Jets @ Bills
Final Score: Bills 32, Jets 6
Writer: Brett Ford (@fadethatman on Twitter)
Coming off of one of the worst, most publicly embarrassing losses in its franchise’s modern era – falling 24-22 to the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football – the Buffalo Bills had a lot of mess to clean up. That started with the firing of offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey and the promotion of Joe Brady to interim OC and primary offensive play caller.
After failing to reach 30 points scored in each of its previous six contests, with some of those coming against bottom-of-the-barrel defenses (Giants, Bengals, Broncos), the Buffalo offense looked refreshed and renewed despite playing a division rival in a short week. Brady had the Bills firing on all cylinders. With no scapegoats remaining in the building, Sean McDermott looked as if he was coaching for his job on the defensive side of the football as his team responded with one of its best performances of the season.
Meanwhile, the Jets continued their death spiral with their third consecutive loss. With Zach Wilson still struggling at quarterback, Robert Saleh finally pulled the plug on his starting quarterback. As competent as he looked last week, Wilson was downright bad on Sunday against Buffalo, dragging the whole team (including his head coach) down with him.
Zach Wilson taking Robert Saleh down with him is poetic pic.twitter.com/fiqLCFDzJz
— #RingerNFL (@ringernfl) November 19, 2023
Let’s dig in.
New York Jets
Zach Wilson: 7/15, 81 Yards, TD, INT | 4 Carries, 15 Yards
It was a long day for Jets fans, but it was a short day for Zach Wilson. Wilson was pulled midway through the third quarter after proving largely ineffective once again. The Jets’ only successful drive all day was fueled by a fake punt (on which Thomas Morstead delivered a better ball than Wilson had most of the day) and a roughing the passer penalty. Wilson earned a passing touchdown, although Breece Hall did all the work, following blockers into the end zone off a screen pass for the team’s lone score.
With a short week and another tough game on Friday at home against the Miami Dolphins, it’s not a guarantee that Wilson will start on Black Friday.
Tim Boyle: 7/14, 33 Yards, INT | 1 Carry, 1 yard
Somehow Tim Boyle looked worse than Wilson, which I’m sure Jets fans didn’t think was possible. He completed seven passes, none of which traveled more than seven yards, and threw two picks (though one was overturned after a replay). Seriously, the Jets might run Trevor Siemian out there as the starter on Friday.
Breece Hall: 10 carries, 23 yards | 6 targets, 5 receptions, 50 yards, TD
Breece Hall is a gift to football, but he’s being wasted on a New York Jets squad that can’t get out of its own way. Hall struggled rushing the ball but was highly effective as a pass-catching back. He took five passes for 50 yards and ran behind his blockers for a screen pass touchdown in the second quarter. Any play that is designed to put the ball in anyone else’s hands on this offense is a bad play at this point. Hall is the best thing the Jets have going. And it’s not close.
Just another Sunday for Breece Hall pic.twitter.com/w4unlDOKXk
— Barstool ISU (@BarstoolISU) November 19, 2023
Dalvin Cook: 2 carries, 13 yards | 1 target
He’s been asking for a larger role and got it in this one, serving as the primary third-down back. It’s just not working out. He showed burst on the one 10-yard run that he ripped off, but it’s difficult to justify taking Hall off the field and Dalvin Cook’s skillset isn’t made for catching passes.
Israel Abanikanda: 1 carry, 11 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 5 yards
The Jets are just seeing what they have here. Nothing really notable about Israel Abanikanda from a fantasy standpoint other than that he was on the field for the first time this season.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Jeremy Ruckert: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 25 yards
Jeremy Ruckert has clearly passed CJ Uzomah on the depth chart as Ruckert was used as the second tight end while Uzomah was on punt coverage. Ruckert caught a career-high three passes and ran routes on two-thirds (16) of the snaps he was on the field for (24).
Garrett Wilson: 8 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards, fumble (lost)
Garrett Wilson continues to get peppered with targets, generating nearly a 30% target share in this game, but is unable to do much with it. Several of the passes thrown his way were uncatchable and the ones that he did catch were in short-yardage areas where he failed to generate any YAC, mostly due to the lack of threats the rest of the Jets’ offensive skill players possess.
Tyler Conklin: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards
Tyler Conklin was a large part of the offense the past few weeks but barely factored into this one. Though he’s still the primary tight end, he may need to keep an eye on Ruckert in his rearview.
