Week 18 is the penultimate week of the 2021 NFL season as teams continue to battle for playoff positioning. One of those teams not in contention for a playoff spot is the New York Jets. The Jets will miss the playoffs for the eleventh consecutive season. However, for the first time in a long time, the Jets could play the spoiler in the final week of the season. The Jets travel to Buffalo Orchard Park, NY to face the Bills in NFL Week 18. With so much on the line for the Bills and the Jets playing better over the last few weeks, this game could be closer than what the spread indicates.

Zach Needs to Keep Playing Well

Back in Week 10, the Bills traveled to MetLife Stadium and stomped the Jets, 45-17. Quarterback Zach Wilson did not play due to a knee injury sustained three weeks prior in New England. This will be Wilson’s first game against the Bills. The rookie has experienced his share of struggles this season. Over the past three weeks, though, Wilson has played much better. This will be a big test for the Jets’ quarterback in NFL Week 18 against a Bills defense that ranks first in yards allowed (286.5 YPG). Critics and fans alike agree Wilson played his best game of the season last week against Tampa Bay. If not for a coaching boo-boo on their final drive, they would have won the game. A win in Buffalo would mean the carrying of positive momentum into the offseason.

Skeleton Crew of Receivers

What a nightmarish season for the Jets receiver corps in terms of injuries. Corey Davis was lost for the season on December 7 when the Jets announced he would have surgery on his groin. Jamison Crowder has been on and off the injured list himself with a calf problem. Rookie Elijah Moore has battled ankle and quadriceps injuries this season. Denzel Mims has been on the struggle bus for a myriad of reasons this season. The last straw was Braxton Berrios – PFF’s fifth-rated receiver since Week 12 – was placed on injured reserve on Friday with a thigh bruise Zach Wilson will have Crowder, Mims, Keelan Cole, and Jeff Smith as his receivers on Sunday. He’ll also have Tyler Kroft and Kenny Yeboah at tight end. If the Jets are going to beat the Bills in NFL Week 18, it’ll have to be with this receiving corps.

Avenging Week 10

Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich has a long, long memory. In their first game in Week 10, the Bills were stinging from an embarrassing showing in Jacksonville the week before. They took their frustration out on the Jets by forcing five turnovers – including four interceptions of Mike White – as the Bills took a 38-3 lead after the third quarter. Ulbrich was asked about that game as the Jets prepare to face the Bills in NFL Week 18.

When a team has a comfortable lead on you and they keep throwing the ball deep on you, that leaves a mark. That leaves an impression.

Jeff Ulbrich

Bills quarterback Josh Allen went 21-of-28 for 366 yards and two touchdowns in that game. Though the Jets secondary is just as thin as their receiving corps, Ulbrich looks to have the defense prepared in Buffalo.

Prediction Time

The Bills have a lot to play for in NFL Week 18, but the Jets look to play the spoiler. If the Bills win, they win the AFC East Division. If the Bills lose, they will need Miami to beat New England to win the division. The Bills are favored in this game by 16 in a windy Highmark Stadium. I believe the game will be closer than what many think. The Jets will play well, but come up short. Bills 31, Jets 21.

I’m Ryan McCarthy and I cover the New York Jets beat for Belly Up Sports. We have a lot more to offer in our NFL coverage. If you want to chirp at me regarding the Jets, life, or other topics, hit me up on Twitter: @whoisryanmcc. Thanks for reading.
About Author

Ryan McCarthy

Ryan is a veteran of sports blogging since Al Gore invented the Internet. He has spent time with SportsHungry, e-sports.com, and ArenaFan. Ryan is a 2020 graduate from Regent University as a Journalism major. He hopes to make this sports media thing a full-time gig someday.

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