When the New York Jets take the field in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills they won’t have to worry about the presence of Von Miller.
Buffalo kept Miller on the reserve/PUP list which means he’s out at a minimum for the first four games of the season. That will obviously include the season opener on Monday Night Football on September 11 against Gang Green.
From The Insiders on NFL+: The #Bills kept Von Miller on reserve/PUP, meaning he’s out the first four games of the season. pic.twitter.com/kCM0JxFb2l
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 29, 2023
Miller’s Absence Completely Changes Tenor of Jets-Bills Game
Miller only played against the Jets once last season, he missed the second meeting due to a torn ACL.
In that contest, the Bills’ star pass rusher had a strip sack forcing a turnover when the Jets were in the red zone.
During the 11 games he played in 2022, the former Texas A&M star finished with eight sacks, 12 quarterback hits, and 10 tackles for loss.
The Jets’ offensive line after months of questions and speculation is finally starting to come together at the perfect time ahead of the season.
The five projected starters Duane Brown, Laken Tomlinson, Connor McGovern, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and Mekhi Becton have been getting in practice time with one another ahead of the game.
That hasn’t been the case all offseason. There were multiple starting gigs up for grabs in training camp and the team was working through an array of injuries.
The absence of Miller will be a massive boost for an offensive line that is starting to gel late in the process.
Miller Chess Piece Has a Ton of Influence on Rest of Bills
You could feel the impact of Miller on the Bills in his very first game. It was Week 1 of 2022 and he went bananas. He had a pair of sacks, three tackles for loss, and three quarterback hits against the Los Angeles Rams.
As disruptive as he was as a singular entity his pass-rushing prowess was infectious to his fellow Bills teammates.
The other Buffalo defenders combined to add an additional five sacks to that total in that 2022 season opener. They benefitted from all of the attention that was thrown at Miller and took advantage of their own one-on-one matchups to make an impact.
However, after he tore his ACL in Week 12, the rest of the Bills defense could never recover.
When Miller was on the field last year, the Bills’ four-man pass rush had a pressure percentage of 29.6 percent which was fifth best in the league. When he wasn’t on the field, the Bills had a 25.1 percent pressure rate which was No. 22 in the NFL, per ESPN Stats and Information.
Let’s expand that a bit further, with Von, Buffalo owned the No. 6 rated pressure percentage and the No. 10 ranked sack percentage. However, after he got hurt Buffalo’s pressure percentage dropped to No. 19 and their sack percentage fell to No. 20 (including playoffs), per Alaina Getzenberg of ESPN.
Those are dramatic differences and in Week 1 the Bills won’t have their top sack artist to unleash on the Jets’ offense.
The big question for the Bills is whether they will be able to create enough pressure to get after Aaron Rodgers with a bunch of guys not named Von Miller.
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