The Buffalo Bills was defeated by the New York Jets in this past Sundays contest by a score of 27-11. This game was a matchup between AFC East foes with supremacy of the division on the line. With the loss the Buffalo Bills fell into a 3 way tie with the New England Patriots, and New York Jets all having a matching record of 5-3.
The Buffalo Bills were out matched and out coached in the contest by the defensive genius and Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick seemed confused for much of the afternoon never settling into a rhythm or able to sustain drives for long stretches. The game was close through the first 2 quarters with a halftime score of 3-0 and the Jets leading, before scoring 24 second half points. The Buffalo Bills squandered several opportunities to capitalize on the Jets mistakes mainly that of QB Mark Sanchez. The first opportunity came in the 1st quarter after a 10 minute drive by the New York Jets where QB Mark Sanchez was intercepted by Safety Jarius Byrd in the endzone, it marked the second consecutive week Byrd recorded an interception. The Buffalo Bills was unable to convert the turnover into points and was forced to punt. Towards the end of the second quarter after a Ryan Fitzpatrick interception, Mark Sanchez again turned the ball over at midfield giving it back to the Buffalo Bills only to have Ryan Fitzpatrick throw another interception.
The Bills offense throughout the beginning of the season has been a slow starting unit in fist halves of games. In games this season the Bills has been held scoreless twice at the half and held to 3 points in another. Coming into the game the Jets had the 25th ranked run defense however played much better than their ranking. The Jets were able to contain Fred Jackson who is one of the leading rushers in all of the NFL. Fred Jackson also had a uncharacteristic fumble allowing the Jets a short field and converting the turnover into points. Penalties hurt the Bills, there were two pass interference calls on Bills defensive backs. Leodis McKelvin who has had an up and down year was flagged for a pass interference call on Plaxico Burress as was Terrence McGee on Santonio Holmes in the endzone.
Defensively the Bills was unable to stop the ground and pound rushing attack that Rex Ryan prefers to call it. The Buffalo Bills didn’t give up as many rushing yards as in game past but didn’t stop the ground game enough for the Jets to abandon it fully. Last week the defense accumulated 10 sacks on the Washington Redskins, however that same production wasn’t shown versus the Jets the defense only recorded one sack in the contest. On offense QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was pedestrian passing for under 200 yards and throwing 2 interceptions. In the game Fitzpatrick did challenge CB Darelle Revis several times, normally most teams stray away from Revis but Fitzpatrick and WR Steve Johnson had more success than many who has tried. Steve Johnson finished with 3 catches and 83 yards with most of his yards coming on a 55 yard catch and run. The offensive line unit has been hit hard most recently by the injury bug resulting in players to play out of position. Most notably Guard Andy Levitre who has shifted to play Left Tackle with the absence of Demetruis Bell out the lineup.
The Bills are still in contention for a berth into the AFC playoff but will need to work on these areas to remain in the race. With the amount of injuries that has been piling up Coach Gailey will need to assess his roster properly by assuring there is no drop off in production at those positions. It has been reported DT Kyle Williams will miss the remainder of the season with a foot injury, Marcell Dareus should assume the starting position as he has for the past 2 games. Kyle Williams was a Pro Bowl player last season and his injury will take a toll on the defense that is already struggling. Also Kicker Rian Lindell was injured in the loss and will be out with a broken shoulder for 2-6 weeks, his replacement will need provide the consistent production Lindell has provided through the years. As stated in a previous post no vertical game has been established for the Bills offense. To be successful in today’s NFL you’ll need to keep the defense guessing if not just to take shots down field for possible pass interference penalties. The majority of the Bills long pass plays has come from slant routes and screens passes executed properly by RB Fred Jackson. On the current roster the Bills has no down field threat an area that hopefully will be address through April’s draft.
The Buffalo Bills will play the Dallas Cowboys this upcoming Sunday which will begin a 3 game road trip. The defense of the Cowboys is home to one of the best LB in all of football DeMarcus Ware who currently has 12 sacks in the early part of the season. The Buffalo Bills will need to neutralize Ware to be successful on offense and not have a repeat performance of last Sunday game. The Cowboys will be without one of their best offensive weapons Austin Miles who will miss the game with a hamstring injury. QB Tony Romo can be erratic at times, an area that the Bills defense could capitalize on and turn defense to offense. This should be an interesting matchup between the 2 teams that meet in back to back Super Bowls in the earlier 90’s.
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