Buffalo Bills Players to Watch: Week 18
In the final game of the regular season, the Buffalo Bills host the New York Jets. A Bills win ensures a home playoff game for the second straight year. The Bills should take care of the Jets this week, but it’s going to be closer than everyone thinks. The Jets seem to play up to the teams they play, beating the Titans with Derrick Henry, leading the Buccaneers until the final minute, and played close games against both the Colts and Bengals. There are some keys for the Bills to win and on offense it starts with the new and improved run game.
Over the last four games, Singletary is averaging around 72 yards and a TD per game. Expect that trend to continue this week because the Jets struggle against the run. They are currently 29th in the league in rushing yards allowed (over 136 yards per game). This number only increases in away games (146 YPG). Expect to see Singletary get about 15 to 18 carries this week and around 100 yards rushing.
Diggs is six receptions away from one of his incentives. I’m confident Josh Allen is going to help Diggs get his money. Diggs will have at least six catches in this game and find the endzone at some point.
If Bates plays this week, it will be a huge win for the Bills up front. He has been playing great football on the offensive line, but has had a couple injuries slowing him down the last two weeks. Bates is definitely one of the Bills’ best interior offensive linemen right now and having him in the lineup is crucial for the playoffs. I said it last week and I’ll say it again, continuity on the offensive line is one of the most important things come playoff time. Having the same group of guys going into battle every week and knowing each other’s tendencies is a big part of playing offensive line. They must work as a unit to make sure the skill players can do what they do.
The Jets are starting Conor McDermott at left tackle this week. He has only played 89 offensive snaps and has allowed two sacks this season. I’m going to guess that about half were run plays, so he is allowing a sack around every 23 snaps. I like that matchup for our young edge rushers (Greg Rousseau and A.J. Epenesa) this week. They should be able to create a lot of pressures and finish with some sacks. Rousseau and Espenesa will combine for 3.5 sacks and one of them will cause a fumble.
This is going to be a massive week for the Buffalo Bills and hopefully a big win and a home playoff game.