Xavier Gipson: 2 targets, 1 reception, 7 yards, fumble (lost)
Allen Lazard: 1 target
Despite fumbling the opening kickoff, Xavier Gipson was on the field as a wide receiver more often than Allen Lazard was. Gipson recorded 44 snaps and 34 routes run while Lazard tallied 37 snaps and 24 routes run. At this point of the season, Gipson should be considered as the number two wide receiver in New York. Though, if Aaron Rodgers comes back at any point that would likely change, swinging the pendulum back toward Lazard.
Josh Allen: 20/32, 275 Yards, 3 TDs, INT | 5 Carries, 15 Yards
Josh Allen bounced back from a poor week 10 performance with a solid game on Sunday, helped out by a few big plays from his skill position players, including an 81-yard catch and run for six by Khalil Shakir. Allen made some good throws (like the one below) and a couple of questionable decisions, but nothing as egregious as what Bills fans have seen in weeks previously. His interception came at the end of the first half when he scrambled to his left and tossed a lame duck toward the end zone as time expired.
Khalil Shakir Truthers Rejoice 😍😍😍😍pic.twitter.com/gm8njVoaik
— PlayerProfiler NFL (@Profiler_NFL) November 19, 2023
Fantasy managers might be concerned though because Allen continues to look like a different quarterback this season than from seasons past. He just isn’t running with the football. He has rushed for fewer than 20 yards in six of his last eight games and his rushing average is down from 47.6 yards per game to just 23.7 yards per game. It’s not the same ceiling as it was a year ago, but the floor is still pretty solid for one of the better quarterbacks in the league.
James Cook: 17 carries, 73 yards | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 29 yards, TD
James Cook might end up as the biggest beneficiary of the Bills’ offensive coordinator change, especially in the short term. Cook earned 12 out of 15 running back opportunities in the first half, including a touchdown pass designed specifically for the running back out of the backfield.
James Cook’s first touchdown since week 7 🙌 pic.twitter.com/O9XcdlIV6n
— NFL Fantasy Football (@NFLFantasy) November 19, 2023
Cook handled 17 out of 30(!!) running back carries for the Bills on Sunday, as Joe Brady showed an increased commitment to the running game (and the team’s top running back). With Leonard Fournette still hanging out on the practice squad, there’s potential for Cook to see his touches limited as the season wears on, but for now fantasy managers should be rejoicing over the expulsion of Dorsey.
Latavius Murray: 10 carries, 35 yards
Latavius Murray got 10 carries on 24 offensive snaps, but his role was reduced in this one as Ty Johnson cut into his workload pretty significantly. In previous games, Murray had been relied on for third-down duties and two-minute drills pretty regularly, but Johnson got that role on Sunday. It’s definitely a situation to monitor with the OC change.
Ty Johnson: 3 carries, 11 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 47 yards, TD
Welcome to Buffalo, and just in time to face your former team, Ty Johnson! Johnson served mostly as a third-down and pass-catching back in this game, as his usage increased significantly with Brady in the booth. Johnson’s touchdown came on a designed pass play where he took off on a wheel route out of the backfield, beating the coverage to the flat behind a rub route and out-pacing the defense up the sideline for a score. Johnson could be fantasy-relevant if he maintains his role as a pass-catching back in this offense.
TY JOHNSON REVENGE GAME pic.twitter.com/XaWgXbscQW
— Trainwreck Sports (@TrainwreckSprts) November 19, 2023
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Dalton Kincaid: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 46 yards
Dalton Kincaid continues to be an elite PPR tight end, pulling in a team-high six catches for 46 yards on Sunday against a tough Jets defense. He looked as if he could have scored on a first-quarter catch. He caught the ball, evaded his defender, and took off down the middle of the field. Instead of trying to evade the next tackler in space, he plowed directly into them and was brought down in the red zone. I really thought we were going to see a hurdle highlight out of the rookie, but it wasn’t to be.
Stefon Diggs: 8 targets, 4 receptions, 27 yards
A team-high in targets is always great, but Stefon Diggs wasn’t able to do much against a very talented defensive secondary as he was held to just four catches for 27 yards. With more tough matchups coming (at Philadelphia, at Kansas City, vs. Dallas), Diggs will need to step up more than he did Sunday in the near future if the Bills want to continue their playoff push.
Khalil Shakir: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 115 yards, TD
Khalil Shakir ran fewer routes than Gabe Davis but pulled in three receptions, including a game-breaking 81-yard touchdown. He was extremely efficient in this game and though the production was elite, he’s still only recorded one game with more than four targets so far this season. Remember the boom-or-bust option that Davis was in the past couple of years? I think that’s Shakir now.
Gabe Davis: 0 targets
No, but really. Davis just posted his second 0.0-point performance in three weeks. He’s cuttable.
Deonte Harty: 1 target
Quintin Morris: 2 targets, 1 reception, 11 yards