Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- The playoff implications of this game are likeliest the highest of any game on the slate this week, with the Bills now in the top spot in the AFC after beating the Chiefs earlier this year (tied at 9-3, with the Bills controlling their own destiny for the only bye out of the AFC) and the Jets clinging to the seventh and final playoff spot, just one game ahead of the Patriots and Chargers – most notably there, the Patriots beat the Jets twice this year so they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
- The Jets are this week’s virus host, with four players listed as ‘DNP’ on Wednesday’s injury report – most notably cornerback D.J. Reed and wide receiver Corey Davis, both of whom are integral pieces to either side of the ball.
- Jets running back Michael Carter found himself off the injury report entirely after missing Week 13. Reports out of New York indicate rookie Zonovan Knight will maintain involvement out of the backfield.
- Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson has seen 11.2 targets per game in non-Zach Wilson starts this season – for comparison, Davante Adams leads the league in targets per game at 11.3.
- Both teams are top 13 in overall pass rate.
- Both teams rank in the top five in overall pace of play.
- Rookie running back James Cook is coming off his highest usage of his short NFL career (20 running back opportunities) and is priced at only $4,600 on DK – almost more importantly, the Jets have filtered the eighth most targets to opposing backfields this season, fullback Reggie Gilliam missed practice on Wednesday with an ankle injury, and the Bills showcased 21-personnel usage last week through Cook and Nyheim Hines in the red zone.
How new york Will Try To Win ::
The Jets begin games near league average in pace of play and situational pass rates, but they have shown a willingness to open things up as the game progresses, with the third fastest pace of play in the second half and sixth fastest pace of play when trailing by seven or more points this season. Their overall pass rate on the season sits near league average at 60.21% but they are coming off a game that saw new starting quarterback Mike White attempt an ungodly 57 passes in his second game as the starter in a loss to the Vikings. As in, “how New York will try to win” and “how New York will adjust” are two different games entirely, which is important to understand as they are currently listed as 9.5-point road underdogs. Furthermore, their offensive game plans have appeared to be tied to game environment less than matchup, as Robert Saleh and the Jets have managed games very differently this season against various opponents (and opponent strengths). This is also important to note considering the Bills are equally as difficult to run against as they are to pass against.
The New York backfield has some significant moving pieces with the likely return of Michael Carter after a one-game absence. Looking at the macro state of this backfield, no single back has managed a snap rate over 56% since the season-ending injury to rookie Breece Hall, with Carter hitting that mark in Week 8 (the first game without Hall) and rookie Zonovan Knight hitting 55% last week (without Carter). Furthermore, the Jets have utilized a three-back rotation in every game since Week 8. While we don’t know how the snap rates will shake out with Carter back in the fold, we can be fairly certain of two important aspects: (1) both Carter and Knight are unlikely to exceed 50-55% of the offensive snaps, and (2) recent addition James Robinson is likely to be the odd man out once again. That should leave Carter and Knight to handle the primary duties, likely each in the 40-45% snap rate range, with Ty Johnson and his special teams involvement likeliest to soak up the remainder of the snaps at the position. The matchup on the ground yields one of the lowest net-adjusted line yards metrics we’ll see all season at just 3.95.
Rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson now stands as the lone near every-down pass-catcher on this offense, handling the largest snap rate in every game since Week 7. Most notably, the big-bodied Corey Davis has held down the WR2 role for the Jets in recent weeks after the falling out between the team and Elijah Moore near the trade deadline. That’s important because Davis is currently one of four starters dealing with an illness this week, presumably the same illness that has held players out or rendered them irrelevant in other spots around the league this season. We’ll have to wait and see how Davis progresses this week before making sweeping declarations, but we should expect Denzel Mims to be the player to see the largest jump in snap rate and opportunities should Davis miss or be limited. The Jets’ personnel alignments have varied based on game environment and opponent this season, with elevated 12-personnel rates in games where they are allowed to run at heightened rates and 11-personnel the base in pass-heavy environments. That has primarily influenced blocking tight end C.J. Uzomah and Elijah Moore’s snap rates during the second half of the season. Primary pass-catching tight end Tyler Conklin has been between 67% and 81% snap rates in each game since Week 3, yielding a rather tight range of expected usage. Finally, and shout out to Xandamere here, Garrett Wilson has been a completely different player with Zach Wilson at quarterback and without Zach Wilson at quarterback, basically transforming into a WR1 without Wilson this season. Furthermore, Garrett Wilson’s 11.2 targets per game in non-Zach Wilson starts would rank second in the league behind only Davante Adams at 11.3 targets per game if extrapolated over the whole season (yea, extrapolation alert!).