It appears we have seen the last of EJ Manuel's career in Buffalo. His 9 for 20 for 86 yards three quarter performance should be the exclamation point on his career. He was replaced by Cardale Jones in the fourth quarter of the Jets 30-10 win at the Meadowlands. Jones didn't do much better throwing an incompletion on fourth down and had one pass intercepted. He did complete a 64 yard bomb to Justin Hunter to setup the Bills only touchdown in the final minutes of the game. Mike Gillislee scored on a one yard plunge but it came after he had the boneheaded play of the season when he failed to fall on a fourth quarter kickoff in the end zone and the Jets had an easy final touchdown.
The Turning Point:
EJ Fumble: A hard third quarter sack of Manuel was originally ruled down by contact but the review reversed it and gave the Jets the ball at the Bills 13. It was also the 10th giveaway by the Bills on the season stopping them from setting an NFL record for least giveaways in a season. The Jets got their second touchdown on 3rd down pass to give the Jets a two touchdown lead which was insurmountable on this day.
The Big Drive:
Jets First TD: They drove 75 yards in 7 plays in 4:34 yards to the first score of the game, a 2 yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Bilal Powell. The way the Bills offense was playing that was enough to take control of the game. The first play of the drive was a 51 yard bomb to Quincy Enunwa. He also caught a nine yard pass on 3rd and 8 in the red zone to setup the score.
Stat I Did Like:
Penalties yards: The Bills finally got this right, they had no penalties accepted against them.
Stat I Didn't Like:
Rushing Yards Given Up: 127 yards given up on the ground, 122 to Powell.
Scene Setters: - The Bills wore all white uniforms for the finale. - Even though it made sense it was jarring to see Tyrod Taylor on the inactive list. Adolphus Washington was a surprise inactive for the first time in his career. - Offensive assistant Chris Palmer were Anthony Lynn's eyes in the box. Lynn is more comfortable calling plays from the box but was calling them from the sidelines for the first time. - One change under Lynn, the Bills won the toss and took the football. Ryan deferred everytime but once when they won the toss and they won the toss every week but two. - The starting offensive line were the team captains today: Ryan Groy, John Miller, Richie Incognito, Cyrus Kouandjio, and Jonathan Mills.
Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article: RB LeSean McCoy vs. MLB David Harris: Winner: Harris. McCoy left early with an ankle injury but as a whole the running game was stymied all game long. LB Lorenzo Alexander vs. LT Ben Ijalana: Winner: Alexander. He had a fourth quarter sack. DB Ronald Darby vs. WR Brandon Marshall: Winner: Darby. Only because Marshall didn't play. Darby didn't do much in this game though. QB EJ Manuel vs. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: Winner: Fitzpatrick. He played well, EJ was awful.
Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out: 1. Motivate Themselves: Failure! They never showed any interest in playing this game. 2. Force Fitz Into Mistakes: Failure! He did a nice job of ball security not turning the ball over at all. 3. Take Pressure Off Of EJ: Failure! Manuel was awful but so was just about everyone else.
A loss was really a good thing for the Bills as it helped their draft position. Still it's always hard to see them lose and to just totally show no fight for Anthony Lynn was just another in a long line of disappointments we fans have had for 17 years.
What has become a bi-yearly tradition. The search for a new head caoch, the building of a new coaching staff, and the likely flip flopping from between a 3-4 and a 4-3 defense. Groundhog Day continues in Buffalo. Bills Daily will be doing our year end player grades, launching our 2017 front office page, and tallying up all the gameballs, goats, and player of the week winners in near the future. Our main focus of course for the immediate future will be tracking the coaching search.
None - Did anybody get off the bus?
Ronald Darby - He was burned a few times and just didn't play well.
EJ Manuel - Even Doug Whaley must now realize it's time for him to move on.
Player Of The Week
None - Just a pathetic end to another losing season.