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, N.Y. (AP) — The only time rookie quarterbacks Josh Allen and Sam Darnold got on the field when the Bills faced the Jets a month ago was to shake hands following Buffalo’s lopsided victory.On Sunday, much more is anticipated from both when the two AFC East teams meet in Orchard Park.Allen, drafted seventh overall, will make his third start for Buffalo since missing four games with a sprained right throwing elbow. And the Jets’ Darnold, drafted third, is on track to return since missing three games with a strained right foot.The focus on the two quarterbacks represents one of the few reasons for intrigue in a meeting of teams — Buffalo is 4-8 and the Jets 3-9 — with little on the line entering the final month.Just don’t ask Jets coach Todd Bowles to commit to starting Darnold despite the rookie being a full participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday.“Trying to get him better and getting him healthy, and then we’ll go from there,” Bowles said, when asked if he could satisfy people’s curiosity over who’ll start. “I’m not really looking to making people happy.”The Jets haven’t done much to make anyone happy for plenty of other reasons.In losing six straight, they’ve followed one low point with another, while raising questions over Bowles’ job security.There was New York’s 41-10 loss to the Bills, after which Bowles said: “We stunk it up as coaches, we stunk it up as players.”Then came last weekend, when the Jets squandered a 16-0 lead in a 26-22 loss at Tennessee. Bowles referred to the collapse as “one of them games you’ll remember for the rest of your life.”Continuing Darnold’s development then becomes the priority, much like the Bills’ approach to Allen.Both have had their inconsistencies.In Week 2, Darnold became the NFL’s youngest quarterback to top 300 yards passing in a 20-12 loss to Miami. On the downside, he also leads the league with 14 interceptions, including four in his last start, a 13-6 loss to Miami.Allen was erratic, going 69 of 114 for 657 yards and two touchdowns, with five interceptions and a lost fumble in his first five starts. He has shown signs of progress by going 26 of 52 for 391 yards with three TDs and two interceptions in his past two.Allen is also proving to be an adept scrambler by combining for 234 yards rushing and a touchdown in the past two games.“We’re watching a young man grow and develop right in front of our eyes,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said.The Jets can only hope for the same once Darnold returns.“Before he got hurt, he was developing. He was seeing the defenses better. He was making his reads. He was making his audibles and checks at the line,” Bowles said. “That part of it we were very pleased with. Some of those things he’ll have to get back.”Here are other things to know when the Jets and Bills square off:BAD MEMORIESThe Jets insist they’ve moved on from the Bills’ loss, a game they trailed 31-3 at the half, and were outgained 451 to 199 yards offense. They haven’t forgotten, however.“Let’s cut to the chase, man — it’s personal,” safety Jamal Adams said. “They came in and they whooped us, man. They don’t like us. We don’t like them.”SPUTTERING JETSThe Jets have scored one or fewer touchdown in a franchise-worst five consecutive games. They’ve also been limited to one field goal on 17 fourth-quarter possessions over their past four games. Eight ended with punts, five with interceptions, two on downs and one missed field goal.Bowles said the blame is on the entire offense Tre’Davious White Jersey 2019
, and not simply first-year offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates.“It’s not from a lack of trying or everybody trying,” Bowles said. “It just hasn’t happened and it’s extremely frustrating that we can’t get a touchdown instead of field goals.”IMPROVING BILLSAfter going through three starters in their first nine games, the Bills averaged 248 yards offense and 10.6 points an outing.The past three games, including Matt Barkley’s one start against the Jets, the Bills are averaging 398 yards offense and 27.3 points.Allen said the improvement goes beyond statistics. “It’s the feel that we have. It’s the chemistry in the locker room right now,” he said.RARE TAKEAWAYSThe Jets tied an NFL record by going five straight without forcing a turnover. That drought ended when Trumaine Johnson returned a pass from Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota 31 yards for a touchdown.By comparison, the Jets have the NFL’s fourth-most giveaways (24), one fewer than Buffalo.THE FUTURE IS NOWAfter releasing receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes on Tuesday, the Bills could have as many as five starters on offense with less than two years of NFL experience. Their defense already features four players in their first or second seasons. Heading into the 2017 NFL season, the Buffalo Bills revamped their defensive secondary. They allowed former first-round draft pick Stephon Gilmore to sign a lucrative deal with the New England Patriots. They also traded their other starting corner, Ronald Darby, to the Philadelphia Eagles. At safety, they replaced veterans Corey Graham and Aaron Williams with a pair of free agents.While some free-agent acquisitions don’t pan out, Buffalo hit on both of its moves at safety that off-season. Micah Hyde, who had served as a jack-of-all-trades in the secondary