Last night the Buffalo Bills manhandled the New York Jets in every facet of the game en route to a 38-3 victory. The win was much needed after the team suffered back-to-back losses in a four day span, before an intense snow storm forced the team to miss nearly a week of practice and eventually send them to play in Detroit. The Bills had every excuse to have the score of the game reversed, but they fought through the adversity as a team and came out firing on all cylinders Monday night.
On offense, Kyle Orton had one of his most efficient outings of the season, completing 24-of-31 pass attempts (77%) for 230 yards and two touchdowns. His receivers dropped four passes, but his accuracy percentage was 90.3% on the night. The offensive line was a bright spot, consistently holding their own in pass protection against a strong Jets’ defense.
Robert Woods Shines
After Sammy Watkins took advantage of Darrin Walls in the team’s first meeting with the Jets, it was Robert Woods’ turn to play with the young, awful cornerback. Woods was targeted 11 times, catching nine passes for 118 yards and a touchdown.
Just one night after Odell Beckham Jr. tried to match Kim Kardashian in her quest to break the internet, Woods managed to haul in an incredible one-handed catch himself, holding the ball to his helmet to secure the pass. Woods has been relatively quiet this year, but last night showed the weapon he can be when he’s involved.
Run Game Looked Solid
On the ground, the Bills also had success, gaining 116 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries against a very strong Jets’ front.
Boobie Dixon had the rushing highlight of the night with his 30-yard touchdown. The play worked because Erik Pears, who has struggled all year, was able to seal Damon Harrison to open up the “A” gap, while Kraig Urbik was able to make a big second-level block to free a path.
Both the run and pass game were clicking, but the most promising aspect of the game was the team’s effectiveness in the redzone. Scoring touchdowns instead of field goals has been a problem for the Bills when they got inside their opponent’s 20-yard line this year, but last night they scored on all three trips.
Defensive Line Continues To Wreak Havoc
On defense, the defensive line continued to set the tone. Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes each had two sacks, bringing their respective totals to 12 and 9.5 on the year. The Bills now have three of the top seven sack leaders in the NFL.
Mario Williams flat-out embarrassed whoever was lined up in front of him throughout the game- whether it was Breno Giacomini, Willie Colon, Jace Amaro or a combination of the three, Mario had his way.
Across from him, Jerry Hughes presented his own problems for D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Oday Aboushi, generating six quarterback pressures in addition to his two sacks.
The Jets couldn’t protect Michael Vick against a four-man rush, which allowed Buffalo’s back-seven – primarily Nigel Bradham—to swarm to the ball. Bradham recorded 10 tackles (six stops), two for a loss, and broke up a pass, while contributing two more big tackles on special teams.
The play of the front seven eliminated any chance of a vertical element for the Jets to work into their passing game, and the Bills’ defense feasted.
Danny Crossman Stays True To His Word
Special teams will always get overlooked, but the Bills’ coverage units were outstanding last night. Jordan Gay kicked off seven times, but Percy Harvin and John Connor managed to gain just 90 total yards on six returns. The Jets average drive started at the 15.7 yard line following kickoffs.
In addition to the kick coverage, Boobie Dixon blocked a punt that was recovered by Manny Lawson for a touchdown. Jeremy Kerley had a 41-yard punt return, but his other two went for two yards.
The Bills have a tough road ahead of them, but they’re still mathematically in the playoff race. While I doubt the playoffs are a real option this season, considering the surrounding pieces in the AFC, this season has shown that these are not the same old Bills. They’ve suffered tough losses, like every team does. But what’s different is the attitude of this team. Nobody is pointing fingers or making excuses for losses or shortcomings. They’re coming out to play every week and they’ve been in every game. While playoffs are likely out of the picture this season, it’s quite clear that the Bills have the potential to be future contenders in the AFC.