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Five Buffalo Bills to watch vs. the New York Jets

The Bills need a win in the finale to clinch the AFC East

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills host the New York Jets in the first-ever 17th regular-season game for each team. While the Jets have long been eliminated from playoff contention, the Bills have clinched a postseason berth for the third consecutive season. The Bills may have a playoff spot sewn up already, but the AFC East title is still up for a grabs, and they need a victory this week to secure it.

The Bills can fall anywhere from the No. 2 seed to the No. 7 seed depending on this week’s results. Given that the team already has its playoff ticket punched, however, another goal for the week is to escape from the game against the Jets as healthy as can be.

For the regular-season finale, here are our players to watch this week.

QB Josh Allen

I’d love to see Allen have a lights-out game as a passer after struggling to throw much last week. Bad luck led to two interceptions, though one of the two tipped-ball picks he threw did come following a bad decision to force a throw into the end zone. A third interception came on an overthrow up the seam where Cole Beasley was mugged eight-yards down the field. I want to see exactly zero designed runs for Allen in a game where victory is the main goal, but protecting his health is another incredibly important factor. Buffalo should be able to win this one without putting Allen in harm’s way. Keeping him upright is essential.

RB Zack Moss

While it’s been Devin Singletary doing most of the good work of late, I’d like to see his backfield mate in Moss see more touches this week. Over the last three games, Singletary has 63 touches on 180 snaps. Moss, on the other hand, has 19 touches on 66 snaps. Singletary has certainly earned the right to be the lead back, and I want to see him continue to be the lead back in the playoffs. A little bit more Moss this weekend could help ease the load on Singletary, who has set career-highs this year in touches and snaps.

WR Marquez Stevenson

He fumbled a punt return last week, and then followed it up by juggling another catch attempt that he managed to turn into a solid gain. On two kickoff returns, Stevenson managed to run directly into the back of his nearest teammate, following his blocks to a far-too-literal degree. Hopefully, this game is one where Stevenson can see some reps at wide receiver, too, to give him a little game experience there. At the most basic level, though, I want to see a clean game in the return area for the team’s primary returner.

CB Taron Johnson

If he plays, slot receiver Braxton Berrios could be a huge problem, as he is on a tear of late. Over his last four games, Berrios has 20 receptions for 180 yards and a touchdown, five rushes for 25 yards and two touchdowns, and ten kickoff returns for 332 yards and a touchdown. Sure, those receiving numbers aren’t huge, but think about how woefully inept the Jets have been offensively at times this year. Berrios is second on the team in receptions and fourth in receiving yards, and Buffalo’s slot corner is going to be responsible for guarding him throughout the afternoon. Even if Berrios sits, Elijah Moore also operates out of the slot—and even though he’s missed the last month with a quad injury, he has a chance to suit up this week. The strength of the Jets’ receiving corps is in the slot, so Johnson will be a focal point this week.

P Matt Haack

The last time he did anything other than hold for a field goal or an extra point was at the ten-minute mark of the fourth quarter during Buffalo’s 31-14 win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 15. I’ll be watching Haack to see if he’s called upon to do his job on Sunday.