PFF Preview: Bills @ Jets, Week 8
The 4-3 Buffalo Bills travel to take on the 1-6 New York Jets in this AFC East clash. It marks the first appearance of Percy Harvin as a Jet, can he spark some life into the struggling Jets offense and help to turn around a dismal season?
The Bills can match strength against strength, pitting their stout run defense (allowing a league least 3.2 yards per attempt) against the Jets’ productive ground game (fifth in the league with 4.7 yards per attempt). Forcing the Jets into obvious passing situations, will allow the Bills’ intimidating pass rushers to get after Geno Smith. All four of Buffalo’s starting defensive line have graded positively against the run, led by Marcel Dareus with a +7.2 grade in that department, fifth-best among defensive tackles. Outside linebackers Nigel Bradham and Preston Brown are also important; Bradham is credited with 11 solo stops for a 10.1 Run Stop Percentage, while Brown’s 21.5 Tackling Efficiency grade is third-best at the position.
The Jets are also stout against the run, and match up well against a Bills team that lost its two leading rushers to injury last week. Accordingly the Bills likely have to win through the air, creating the opportunity for the Jets to bring pressure. An effective strategy as the Bills guards Cyril Richardson (-10.8) and Erik Pears (-8.5), and tackle Seantrel Henderson (-9.6), have graded poorly in pass protection. That suits a Jets team that has a pair of disruptive defensive ends, in Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson. Richardson has 22 total pressures for a 8.1 Pass Pushing Productivity grade, while Wilkerson has 21 for a 7.0 PRP grade, ranking seventh and ninth among qualifying 3-4 defensive ends.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
Anthony Dixon – Although limited to a rotational role prior to last week, Dixon has already shown up well as a rusher in Buffalo; his three missed tackles in the open field give him a team leading 51.9 Elusive Rating.
Jerry Hughes – Seven sacks and 26 total pressures give the former TCU standout an 11.0 PRP grade, sixth-best among 4-3 defensive ends, and the best mark among defensive linemen from the 2010 draft.
Corey Graham – Whether playing cornerback or safety, Graham’s +4.9 coverage grade leads all AFC East defensive backs.
New York Jets
Damon Harrison – Harrison continues to excel against the run, his 15.0 Run Stop Percentage and +11.0 grade against run lead all defensive tackles. Harrison led the league in both categories in 2013 .
Nick Mangold With a +10.6 overall grade (the best among centers), and a 98.8 Pass Blocking Efficiency, Mangold appears to be back to his best.
Percy Harvin – An explosive open-field runner, Harvin led all receivers in 2012 with 22 missed tackles, despite only playing in nine games.
Recently at PFF