BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot
FINAL THOUGHTS: I’ve seen many ugly Buffalo Bills games in my lifetime. Tonight’s game against the Jets is right up there with many other hard to watch games. Buffalo fell to 1-2 after losing 27-20 to the Jets. While the score indicates that the game was close, Buffalo struggles offensively and defensively.
Offensively, EJ Manuel really struggled against the Jets’ pressure. The offensive line didn’t do Manuel any favors, but it’s clear the Bills quarterback was frazzled on Sunday. Manuel finished the game 19/42 (45%) and was sacked eight times. When passing the ball deep, Manuel often led his wide receiver out of bounds. It was an ugly game for Manuel, but those are to be expected with a rookie signal caller.
In the run game, C.J. Spiller was stifled much he was in the season opener against the Patriots. Spiller ended up leaving the game with an injury, but his ineffectiveness in two of three games is a bit troublesome. Fred Jackson led the way with seven rushes for 72 yards. Jackson’s appears to be the only back who can run between the tackles successfully.
The receivers were rather ineffective for Buffalo, but a lot of that had to do with Manuel’s passes. Much of Buffalo’s offensive success was actually thanks to the Jets and their penalty issues.
Defensively, the Bills failed to sack Geno Smith on Sunday. While Kiko Alonso and Jim Leonhard each intercepted Smith, the Jets rookie quarterback was able to move the ball down field on Buffalo’s secondary. Smith finished with 331 yards passing and two touchdowns.
Much of Smith’s success passing was due to injuries on Buffalo’s defense. Marcell Dareus left the game with an injury and in the secondary, Leodis McKelvin suffered an injury early in the game. With Stephon Gilmore, Jairus Byrd and Ron Brooks out with injuries, the Jets often targeted Justin Rogers to great success. It’ll be a game to forget for Rogers as the team begins to prepare for the Baltimore Ravens. Buffalo needs to get Gilmore, Byrd and McKelvin back as soon as possible to help with the effectiveness of Buffalo’s defense.
The Bills came close to stealing a game they didn’t deserve to win, but instead they are now 1-2 and two games back in their division.
The Bills lose 27-20 to the Jets. The team falls to 1-2 and 0-2 in the AFC East.
The Bills have 21 seconds to move the ball 99 yards.
With 30 seconds to go, Buffalo will get the ball back.
Buffalo stops the Jets on third down and will get the ball back with less than a minute remaining.
Buffalo calls their final timeout and the Jets face 3rd and 6. There’s 1:32 remaining in the game.
Manuel throws the ball out of bounds on fourth down. That’s likely the game right there as the Jets take over on downs.
Some blatant holding by Cordy Glenn moves the Bills closer to the end zone, unfortunately its their own.
Manuel takes a sack after Colin Brown gets abused.
EJ Manuel finds Scott Chandler for a first down. The ball is now on Buffalo’s 40 yard line.
Buffalo stops the Jets on third down and call a timeout with 2:54 remaining.
Buffalo is forced to punt and the Jets have the ball with 4:36 remaining up seven.
The Jets just gave the Bills another first down on a penalty.
The Jets jump on third and five and give the Bills the first down.
David Harris is down on the field for the Jets. Buffalo should take advantage of this to draw up a good play on third and five.
Buffalo forces a three and out and the Bills take over on their own 34 yard line.
The Jets force a Bills punt and have the ball 7:47 remaining. Look for the Jets to be pretty run heavy.
EJ Manuel finds Stevie Johnson for a gain of 21 yards to keep the chains moving on Buffalo’s current drive.
Jets 27 – Bills 20
The Jets came out firing and Buffalo’s weakened secondary could not stop them. Santonio Holmes catches a 69 yard touchdown reception to give the lead back to the Jets. There’s 9:23 remaining in the game.
With the game tied, it’ll be interesting to see how conservative both offenses will be with rookie quarterbacks.
Bills 20 – Jets 20
The Bills tied the game following an EJ Manuel touchdown pass to Scott Chandler. The Bills went for two points and converted with a pass to Stevie Johnson. Kyle Wilson gets most valuable player on the drive as his four penalties helped keep the chains moving.
Kyle Wilson just got called for his fourth penalty this series. FOURTH! Rex Ryan has pulled Wilson following the play.
Kyle Wilson has been called for this third penalty this series, although one was offsetting.
The Bills cannot seem to hold onto the ball today, but the Jets defense keeps bailing the Bills out.
Kyle Wilson gets called for illegal contact so the Bills end up with a first down.
Stevie Johnson costs his team an automatic first down by getting called for a personal foul on Kyle Wilson.
