The Zach Wilson rookie-season capper comes in Orchard Park, NY when the New York Jets take on the Buffalo Bills in Week 18.
And just like that … it’s over. The 2021 NFL season has come and gone. Well … almost.
A never-before Week 18 that squeezed 17 games into the schedule brings the New York Jets season to a close, and it does not leave enough time for one man.
Zach Wilson, the kid who amazed us in August, only to battle tough in Carolina, prior to a mental slump the likes only a rookie quarterback can suffer through, could use more than one game.
Throwing no interceptions over the last four games, and totaling seven touchdowns to just one interception over the last five contests, the BYU product has been tremendous down the home stretch.
It’s been more than enough to excite the fanbase heading into the offseason, but if Wilson can pull off the upset against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, he’ll awaken the Evil Empire up north, as well.
Jets at Bills game info
- New York Jets (4-12)
- Buffalo Bills (10-6)
- NFL, Week 18, Jan. 9, 2022, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
- Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
Buffalo clinches its second-straight AFC East crown with a victory over New York Sunday. The only way the New England Patriots can capture the divisional crown is if the Jets pull off the upset and Bill Belichick’s squad takes out the Miami Dolphins.
The Jets can spoil the Bills Mafia party with just one victory—in a game they’re currently 16.5-point underdogs.
Jets at Bills history
- The Bills lead the all-time series, 66-56.
Unlike the Dolphins series—one that’s featured a back-and-forth tight all-time mark—Buffalo has enjoyed the upper hand on New York since the Jim Kelly-led teams of the 1990s.
The Bills have won the last three meetings, four of the last five, and eight of the last 11 games against the Jets. New York’s last truly dominant period against Buffalo happened between 2009 and 2012 when they took six straight.
Jets at Bills odds (FanDuel Sportsbook)
- Spread: Jets +16.5 (-112), Bills -16.5 (-108)
- Moneyline: Jets +750, Bills -1200
- Over/Under: 40.5 (O: -112, U: -108)
As previously noted, the Jets enter as overwhelming 16.5-point underdogs. Interestingly, the over-under is quite low despite a porous Jets defense.
Jets at Bills injury report
New York Jets
- Braxton Berrios (Quad): Doubtful
Amazingly, only one man is on the Jets injury report heading into the weekend, and his name is Braxton Berrios, the fan-favorite who’s unlikely to play thanks to a quad injury sustained against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17.
Obviously, those not on the active roster such as Elijah Moore, will not play. Moore’s absence to close out the season means fans won’t have the opportunity of watching the rookie wideout, Michael Carter and Zach Wilson all the field together before things come to a close.
- Efe Obada (Ankle): Out
- Emmanuel Sanders (Knee): Doubtful
Defensive end Efe Obada has already been ruled out with an ankle, while wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is designated as doubtful with a knee.
Jets’ keys to victory
Tempo, tempo, tempo
The Bills’ No. 1 ranked defense and No. 1 ranked pass defense is no joke. Sean McDermott’s unit is probably the best cover team in the league, and its coverage disguises are unrivaled.
Mike LaFleur would be wise to use tempo to his advantage in this one, especially early.
Let Zach Wilson run the offense with a bit of urgency early while not allowing the Bills to comfortably get into pre-snap disguises.
Responsible rush lanes
Pressure on Josh Allen is a hell of a thing, but doing so without rushing responsibility is a dangerous proposition.
Jeff Ulbrich’s unit has to find a way to pass-rush responsibly with contain on the edges in mind.
Jets at Bills prediction
- Buffalo Bills 34, New York Jets 26
I’ll give Zach Wilson a strong outing to close the season, but Josh Allen will do damage to this hapless New York Jets defense.