Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills, QB, NY Jets
New York Jets, Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills, Getty Images

The New York Jets’ defense did the unthinkable in the second half against Buffalo

The New York Jets‘ defense dominated the Buffalo Bills’ offense this past Sunday. There is no other way to put it.

Most of that dominance occurred in the second half.

The Bills started hot. On the game’s first play, Stefon Diggs cooked Sauce Gardner on a double move for 42 yards.

Josh Allen threw an interception later in the series but put together a long touchdown drive on the next Buffalo possession.

Later in the second quarter, Allen took it himself on a third-and-2 and sprinted his way to a 36-yard touchdown.

Up to this point, Allen had completed 11 of 18 passes for 131 yards while adding 4 rushes for 54 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Jets were down 14-3 and struggling to get anything going on offense. It felt like the game was about to slip away.

But the Jets responded on the next offensive drive. Zach Wilson went 6-of-7 for 63 yards and Michael Carter finished the drive with a touchdown run.

From there, the defense took over the game, buying time for Wilson and the Jets’ offense to slowly take control. Jeff Ulbrich‘s unit took it to another level in the second half.

Second Half Defensive Dominance

The second half was the Jets’ best defensive performance of the season and likely of the last several years. Against the best offense in the NFL, led by MVP favorite Josh Allen, the Jets’ defense dominated.

New York allowed only 3 points and 63 yards in the second half. Before this game, the Bills were averaging 14.5 points and 215 yards per half throughout their first seven games.

Most impressively, the Jets’ defense made Josh Allen look like a rookie again. Here are Allen’s numbers from the second half:

  • 12 pass attempts
  • 5 completions
  • 42 passing yards
  • 4 rush attempts
  • 25 rushing yards
  • 4 sacks
  • 20 yards lost on sacks
  • 1 fumble (recovered by Buffalo)
  • 1 interception
  • 16.7 passer rating
  • 41.7% completion rate
  • 1.4 net yards per pass attempt

Cumulatively, Allen only had 47 total yards in the second half. Coming into the game, Allen was averaging 350.3 total yards per game, or about 175 per half.

To put together a defensive performance like this, every player needs to do their job and perform at a high level. That’s exactly what the Jets got out of their defenders.

The defensive line got after Allen, pressuring him on 31% of his dropbacks while sacking him five times: the most he’s been sacked since Week 9 of 2020. John Franklin-Myers led the way with five pressures while Quinnen Williams and Bryce Huff each had a huge sack in the second half.

C.J. Mosley and the Jets’ linebackers did a good job rallying to the football and limiting the Bills’ offense. Whether it was laying a hit to force an incompletion or simply preventing yards after the catch, the Jets’ linebackers were flying. Mosley had one sack and one pass defended. Quincy Williams added a tackle for loss.

New York’s secondary was outstanding as well with two interceptions and six passes defended. The cornerback trio of Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed, and Michael Carter II was targeted a combined total of 13 times and allowed only 6 catches for 88 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Their performance was capped off by Sauce smothering Gabriel Davis on the final play of the game.

The Jets’ starting cornerbacks continue to establish themselves as one of the best corner trios in the NFL.

Every level of the defense overpowered Buffalo with a combination of speed and physicality that brings up memories of the 2009-2010 Jets defense that carried the team to back-to-back AFC Championship appearances.

It’s one game, but Jets fans should feel on top of the world right now; thanks in large part to a defense that continues to finish games strong. The Jets have not allowed a fourth-quarter touchdown since Week 4. If this defense can continue shutting teams down in the second half, there should be plenty more good times ahead.

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Rich
Rich
21 days ago

Absolutely, they dominated that half, and absolutely reminded me of the 09-10 team. So many parallels. Shutdown, elite, corners. Ferocious D. Mosely as Bart Scott. Offense built around a good running game, while minimizing an inexperienced qb. And the team is all-in on their coach.

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MeganWhite9
21 days ago

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Last edited 21 days ago by MeganWhite9
Peter Buell
Peter Buell
22 days ago

The 2nd half way a thing of beauty as was the game plan.
The one complaint I have that will take this from a very good defense to an elite, top of the league D is getting off the field on 3rd down.
It seems like the first half they go in with the game plan and make adjustments at the half.
It dosent seem to matter if it’s 3rd and 3, 7, 12 way too many are being converted into 1st downs.
Thus keeps the D on the field and most importantly gives the offense less time with the ball.
With an offense they want to predicate on short passes and grinding the other teams D down we need to give Zack and company more opportunities.
One HUGE improvement was no stupid penalties. One on special teams by our best special teams gunner but none on the D.
We have a very good D right now that will get better with young guys developing but to be a D like the 85 Bears or 86 Giants, allowing for new rules:
1. Continue to avoid dumb penalties
2. Get off on 3rd down 20% more (let’s say 6 and out)
3. Keep up the pressure..maybe a few more blitzes.
When Zach is at 80% of his ability next year this team will become a perrieniel playoff team for the foreseeable future.