Geno Smith throws the ball away on third down, but the bad news for the Bills is that C.J. Spiller is walking into the locker room with an apparent knee injury.
Manuel gets sacked by Calvin Pace on third down and what started out with a nice completion to Stevie Johnson quickly falls apart.
EJ Manuel gets sacked on first down on a pass he should have thrown away. On second down he comes close to tossing an interception. Buffalo faces a 3rd and 17.
The ruling on the field stands and the Jets are now out of challenges.
EJ Manuel connected with Stevie Johnson for a gain of 23 yards on first down. The play is currently under review as Johnson’s second foot is near the sideline.
The Jets go for it on 4th and 1 and the Bills stopped the Jets. Buffalo takes over on their own 37 yard line.
Buffalo stops the Jets on third and 1. The Jets offense is still on the field.
Jets 20 – Bills 12
Dan Carpenter connects on 26 yard field goal following Kiko Alonso’s interception. Buffalo decided to run the ball two times up the middle before attempting a pass. The play-calling in this game has been maddening. There’s still 5:35 left in the third quarter.
Marcell Dareus is currently out of the game with an ankle injury. His return is questionable. Buffalo has really been hit by the injury bug today against the Jets.
Jets 20 – Bills 9
EJ Manuel is struggling mightily today against the Jets pressure. Buffalo was able to move the ball down the field thanks to some nice plays by Fred Jackson, a solid run by Manuel and a pass interference call. Dan Carpenter hit his third field goal, this time from 43 yards, to get the Bills within 11 points.
Jets 20 – Bills 7
Buffalo has given up far too many third down conversions to the Jets today, especially third and long situations. Nick Folk made a 34 yard field goal to extend the Jets lead to 13. There’s 9:48 remaining in the third quarter.
Buffalo stops the Jets on third down, but the team is well within field goal range.
The running theme of the game and Bills season is that the team cannot stop their opposition on third down. On third and 12, Santonio Holmes catches a 40 yard pass to move the chains.
The Santonio Holmes turnover was overturned and ruled an incomplete pass.
Geno Smith found Santonio Holmes for an 8 yard gain before the ball was stripped by Justin Rogers. The Bills recovered the ball, but it’s currently under review.
Bilal Powell runs for a gain of 21 yards on the Jets first play of the second half.
Buffalo cannot convert on third and three and has to punt. A 66 yard Shawn Powell punt lands in the end zone and the Jets take over on their own 20.
A pass interference call on Antonio Cromartie keeps the Bills moving on their first drive of the second half.
Editor’s Halftime Thoughts:
The first half has been an ugly one for the Buffalo Bills. As has been the problem in the first two weeks of the season, the Bills have failed to sustain offensive drives. The defense has also not been at its best in the first half, giving up three scoring drives including two touchdowns, along with 243 total yards to the New York Jets offense.
- Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel had a terrible first half. His only significant downfield completion was a 29-yard gain for Robert Woods on a wide-open crossing route. Manuel completed just five of 10 passing attempts for 53 yards.
- Running back C.J. Spiller was even worse than Manuel. He has gained just nine rushing yards on nine carries. The main reason for Spiller’s ineffectiveness: he has been hesitant in the backfield, not attacking the middle of the field north-and-south, and the Jets are shutting down his attempts to pop the ball outside.
The Bills may be better off running Fred Jackson, who has more between-the-tackles ability, in the second half. Spiller has been a huge disappointment thus far this season, and he needs to start creating plays by running more aggressively or catching passes out of the backfield.
- Defensively, the attrition to the team’s secondary has been evident. The Bills have none of their starters in their regular positions: cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and free safety Jairus Byrd were inactive for the game due to injuries and cornerback Leodis McKelvin left the game on the team’s first series with a hamstring injury, which forced the team to move strong safety Aaron Williams out to cornerback.
The makeshift secondary, consisting of Williams and Justin Rogers as the outside cornerbacks, Jim Leonhard and Da’Norris Searcy as the safeties, Nickell Robey as the slot cornerback and Duke Williams as the dime defensive back, has given up some big plays. The biggest victim thus far has been Rogers, which was burned on a 51-yard deep ball from Jets quarterback Geno Smith to wide receiver Stephen Hill on a play where Searcy was also out of position.
All in all, the Bills will have to play significantly better on both sides of the ball for a comeback victory.
Jets 17 – Bills 6
Nick Folk connects on a 47 yard field goal to end the half. Buffalo’s up-tempo offense just cost them three points. With Manuel getting sacked on first down, the team should have run the clock down on its next two plays.
Geno Smith has moved the Jets into field goal range with 5 seconds remaining.
Marcell Dareus gets called for a neutral zone infraction on the first play of the Jets series. Geno Smith connects with Santonio Holmes and the team is almost at mid-field.
