Can the Jets defy the odds and knock out the Bills again in the second round? – Denver Post

There’s a saying in sports that comes up often: it’s hard to beat a team twice.

Whether that’s true or not, that’s the challenge facing the Jets on the road at Highmark Stadium on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

After being a 12.5-point underdog, Gang Green beat the Bills 20-17 last month at home in a stunner. The Jets killed David in their first meeting when no one outside the team building gave them a chance.

The team is not only confident they can do it again, they believe they can do it in a hostile environment as a 9 1/2 point underdog.

“It’s not hard if you do your job well,” Jets linebacker CJ Mosley said of the win over the Bills for the second time. “We must keep the essential as essential and not [be] worried whether it’s a revenge game or whatever because it’s seen as an opportunity for us to go out there and play some really good football, free football, run and go out there and have fun.

“We have to go out there and manage our job as a defence. If we go out there and run and communicate and run and punch and make plays, it might be another bad game, it might not be. We have a job to do and that is to make sure we keep them out of the red zone.

The Jets and Bills have been separate teams since their Nov. 6 meeting. The most significant change with green and white is the person under the center.

Mike White was named starting quarterback two weeks ago after a nasty loss to the Patriots when they decided to bench second-year QB Zach Wilson. Since then, White has bought stability at a desperately needed position.

White, the former fifth-round pick, threw for 684 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in his two starts (a win over the Bears, a loss to the Vikings). However, in his debut against the Bills last season when he started for an injured Wilson, White had his worst game as a pro (four interceptions) in a 45-17 rout by the Bills.

Buffalo will also enter Sunday’s game with a very different team than the Jets last saw them.

Cornerback Tre’davious White returned from a torn anterior cruciate ligament last year against the Saints. Additionally, Buffalo will have cornerback Xavier Rhodes, safety Jordan Poyer and possibly linebacker Matt Milano, players who didn’t play against the Jets a month ago.

White will also face the Bills Mafia, who have not seen their team play at home since Nov. 13 due to a snowstorm that forced the NFL to move its Nov. 20 game against the Browns to Detriot. .

“They’re good,” White said of the Bills. “[Jordan] Poyer is back and Poyer is a really really talented player and obviously Xavier Rhodes, Tre’Davious White, two big experienced corners and then their linebackers [Matt] Milan, and [Tremaine] Edmunds, they’ve been playing together for a long time and playing in the same system for a long time, which always helps.

“So they’re really good in their disguises, really good at owning their rules and knowing their issues and kind of protecting them and they play really well together.”

Bills quarterback Josh Allen had his worst game this season against the Jets. Allen rushed for 86 yards and two touchdowns, but completed 18 of 34 passes for 205 yards and two interceptions.

It was the first time Allen was held without a touchdown pass since last season. Allen also recorded his worst quarterback rating (46.8) of the year against the Jets.

The Jets not only managed to limit Allen’s plays in the air, they sacked him five times. Allen injured his elbow on the penultimate play of the game, but he played despite the injury. Buffalo is 3-1 in its last four games and Allen looked more like its MVP candidate as he threw for 1,003 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions.

While the Bills have won their last three games, the Jets have lost two of their last three as they currently hold the AFC’s last spot at 7-5. Buffalo not only leads the AFC East, but they have the top seed in the conference, which would bring a first-round bye and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

“They’re playing really good defensive ball right now,” Allen said of the Jets earlier this week. “They have playmakers there. Obviously I didn’t play well [in Week 9 at MetLife] and made stupid decisions.

“Learning from these and just trying to make good decisions and finish every practice with a kick, whether it’s a punt, a field goal or a PAT. [point after touchdown].”


denverpost sports

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