The New York Jets travel to Buffalo this week to take on the Buffalo Bills in their first ever Week 18 matchup. With playoff implications for the Bills, figure both teams to come out of the gates swinging. If the Bills win this week and the New England Patriots lose to the Miami Dolphins, the Bills can lock up the AFC East. Here is a preview of the New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills.
Zach Wilson Looks to Finish Strong
Zach Wilson, since coming back from injury, has been the opposite of what he was beforehand. In his five games before the injury, he threw only four touchdowns, while throwing nine interceptions. Since coming back from his injury, in six games, he has thrown four touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also added four rushing touchdowns. While he isn’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard, it says a lot that he is really being careful with the ball.
In addition to this, he has still been taking shots down the field. Even with his top three targets out, including Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Jamison Crowder, he is still finding guys open down the field. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, he drove the Jets down the field over and over again, finding open receivers when he needed to.
Even while throwing to Braxton Berrios, Keelan Cole and Jeff Smith, the Jets were close with the reigning champs, thanks to Wilson. In this last week of the season, he looks to finish strong against one of, if not the best secondary in the NFL.
Injuries Have Plagued the Jets
If one thing is true about this 2021 season for the Jets, it is that they can not avoid injuries. Mekhi Becton was out for the entire season, Carl Lawson was out for the entire season. Michael Carter, Davis, Moore, and Wilson all missed significant time with injuries. And sure, every team has some injuries here and there over the course of the season.
They really need to figure out how to stay healthy. The Jets currently lead the NFL in cap space % on IR, a stat that they do not want to be leading. With not a ton of depth at any position, they can not afford to be injured all the time. This is not something that can be controlled for the most part, but other teams are able to stay healthy, so the Jets need to as well.
NFL Draft Implications
The Jets currently own the fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft, as well as the seventh pick, courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks. Their fourth pick can move up to third if the Houston Texans beat the Tennessee Titans this week, but with the Titans currently in possession of the #1 seed in the AFC Playoff picture, they likely will try to dominate.
Another game that can effect their picks is the New York Giants vs. Washington Football Team. The Giants currently own the fifth pick, but assuming they win, coupled with a Seattle Seahawks win over the Arizona Cardinals, the seventh pick will stay there.
Hopefully, things play out perfectly, but expect the picks to stay where they are after this week.
This has been a preview of the New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills.