Jets Blow Past Bills 37-31
Big plays not enough to overcome potent Jets offense.
by Steve Saslow
Ryan Fitzpatrick led a highly tuned offensive attack to victory and put an end to the talks that Rex Ryan owns him. Fitzpatrick finished 24 for 34 for a whopping 374 yards and Matt Forte added three touchdowns as the Jets beat the Bills 37-31. The Bills were outplayed as the defense struggled all night. They were only in the game for a while thanks to the long ball and a defensive touchdown. Tyrod Taylor had scoring strikes of 84 yards to Marquise Goodwin and 71 yards to Greg Salas. The Bills actually scored 14 points in the first 3:45 of the second half to take a short lived lead. The Salas touchdown was followed by Nickell Robey-Coleman returning a fumble for a score. One of the rare defensive highlights. The Jets regained control quickly responding to the Bills 17 unanswered points with 17 of their own. Mike Gillislee ended the scoring with an 18 yard touchdown reception to make the final score close again.
The Turning Point:
4th Down Stop: The Bills were driving down by 6 and went for it on 3rd and 1. EJ Manuel was stopped on a keeper. He then stayed on the field to draw them offsides and it didn't work so the Bills had to waste a valuable timeout. They then went for it anyway and were stopped short on a dive by LeSean McCoy. With the Jets offense moving the ball at will midway through the fourth quarter that was the game right there. The Jets went right down the field to put an exclamation point on their victory.
The Big Drive:
Jets Regain The Lead: After the Bills scored two quick touchdowns to grab the lead in the third quarter the Jets responded. They drove 84 yards in 12 plays to the retake the lead and they would not relinquish it again. Brandon Marshall had a 14 yard reception and Eric Decker had a 17 yarder in the drive. Forte took it the final three for the touchdown.
Stat I Did Like:
Yards Passing: Just grasping at straws here but Taylor threw for 269 yards.
Stat I Didn't Like:
Jets WR 1st Half Stats: They caught 11 of 12 passes for 210 yards in the first half. They had a 100 yard rusher, 2 100 yard receivers and a 92 yard receiver.
- Bruce Smith had his number 78 retired during a halftime ceremony. He is the second Bill to have his number retired. The first 50,000 fans received small Smith Jersey shaped towels. #78 was painted on both sidelines.
- Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish fame sang the national anthem. He is a diehard lifelong Dolphins fan but he's a friend of Smith's and did it for him when he asked.
- Former Bills LB London Fletcher led the charge for the game.
- This was the first game played under the name of New Era Field. The Bills also played the Jets in the first game at Rich Stadium and under the name Ralph Wilson Stadium.
-- It was a color rush game so the Bills wore their alternate red jerseys.
Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
HC Rex Ryan vs. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: Winner: Fitzpatrick.He was simply awesome in this game.
WR Sammy Watkins vs. CB Darelle Revis: Winner: Revis. He was beaten by Goodwin for a score but Watkins was very quiet.
LT Cyrus Kouandjio vs. DE Leonard Williams: Winner: Kouandjio. Williams didn't do too much damage.
LB Preston Brown vs. RB Matt Forte: Winner: Brown. He was the only defensive player that played well.
Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Let Tyrod Play: Success! They took shots deep early and often. He connected for two long touchdowns.
2. Protect Taylor: Success! He had time to throw.
3. Keep Emotions In Check: Failure! They had too many mental mistakes. Penalties just killed them on the Jets early drives.
On opening day the offense was pathetic but the defense looked good. In this game the defense was absolutely awful while the offense showed signs of life albeit in spurts. The bottom line is the Bills are now 0-2 and the season is in jeopardy of being over before hockey season even begins. The terrible summer this team had has carried over into the regular season and now it looks like another lost year in Buffalo.
The Bills have 10 days before their next game and it is also at home. It doesn't get easier though as they face one of the best teams in the NFC in the Arizona Cardinals.
Preston Brown - Was all over the field and the only one who played well. He was in on a whopping 16 tackles and forced a fumble.
Stephon Gilmore - He lost millions with his horrible performance. He was burned repeatedly and had a big penalty.
Ronald Darby - He was also burned repeatedly and had a big penalty against him. He at least defended a few passes in between getting burned.
Rex Ryan - He was all in with his defense but refused to adjust when his corners were getting burned all over the field. Did a horrible job of clock management as well.
Sammy Watkins - He may have been playing hurt but he was a non factor.
Player Of The Week
Preston Brown - Pretty much the only one who played well.
Positional Breakdown and Grades
Jets Game Preview