Monday, September 3, 2012

Bills' center on Jets' D: 3rd down will be a challenge


If the Buffalo Bills want to beat the New York Jets Sunday for the first time in five meetings, they'll have to improve their chain-moving efficiency.

Buffalo was just 3-for-11 on third down in a home loss to the Jets last season, and the Bills weren't much better in the teams' second meeting, going 6-for-15 on third down in a defeat at the Meadowlands.

"This is going to be a good measuring stick for us," Bills center Eric Wood told the media Monday of the teams' upcoming Week 1 bout. "They kind of had our number in that first game last year and then I did not play in the second one. I know I am looking forward to this."

Buffalo faces the task of controlling a very stout Jets defensive front, both in personnel and scheme.

"They have a talented front," Wood said. "Their inside D-tackles are really good and they bring pressure from so many different angles. On third down it will be a challenge."

Former Bills first-round bust Aaron Maybin, who is now a Jet, found a niche in the Jets' defense last year during his first year with Gang Green, and he was most successful against his former team, recording his first professional two-sack game against the Bills.

Maybin will join 2012 first-round pick Quinton Coples on third down, and the Jets boast another up-and-comer in Muhammad Wilkerson and veterans Sione Pouha and Mike Devito to fill out the front.

A mixture of linebackers David Harris, Bart Scott, Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace and rookie Demario Davis will man the second tier of the Jets' defense.

Pouha might miss Week 1 due to a back injury. He's been one of the best interior defensive linemen in the game the last couple years, but the Jets are confident second-year tackle Kenrick Ellis can do the job.

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