Allen, Bills ready for rebound at winless Jets
The downtrodden New York Jets are the only remaining winless NFL team as they enter Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills at East Rutherford, N.J.
The offense has been anemic, the defense has been porous, and the chorus of people calling for coach Adam Gase to be fired is growing louder after last Sunday’s listless 24-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
But perhaps the most harrowing anecdote is that the Jets are last in the NFL with 75 points scored, while every other NFL team has tallied at least 100.
Factor in that the Jets are losing by an average of 18.3 points per game and there doesn’t appear to be much room for a turnaround.
“The only thing you can do is that you have to stay in the moment, and tune out the outside noise,” veteran quarterback Joe Flacco said during a conference call. “It’s a lot harder to go out every week in practice. It happens to a bunch of teams every year, but the NFL doesn’t stop playing games because you’re going through a tough time.”
Flacco has started the past two games, a span in which the Jets scored 10 total points. He may be on the sideline against the Bills as Sam Darnold (shoulder) returned to practice Wednesday as a limited participant and took the bulk of the first-team repetitions.
Darnold suffered an AC joint sprain of his passing shoulder on Oct. 1 against the Denver Broncos. Gase said he will wait until later in the week to determine whether Darnold is ready to return to his starting role.
“All options are available,” Gase said. “We’ll have him on a pitch count. I think really the biggest thing is how he’s going to feel (Thursday).
“If there’s anything that lingers or anything where he’s throwing (in pain), that’s kind of his red flag of, ‘Hey, I have to let you guys know.’ We need him to be real honest.”
The Bills (4-2) are in first place in the AFC East but are a fragile club after getting wiped out by two of the AFC’s leading title contenders.
Buffalo was smacked around during a 42-16 road loss to the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 13 and then sustained a 26-17 home setback against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday.
“We’re not gonna panic, we’re gonna stay solid in our locker room,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said of the losses. “There’s no panic, but there is a sense of urgency.”
Allen’s level of play certainly declined in the consecutive losses. After throwing 12 touchdown passes against one interception over the first four games, Allen has four touchdowns and three interceptions with a long gain of just 22 yards over the past two.
The 24-year-old has been stellar overall this season with 1,711 yards and 16 touchdowns against four interceptions. But he made it clear the drop-off in play — he passed for a season-low 122 yards against the Chiefs — is unacceptable.
“I was not good enough. I got to do a better job, it’s plain and simple,” Allen said. “… This team can’t afford to have me play poorly.”
Allen played well in Week 1 when the Bills recorded a 27-17 home win over the Jets. He passed for 312 yards and two touchdowns and also added 57 rushing yards and a score.
Wideout Stefon Diggs caught eight passes for 86 yards in the first game against New York. He has three 100-yard outings and leads the team with 42 receptions, 555 yards and three touchdowns.
There certainly is room for points to be scored with New York ranking 29th in scoring defense (30.8 points per game). Cornerback Pierre Desir has three interceptions but also has been prone to being beaten for sizable gains.
Buffalo averages 26.0 points on offense but is allowing 28.0. Defensive end Mario Addison has three sacks and safety Jordan Poyer has 52 tackles.
Allen is nursing a sore shoulder but practiced on Wednesday. Receiver John Brown (knee) is expected to be sidelined for the second time in three games.
The Jets are hurting on the offensive line as guard Alex Lewis (shoulder) sat out practice Wednesday while tackles Mekhi Becton (shoulder) and Chuma Edoga (calf) are also ailing. Top receiver Jamison Crowder (groin) also was limited.
–Field Level Media