The New York Jets were heavy underdogs against the Buffalo Bills this week, and they hadn’t beaten their divisional rivals since the closing game of the 2019 season. In that game, Buffalo had nothing to play for, so they rested most of their starters heading into the playoffs. In this week’s game, though, the Jets needed no such help, as they came back from a 14-3 deficit to engineer a 20-17 victory.
The Jets had a great game plan, and they executed it to perfection on Sunday against a Buffalo team that looked like it was stuck in the mud right from the jump. Here’s how our five Jets to watch fared this weekend.
RB James Robinson
The newly acquired running back was the less effective of New York’s two primary rushers, but he still had a strong day at the office. Robinson rushed 13 times for 48 yards, adding two catches for five yards and a touchdown on the day. If you had Zach Wilson to James Robinson as the sole passing touchdown in this game, I assume that you also have the winning PowerBall numbers this week, too. Anyhow, it was actually Michael Carter (12 carries, 76 yards, one reception for 10 yards) who was the more explosive back, as he used his speed to beat Buffalo repeatedly around the edge. Robinson had a good day, however.
WR Garrett Wilson
The game’s leading receiver was not Stefon Diggs, at least in terms of receptions. That was instead Wilson, who caught a game-high eight passes for 92 yards, trailing Diggs for the most yards in the game by just one yard. Wilson was unguardable at times, as he used his speed and physicality to beat all three of the corners Buffalo had playing him. Whether it was on slants, outs, or in-cuts, Wilson was a handful for Buffalo’s typically sound secondary. The Jets didn’t throw it often, especially in the second half, but nine of Zach Wilson’s 25 pass attempts went to Garrett Wilson. I think we know who Tre’Davious White will cover in December.
DL Quinnen Williams
The big defensive tackle is having a career year, and he notched his seventh sack of the season in this one. That ties his career high in sacks, which he managed in 13 games back in the 2020 season. Williams has played just nine games so far, so there’s a great chance that he’ll blow right on by that total this season. It stings a bit to watch Williams develop into such a dominant force given that he was selected in the same draft that the Bills took Ed Oliver, and while Oliver has been bothered by an ankle injury this year, their production is especially lopsided this season: Williams has those seven sacks and 33 tackles, including six tackles for a loss this year. Oliver has nine total tackles and has yet to register a tackle for a loss in 2022. Sure, it was just one Sunday in November, but Williams thoroughly outplayed his draft mate.
LB C.J. Mosely
This guy is just so good in coverage. He does all the things that Tremaine Edmunds does for the Bills in terms of limiting what teams can do in the intermediate passing game, with one very big exception: Mosley is a big hitter, which is not something that Edmunds can claim to be. On more than one occasion, quarterback Josh Allen tried to hit a running back or a wideout over the middle, only for that player to be met with a big thump from New York’s menacing middle linebacker. Mosley had six tackles, one sack, one quarterback hit, and one pass breakup on the day—but his presence within the scheme limited what the Bills could do.
CB Sauce Gardner
Buffalo went right after him on the first play from scrimmage, and they connected on a huge gain from Allen to Diggs on a stop-and-go route. That should have led to a score of some kind, but two plays later, Allen threw a terrible interception on a head-scratching throw to tight end Dawson Knox to end the threat. Gardner was trouble all day, as he provided good, physical coverage throughout the contest. Allen even threw a pass right to him in the third quarter, leading to Gardner’s second interception of his rookie season. On the Bills’ final offensive play, Gardner trailed wide receiver Gabe Davis and proved to be just annoying enough where a perfectly placed 70-yard bomb from Allen fell harmlessly through Davis’ arms. I’ve seen some clamoring for pass interference on the play, but I don’t see it: Gardner never turned around to look for the ball, but he didn’t grab Davis, either, and while there was handfighting while the two ran down the sideline, Davis could just as easily been called for a weak push-off on the play. Gardner had seven tackles and a pass breakup to go along with his interception.