for the Green Bay Packers over the duration of his rookie contract, was voted to his first Pro Bowl last season. His counterpart, Jordan Poyer, set career-highs in every statistical category the same year. In our second-to-last look at the state of the Bills roster, we profile the safety group, which has been the saving grace of the defense over the better part of the last two seasons.Micah HydeContract status for 2019: Signed; $6,618,750 cap hit ($4.8 million dead cap if cut)Age: 28 (29 on 12/31/19)Playing time: 15 games (15 starts), 881 snaps (86.88% of defensive total), 112 St snaps (25.51%)Key statistics: 58 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 interceptions, 5 passes defended, 1 fumble recoveryHyde’s 2018 season was not nearly as good statistically as his 2017 season, as he had fewer tackles, interceptions, and passes defended. However, Hyde seemed to perform just as well overall White Zay Jones Jerseys
, and the defense was stronger as a group. Now entering his third season as a full-time starting safety, Hyde has developed into one of the league’s better all-around players. He and Poyer form a dynamic duo that should continue to play at a high level next year.Jordan PoyerContract status for 2019: Signed; $3.825 million cap hit ($1.75 million dead cap if cut)Age: 27 (28 on 4/25/19)Playing time: 16 games (16 starts), 1009 snaps (99.51% of defensive total), 101 ST snaps (23.01%)Key statistics: 100 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 3 QB hits, 2 sacks, 4 interceptions, 6 passes defended, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recoveryFor the second consecutive year, Poyer was arguably the better of the Bills’ two safeties, even if it is Hyde who receives more of the attention. Poyer’s per-16 game averages with Buffalo are excellent, as his “average” 16-game season with the Bills includes 100 combined tackles, five interceptions, ten passes defended, a fumble forced, a fumble recovered, two sacks, and seven tackles for loss. His contract is an incredibly friendly one for the franchise, and while I don’t agree with reworking deals that have multiple years left on them, he is someone to watch for in terms of receiving an early extension, especially if he continues his solid play throughout the beginning of next season.Rafael BushContract status for 2019: Signed; $1.8 million cap hit ($300,000 dead cap if cut)Age: 31 (32 on 5/12/19)Playing time: 15 games (7 starts), 452 snaps (44.58% of defensive total), 136 ST snaps (33.26%)Key statistics: 45 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 QB hits, 1.5 sacksThe veteran came in via free agency, and he did a very good job this season. He was the team’s third safety, but he was also their backup slot cornerback. After rookie Taron Johnson was placed on injured reserve in December due to a shoulder injury, Bush took over as the team’s primary slot corner. His numbers indicate a player who is more comfortable playing in the box and hitting people than he is in coverage Zay Jones Jerseys 2019
, and he did a very good job as a extra blitzer off the edge in pressure packages. While his contract would allow for the Bills to release him at next to no harm to the franchise’s overall cap, it would be wise to retain him for next season. Good depth is hard to find, and the Bills have found a much better R. Bush than the last person by that name to suit up for the team.Siran NealContract status for 2019: Signed; $641,504 cap hit ($214,512 dead cap if cut)Age: 24 (25 on 8/4/19)Playing time: 16 games (0 starts), 15 snaps (1.48% of defensive total), 249 ST snaps (56.72%)Key statistics: 11 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 QB hit, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recoveryThe first of Buffalo’s fifth-round draft picks in April made little impact as a rookie, serving as a core special-teams player but doing little on the stat sheet. His position is one to watch going forward, as the Bills could look to add more quality depth with greater potential in the defense. He could also spend another year learning the defense and playing special teams as a depth player.Dean MarloweContract status for 2019: Signed; $645,000 cap hit ($0 guaranteed)Age: 26 (27 on 7/25/19)Playing time: 2 games (1 start), 54 snaps (5.33% of defensive total), 19 St snaps (4.33%Key statistics: 5 tackles, 1 pass defendedMarlowe’s season certainly was interesting. Called up from the practice squad leading up to the Bills’ Week 5 game against the Tennessee Titans, he was pressed into starting duty when neither Micah Hyde nor Rafael Bush were healthy enough to play. Marlowe responded by playing every snap on defense, making four tackles and breaking up a pass in a 13-12 Bills’ victory. While he is by no means a world-beater, he is the perfect player to have on the back-end of the roster: he knows the defense well enough to step up in a pinch, and he is on a low-cost contract.Positional OutlookBuffalo is good here. They could very well look to add another player, and they will definitely bring a few in at least for training camp and the pre-season; however, there is no need to allocate serious resources to improve what is already a strong unit. Poyer and Hyde are written into the starting lineup in Sharpie, and while the trio of Bush, Neal, and Marlowe should by no means be guaranteed a roster spot in 2019, they should definitely be given first crack at retaining their jobs.