Buffalo goes three and out very quickly. The Jets call a timeout and will receive the ball with 52 seconds left in the first half.
Nick Mangold snaps the ball when Geno Smith is not ready and the Jets recover the fumble on their own 31 yard line. Buffalo is set to receive the ball with 1:48 remaining.
Justin Rogers didn’t bit on the flea flicker and broke up a deep pass intended to Stephen Hill.
The Bills go for it on fourth and two and EJ Manuel gets sacked. The Jets take over on their own 36 yard line.
Kraig Urbik is down on the field after the Bills lose a yard on third and one.
When the Bills decide to pass before third down, good things happen! Robert Woods gains 29 yards on the play.
Jets 14 – Bills 6
Geno Smith connected with Stephen Hill for a 51 yard touchdown pass with Justin Rogers in coverage. Smith took a shot as he connected on the touchdown. Kudos to the rookie quarterback for hanging tough in the pocket.
Although Geno Smith has one interception, he is outplaying EJ Manuel by a wide margin to this point.
Jets 7 – Bills 6
Buffalo’s Jim Leonhard intercepted Geno Smith to put the Bills on the 21 yard line. Buffalo moved the ball near the endzone, but couldn’t punch it in. Instead, Dan Carpenter hit a 23 yard field goal to cut the Jets lead to one point. There’s currently 9:57 remaining in the first half.
Jim Leonhard intercepts Geno Smith on a deep pass intended for Santonio Holmes. The Jets also get called for a facemask penalty so the Bills take over on the Jets 21 yard line.
Jets 7 – Bills 3
Dan Carpenter connects on a 37 yard field goal to cut the Jets lead down to four points with 13:45 remaining in the first half.
A huge run by Fred Jackson on third and short for a 59 yard gain. Jackson needs to protect that ball when he’s carrying the ball. Cromartie had a chance of ripping that ball out.
Leodis McKelvin is out for the remainder of the game. Buffalo’s secondary is already extremely thin. Should be interesting to see how the Bills handle the situation.
Jerry Hughes with a bad jump there. A 3rd and 9 is now 3rd and 4.
Santonio Holmes makes a great catch on third and 13. Once again, the Bills couldn’t get to Smith to apply any pressure to him.
Buffalo loses five yards on their series and Powell punts the ball into the Jets’ end zone. Not exactly taking advantage of their field position.
Buffalo takes over on their own 44 yard line. The Bills need to take advantage of their excellent field position.
Much better series for the Bills defensively as they force a three and out on the Jets. Jim Leonhard is back to receive the punt.
Keep an eye on Stevie Johnson going forward. He landed awkwardly on his wrist on Buffalo’s first series.
Buffalo struggled to move the ball on their first series and had to punt the ball away. Powell boomed a 57 yard punt which Jeremy Kerley returned to the Jets 12 yard line. Let’s see if Buffalo can put together a decent series here with the Jets buried deep.
Jets 7 – Bills 0
An awful start for the Bills as Geno Smith runs the ball in on a quarterback draw. There’s 9:26 remaining in the first quarter and the Bills will be getting the ball for the first time.
Another third down conversion by the Jets. The Bills defense cannot get off the field.
Leodis McKelvin is currently out of the game. Nickell Robey replaces McKelvin.
Another long 3rd down conversion for the Jets. A 19 yard gain on third and 17.
Buffalo hasn’t placed much pressure on Geno Smith to this point. The Jets face 3rd and 17 on their first drive.
Geno Smith finds a wide open Stephen Hill for 45 yards on 3rd down.
I don’t know about anyone else, but it felt as though time stood still this afternoon. Ready to watch the Bills and Jets square off!
It’s going to be interesting to see how the Bills run against the Jets defense today. Through two weeks, the Jets have held opposing offenses to 119 net rushing yards.
While you’re waiting for today’s game to start, check our Eric Samulski’s preview of the game’s top storylines and matchups.
Jets inactives are as follows, per their official Twitter account:
QB Brady Quinn
OLB Ricky Sapp
G Will Campbell
OL Ben Ijalana
OL Oday Aboushi
WR Ryan Spadola
OLB Scott Solomon
Unfortunately Jairus Byrd isn’t healthy enough to play against the Jets today. He was listed as questionable this week after being listed as doubtful the first two weeks of the season. Byrd is getting closer to returning to Buffalo’s secondary, but it won’t be this week.
The Buffalo Bills have announced their inactives for today’s game:
5 Dustin Hopkins
24 Stephon Gilmore
31 Jairus Byrd
33 Ron Brooks
59 Doug Legursky
88 Marquise Goodwin
89 Chris Gragg