A vital divisional duel between the Jets and Bills has turned into a defensive struggle in Orchard Park.
Behind the late touchdown pass from Josh Allen to Dawson Knox, the Buffalo Bills broke through in a scoreless defensive struggled, creating a 7-0 lead over the New York Jets in a vital AFC East battle.
- PASSING: Mike White (9-14, 86 yards)
- RUSHING: Zonovan Knight (9 carries, 31 yards)
- RECEIVING: Elijah Moore (2 rec., 29 yards)
- PASSING: Josh Allen (9-15, 70 yards, 1 TD)
- RUSHING: Josh Allen (5 carries, 36 yards)
- RECEIVING: Dawson Knox (4 rec. 41 yards, 1 TD)
What can we gather from the first half?
Gotta Go to Joe?
A dire offensive half nearly got even worse when Mike White was briefly lost to a big hit courtesy of Ed Oliver. Joe Flacco stepped in for two plays, but White walked off on his own strength before returning for the offense’s cameo at the end of the half when they fell behind. If the Jets truly want to build some distance between themselves and the also-rans for the final AFC wild-card spot, should they turn the affair over to the experienced Flacco? White, who looked none worse for the wear, probably wouldn’t allow it, but it’s something for the team to consider.
C.J. Mosley‘s leap to a five-yard penalty that yielded a potential momentum-shifting Buffalo drive notwithstanding, the Jets’ defense has done everything asked of it and then some in the opening half. The Bills came as close as they’ve come to a scoreless first half since October 2019, as Quinnen Williams probably spent more time in the Bills’ backfield than Devin Singletary (two sacks, two further quarterback hits). New York has also limited the damage from Buffalo’s weapons until Knox’s score, mostly forcing Allen into rushing attempts to keep offensive rhythm moving.
The Green Knight
With the Jets struggling to generate aerial momentum, White’s health potentially in question, and the skies opening up in Western New York, the Jets may have to put things on the ground to escape with a win. Is now a good time to entrust the offensive burden to Zonovan Knight? The undrafted rookie has responded well to increased responsibilities and has been the Jets’ most consistent Sunday weapon to the tune of 31 yards on nine carries. New York previously used a punishing run game to their advantage in their previous win over the Bills.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags