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The Way I See It... From the Desk of Ed Kilgore

Bills Brace for Jets

By now the shock of news that Von Miller is out for the season with a torn ACL is wearing off, but then again, so is the euphoria of the Bills leap back into the AFC top seed position.

Miller’s attitude has been positive, and he plans to be present in practice and on the sidelines encouraging his D-line buddies and offering tips if he observes something useful.


Miller also said this week after a meeting with Odell Beckham Jr. at Josh Allen’s house “we’ve done all we can do”, which sounds like OBJ is probably gonna land elsewhere.  No biggie, since it’s unlikely he’s even ready to play this season.


Reality is the Bills have no margin for error now, starting with the Jets on Sunday. The Bills are hefty 10 point favorites.  At 9-3, the Bills still have 5 games left and 3 of them are AFC East games they’ll be favored to win. It’s possible the Bills could be a slight underdog for a Monday Night game at  Cincinnati Jan 2nd, but it’s the Chiefs who have the schedule advantage now.


The Chiefs will be heavy favorites in their 5 remaining games, meaning the Bills may have to win out to tie them at 14-3, of course winning the tie breaker by beating KC earlier.  But first things first.


The Jets.


The Bills 20-17 loss roughly a month ago to the Jets in New Jersey was, by far, Allen’s worst game this season.  He barely threw for over 200 yards, had no TD passes and threw two costly interceptions.  He was sacked 5 times, and oh by the way, injured his right elbow on the final series.


While the elbow appears to be close to normal, an even more optimistic view of Allen is that he’s weathered the storm of a mini slump and has been excellent in 3 straight wins. The Bills running game, not coincidentally, has also been improving with both Devin Singletary and rookie James Cook sharing the load.


Weather will be a factor this Sunday.  It’s going to  be drizzling or worse throughout the game in Orchard Park, and studies have shown the QB’s passing completion percentages go down about 3-5% in rainy weather.  Luckily the wind won’t be a factor as it can be in December here.


The Bills loss to the Jets wasn’t all on Allen by any means. The Bills defense couldn’t stop the Jets running game in the 4th quarter when it mattered.  The absence of Greg Rousseau, Matt Milano and Jordan Poyer hurt, but all 3 are expected back. Milano is nursing a sore knee but should  play.


They’ll be facing a different quarterback for the 7-5 Jets. Zach Wilson, who had only 154 yards passing in the Jets win, also didn’t turn it over, a trait which led him to being benched in favor of Mike White.   White will start against the Bills, even though Jets coach Robert Saleh promises Wilson isn’t out of the picture.  Not sure about that message, but that’s their problem.


White had no TD passes in the Jets loss at Minnesota last week, but he threw for 369 yards, and oh yes, 2 int’s.  A year ago against the Bills when White started due to a Wilson injury, White threw 4 interceptions.  The Bills, even without Miller, will focus on stopping the run, but also on getting pressure on White, who has some talented targets.


So how will the Bills react to playing without Miller, their Super Bowl Whisperer?


Start with Josh Allen.


He’s still here and still standing.  Allen is the man. His teammates know it, and so do the Bills’ opponents. His record of bouncing back against teams he’s had bad games against is mind boggling.


With Miller gone, it’s on Allen again.


That’s good enough and then some.


Bills win a low scoring affair 24-10.





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