Jets’ tank could be back on if they can’t stop surging Bills – New York Post

No, the Jets have not petitioned the NFL to switch from four quarters to three. They are not pushing for 45-minute games instead of 60 minutes.

But you could not blame them if they thought of it. The past two weeks they have entered the fourth quarter leading, only to see those leads evaporate. And now they are riding a three-game losing streak entering a Thursday night game against the division-rival Bills.

At 3-5, the Jets season feels like it is hanging by a thread. One more loss and it might be look-ahead-to-next-year time. But the Jets players and coaches insist they still feel like they can get this thing fixed.

“I believe in our group, I believe in the resolve that we have within our building and from the coaches,” quarterback Josh McCown said. “It’s like we’ve said before as far as trying to figure out a way to close out games and take the next step to be the team that we want to become, and these are the times that you earn those stripes because you go through these times together. From what I’ve seen in the locker room [this week], I think we’re doing the right things. We just have to keep our head down, keep working and get this thing to turn.”

The Jets face a tough challenge with the 5-2 Bills coming to town. Buffalo beat the Jets to open the season and has won four of its last five games.

The word of the week around the Jets again was “finish.” In the past three weeks, they were up on the Patriots and Dolphins by 14 points in each game and last week they were beating the Falcons by seven points in the first half and one point in the fourth quarter.

“We’ve just got to finish,” defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson said. “It’s a team sport. We can’t just say, ‘Oh, the offense has to finish.’ We all can finish. The defense can put the game away by scoring. The offense can put the game away by scoring. Special teams can put the game away by scoring. Any of the three phases can help finish these games.”

This is the Jets’ only scheduled prime-time game of the year. Last season, they played well in prime time against the Bills, but were embarrassed in three other games with the Cardinals, Colts and Dolphins. The nation will get its chance to see if the Jets can save their season or start the talk about 2018.

Marquee matchup

Bills RB LeSean McCoy vs. Jets front seven


LeSean McCoy had a big day against the Jets earlier this season.Getty Images

McCoy ate up the Jets in their Week 1 meeting. He ran for 110 yards and added another 49 yards receiving. McCoy, is one of the most elusive and toughest backs to take down in the NFL, rushed for a season-high 151 yards against the Raiders last week.

“He’s going to be a tough draw whether you play him one time or two times,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said. “He’s a tough back. He’s one of the best backs in the league. He’s shifty, he’s strong, he’s powerful, he has great vision, he has great hands. It take a lot of discipline [to defend him] and you have to be very good as far as tackling.”

The Jets are 28th in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing 128.3 yards per game, but they have played better of late.

“I think these past couple of weeks in the run game, we’ve been doing our job,” defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson said. “The front seven has been doing a good job. … We just have to bring that same mentality we’ve been having the past couple of weeks as a front seven and bring that same mentality to the game Thursday night.”

Four downs


Micah Hyde leads the NFL in interceptions.Getty Images

Take, Take, Take: The Bills defense has been one of the most opportunistic in the league. Buffalo has 17 takeaways, tied with the Ravens for the most in the NFL. The Jets are tied for 28th in the league with 14 giveaways, so this could be a key matchup. Bills safety Micah Hyde is the player to watch. He has a league-high five interceptions.

“It’s a good group, they’re playing hard,” Jets quarterback Josh McCown said. “Coach [Sean] McDermott has them playing hard. You can see his imprint on that team and on that defense, that’s the main thing. They don’t necessarily do a whole lot scheme-wise, they just play really hard and aggressive, and attack the football and take it away. Like it is every game, protecting it is at a premium and we plan to do that. We know we have our hands full with that group because they’re a good defense.”

Staying grounded: One of the main storylines after the Jets’ loss last week was running back Matt Forte expressing his displeasure with offensive coordinator John Morton for getting away from the run. It will be interesting to see if those comments have any effect this week.

Forte had only four carries against the Falcons, and the Jets ran the ball 22 times overall. Buffalo is third in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing an average of 80.1 yards per game, so this may not be the week to expect to run the ball well.


Tre’Davious White (left) and Jamal Adams (middle) were teammates at LSU.Getty Images

Young tigers: Both the Jets and the Bills tapped into the talent at LSU in the first round of the 2017 draft and it has worked out. The Jets took safety Jamal Adams with the sixth pick and the Bills grabbed cornerback Tre’Davious White with the 27th pick.

Adams has been outstanding for the Jets, and White is playing really well for Buffalo. White has 12 passes defensed, the most in the NFL. Adams has shown his versatility in coverage and as a blitzer in recent weeks. He has two sacks to go along with four passes defensed and 38 tackles.

Bill-leave: New coach Sean McDermott has the Bills faithful excited with their 5-2 start. The bad vibes of the Rex Ryan era have vanished as the Bills have cleaned house of some of the bloated contracts and malcontents they had on their roster.

If the Bills win to improve to 6-2, this would be their best start since 1993 when they opened the year 7-1. Those were the Super Bowl glory years for the Bills, a team that has not been to the playoffs since 1999, the longest playoff drought in sports.

Costello’s call

The Jets have been close the last three weeks, but have just fallen short. They finally put it all together in the fourth quarter in this one and find a way to beat an overrated Bills team.

Jets 23, Bills 17

Jets’ tank could be back on if they can’t stop surging Bills – New York Post

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