact, New York went 67% pass-heavy on early downs with White under center back in Week 8 when they upset the Bengals. I don’t have an answer for why this is, but they did not use a similar plan with Zach Wilson before he got hurt. In Weeks 1-5, the Jets only threw the ball on 48% of their early downs when the game was within a score and that was the sixth-lowest rate in the league. This is a brand new offense with White at the controls.
Overall, this is the fifth-best game on the Week 10 slate as both offenses play fast and throw the ball a ton. If the Jets can move the ball somewhat effectively and force Allen & Co. to keep their foot on the gas, this game certainly has shootout appeal. But, that’s the thing: Scoring on Buffalo has been a near impossible task.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
The Jets have been great in defense of WRs this season, only tolerating 32.1 FPG (seventh-fewest). But they’ve begun showing signs of issues, licensing the sixth-most over the last four weeks (41.7). And the clearest avenue of attack for wideouts is aligned on the inside. Cole Beasley will do a good amount of his work across from ‘21 fifth-rounder Michael Carter II. While Carter’s coverage held up during the first four games of his rookie season, he’s distributed 71% of his total yardage on 49% of coverage snaps during the last four games.
Corey Davis is set to make his return from a two-game absence due to a hip injury. But he’ll have the odds stacked against his favor against his Week 10 opponent. The Bills are ghosting opposing WR units to the fewest FPG this season (25.4). And half of his work will fall within the territory of Tre'Davious White on the right perimeter.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
Look, all the Bills needed to do was to score one touchdown and they would have beaten the hapless Jaguars last week. And they couldn’t. It was just a stinker, one that virtually every NFL team has during the year, but if you ask coach Sean McDermott, the Bills’ inability to run it is the root of their struggles.
Sean McDermott spoke bluntly today about the struggles of the run game. He said it goes back to last season and he thought it would have improved by now. Bills working tirelessly to figure it out. https://t.co/OFgkP1SQBU— Matt Parrino (@MattParrino) November 10, 2021
“I don’t think it’s just been the last couple of games,” McDermott said to reporters via the above article. “Start with the first game (this season against Pittsburgh). Look at that film. Go back to last year at the end of the season in particular. So yeah, that’s where we’re at.”
Yeah, that’s pretty blunt. And this week would be a good week to get that run game going, against a Jet defense that has been the matchup for opposing RBs. The Bills might not have Zack Moss (concussion) this week, but can Devin Singletary step up in his absence? Graham thinks so. From Start/Sit:
The Bills backfield has been like playing roulette all season long. One week, you think it’s going to come up 26 (Singletary) and it’s a 20 (Moss) day. Well, if Zack Moss were to miss, this would become an amazing spot for Devin Singletary. The Jets have been the most giving front-seven in terms of rushing fantasy points allowed per game (21.9) and we have a decent sample that tells us Singletary’s workload will be strong. In the four games that Moss has missed over the last two years, Singletary has been on the field for a bellcow-like 79% of the snaps and has seen 16.5 touches per game. He’ll be a strong RB2 start without Moss.
For what it’s worth, there’s some optimism on Moss:
Beasley, Knox, Spencer Brown and Taron Johnson are all good to go.— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) November 12, 2021
And a note on Zack Moss, he was not in a non-contact jersey today, which is another encouraging sign that he'll be able to play this weekend despite the questionable tag. He's still in concussion protocol. https://t.co/ZQFBNqKZQQ
All in all, I think this is a bounceback spot for a pissed off Bills team and Josh Allen. If the Bills get T Spencer Brown (groin) and TE Dawson Knox (hand) back this week, that will be a big help.
The Jets will be starting QB Mike White this week, after he suffered a minor throwing arm injury in last Thursday’s loss to the Colts. His backup will be the recently acquired Joe Flacco, though Zach Wilson (knee) did return to practice this week as he ramps up for his return.
White’s presence is good news for another RB in this game, Michael Carter. Here’s Scott Barrett from Start/Sit:
“Mike White is set to start this week, which should be good news for Carter. With White under center, Carter is averaging 12.0 carries, 11.0 targets, 141.0 YFS, and 25.6 fantasy points per four quarters. He’s also been the intended receiver on 26% of White’s 88 passes, which would rank 8th-best among all WRs, and well above the next-closest RB (D’Andre Swift, 18%).
Since New York’s Week 6 bye, Carter has played on 66% of the team’s snaps, earning a 62% share of the backfield XFP. So, he’s not quite a bell cow, but his raw volume and production has been elite in spite of that handicap, averaging 19.5 FPG (5th-most) and 21.0 XFP per game (2nd-most).
He draws an absolutely brutal on-paper matchup this week, against a Buffalo defense that ranks bottom-5 in YPC allowed (3.75), rushing FPG allowed (8.7), and receiving FPG allowed to opposing RBs (7.0). But, I think, in lieu of his pass-game usage and recent success you have little choice but to start him this week as a mid-range RB2 at worst.”
However, White’s return to the lineup plus the return of WR Corey Davis from a hip injury has Scott a little less optimistic about one of his crushes, WR Elijah Moore:
“Moore, the humble farmer’s son, one of my most-hyped players this offseason, led all WRs in fantasy points in Week 9, scoring 27.4. Was this the breakout game we’ve all been waiting for?
Unfortunately, I’d seriously temper expectations. Moore averages 20.3 FPG over the last two weeks, but he’s run a route on only 51% of the team’s dropbacks over this span. And, keep in mind, that’s with Corey Davis out, who will be returning this week.
Add to that an absolutely brutal matchup this week. The Jets are (frustratingly) playing Moore out of position, lining him up out-wide on 73% of his routes. And the Bills are giving up the 2nd-fewest FPG to opposing outside WRs (15.2).
And although Moore’s best games have come without Zach Wilson, Mike White has targeted RBs on 38% of his throws, which is over twice the league average rate (17%). And Moore ranks just 49th in XFP per game over the last two weeks (10.4).
While I’m secretly hoping this is a good old fashioned reverse-jinx, I do think Moore is easily sittable this week.”
Moore still could benefit from some lineup absences — the Jets placed WR Denzel Mims on the COVID-19 list and TE Tyler Kroft (chest) on IR.