2015 NFL Week 17 Jets at Bills – The Battle of Buffalo

New York Jets -3 +105

This isn’t the “same old Jets” team. This isn’t the Bills team from 2014. If it was last year, I would sweat my pants but not this time. When Rex Ryan said “maybe we are going to run the ball 40 times a game next year” I knew the Bills won’t make the playoffs. Rex is a great motivator and was a great defensive mind at New York, but he doesn’t know how to run an offense. He thinks that if his team can pound the ball, he is going to win a lot of Football games. But he isn’t able to pay a statistics geek to tell him that there is virtually no correlation between yards per carry and scoring points.

70% of the winning teams have more total rush yards than their opponent because they milk the clock in the second half and the losing team needs to air it out. That’s the whole secret. That’s why playoff defenses show low numbers. Total yards just mean NOTHING. The Bills are the number one team in total rushing yards per game but they are far away from the playoffs. A good running game sets up the passing game and sometimes you might see a RB breaking tackles for a 60yd TD. But in the long run you need to pass efficiently to score points. If someone says this is bullsh*t, just go on and I will bomb you with several examples and explanations. Look what the Seahawks and Chiefs do without Lynch and Charles.

The Bills from 2014 had the best overall defense in the league. They were #1 in pass DVOA and #12 in run DVOA. They had the best pass rush in the league. Rex Ryan turned this defense into complete bullsh*t. Before the Cowboys game they were the #29 total defense in DVOA, #22 in pass and #30 in rush. The Cowboys game was much closer than people think. The Cowboys were moving the chains without Dez Bryant and Kellen Moore at QB AT Buffalo. They have the #18 scoring defense at 21.9 PPG. Their offense looks very good by looking at the numbers (#7 total DVOA) and that’s something that made me shaking my head so I took a look deeper, because watching tape tells us a different story. Their offensive efficiency doesn’t really translate to their offensive PPG at 22.7 (#13). They have a variance of 10% in their DVOA numbers which is the third-worst value. It means they have been playing VERY inconsistently. Also their PPG are inflated due to two big wins against one of the worst defenses in the league of the Miami Dolphins. The eye-test proves me right: this is an average offense. After reading that stuff, add to that: the Bills have played a below average schedule. The Jets have also played a worse schedule BUT there is one difference: the Jets have a top-5 defense and a top-10 offense scoring wise. That’s the difference between a 7-8 and a 10-5 team. The Bills have two quality wins on their schedule: vs. HOU and at NYJ. The latter one is the game I just watched again this morning:

In week 10, the Bills caught the Jets in a terrible spot. I had a lean on the Bills in this game. The Jets were in the middle of their bad stretch of the season and were on a short week after they barely won vs. the Jaguars. The Bills blew out the Dolphins off their bye week and Rex Ryan had his players motivated like heck. The Jets just came out flat during the first half. But even though the score was 19-3 Bills at some point, the game itself was much closer than people think and the Jets beat themselves in this game with a turnover ratio of 0-4. It was just a terrible spot for them.

-Brandon Marshall dropped a first down pass in Jets territory that led to a FG: 3-3
-Devin Smith fumbled the kickoff return for a return TD: 9-3 Bills
-Missed tackles & poor coverage by Davis on Karlos Williams: 19-3 Bills
-Chris Ivory fumbled in Jets territory which lead to a FG: 22-3

After the last score the Jets shut the Bills offense down for 23 minutes and moved the chains for two touchdowns but it wasn’t enough. They also had a turnover on downs on 4th and 2 in the Bills’ red zone. If Bowles had gone for the FG, this game would have went to overtime! They weren’t able to overcome the four turnovers and the poor first half performance.

The Bills have been motivated but they weren’t the better team matchup-wise. When they didn’t have a short field, the Jets defense shut them completely down. Tyrod Tailor was scrambling around, he got sacked 6 times. The Bills put ONE single drive of more than 60 yards together, that’s it.

The Jets have been playing consistently on both sides of the ball. They can start fast, they can close out games. This isn’t the same old Jets team. Todd Bowles brought a whole new attitude into this organization. Ryan Fitzpatrick has shown very good QB play and Marshall/Decker are the best WR tandem in the league. Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell can punish opposing defenses on the ground and on screen/shuffle passes. This is the 10th best passing offense in DVOA, 2nd best RZ offense, the 6th best scoring offense & the 11th best 3rd down offense. The defense has been STELLAR. They just held the Patriots to 1/10 on third downs and 13 offensive points recently. The pass rush will once again get to Tyrod Tailor and Revis has been playing better since he came back from concussion.

LeSean McCoy is likely done, Marcell Dareus is doubtful after he had no feeling in his hand on Sunday, Mario Williams has a clinch with Rex Ryan, Stephon Gilmore is out, Nigel Bradham & Charles Clay are Q, Robert Woods is out, Ronald Darby was out last Sunday.

This already poor playing defense has some serious personnel issues. The Jets are on a roll and they are going to score at will here with the right gameplan. Without McCoy, Woods and probably Clay, I can’t see the Bills offense keeping more than 13 points on the board against this Jets defense.

Summary: if you want to bet the Bills, keep in mind that you are taking the worse team which is banged up and you are relying solely on the hope that the Jets bring another turnover-festival because the motivational speech of Rex Ryan won’t be enough. He just doesn’t have the personnel to compete with a hot Jets team in their biggest game in four years.

Don’t be a fool, take the better team!

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