Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, 2021-22, Week 18
Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, 2021-22, Week 18, Getty Images

The Jets are keeping pace with the contending Bills

  • New York Jets 7 (4-12)
  • Buffalo Bills 13 (10-6)
  • NFL, Week 18, Halftime, Box Score
  • Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY

Primarily sustained through a 10-yard touchdown pass from Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs, the Buffalo Bills own a 10-7 lead over the New York Jets in the latter’s 2021-22 season final at Highmark Field.

The Jets have taken advantage of some poor punts from Buffalo boot Matt Haack, as they earned their points on a 40-yard hookup between Zach Wilson and Keelan Cole to keep pace against a Bills team playing for an AFC East division title.

Jets Leaders

  • PASSING: Zach Wilson: 5 of 10, 75 yards, TD
  • RUSHING: Michael Carter: 5 carries, 12 yards
  • RECEIVING: Keelan Cole, 3 receptions, 54 yards, TD

Bills Leaders

  • PASSING: Josh Allen: 16 of 26, 157 yards, TD
  • RUSHING: Devin Singletary: 12 carries, 61 yards
  • RECEIVING: Stefon Diggs, 8 receptions, 73 yards

The defense closes

It looked like the Bills would coast to division title glory early on, allowing Buffalo to tally 145 yards and 10 points on their first two possessions (another Diggs touchdown was erased by a replay review).

But the defense has held its own since then, notably forcing Buffalo into a three-and-out after a blocked punt situated them only 35 yards from another six-pointer. Though they have yet to earn a takedown, the Jets have maintained a strong pressure on Allen, who has struggled to hit his targets after a showstopping opening drive.

New York allowed only 29 yards on Buffalo’s next four possessions after Diggs’ erased second score, each of them ending after four downs.

Zach’s lack of attack

All things considered, Wilson at least looks composed in a game where he’s missing each of his top four receivers (the Jets announced that Jamison Crowder is done for the year/game with a calf injury) and his top blockers (Mekhi Becton and George Fant).

He’s kept his cool in a quickly collapsing pocket and he took advantage of a nothing-to-lose fourth down induced by a Buffalo shank by finding Keelan Cole for a 40-yard score in the latter stages of the first half.

Wilson has been victimized by two sacks but has operated well under the pressure early on.

A minute for Mims?

Cracks are all around the green upon which Denzel Mims stands—heck, it might already be breaking. But the football gods have proven merciful, as the Crowder injury might give the embattled sophomore one more chance to show what he’s got before a curious offseason awaits.

Mims’ first opportunity after the injury didn’t go well: he was called for a false start that postponed the Jets’ first play run in Buffalo territory after the aforementioned shank.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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Geoff Magliocchetti is a veteran football writer with years of credentialed experience with the Jets and Giants. Email: geoffmags90@gmail.com

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