My goodness! What a pulse pounder (both good and bad). I had my cardiologist on speed dial the whole game today! They never made it easy. But I’ll take it and be thrilled to do so!
Yes it’s game one of 16 and yes they cannot play like they did in the1st half and ever expect to win again. But I’ll still take it.
Division road game, geeked up crowd. Jets’ free agents playing great, four turnovers (and more that were there to be taken), eight new offensive starters who look like they had never been introduced to each other and yet they held their own and finally found their footing and game speed on offense. The defense was solid to terrific all game and the continuity showed.
So my question is who led the exorcism at halftime? Somehow the spirit of Nathan Peterman had infused the body and brain of Josh Allen. Did anyone else think it looked a lot like every Nathan Peterman start here?
All of a sudden, like an oasis in the desert, the Bills found a running game in the 2nd half, and protected better. Josh made better decisions (though, again, occasionally late down the field) and pickable balls were fortunately not handled by Jets’ defensive backs. They marched like a hot knife through butter 80+ yards twice for scores. Easy-peasy. Uh yea, not so much on the easy part.
Things I didn’t like (not including the turnovers, I mean who likes their own team’s turnovers):
- Penalties on Feliciano early in the game (though CBS never showed the personal foul call so maybe it was phantom). They lost a field goal opportunity.
- What in the actual heck was that 3rd down and two QB sneak? If I never see that again it will be too soon.
- All the yards Le’Veon Bell got after initial contact. A lot is because Bell is really really good but there were many chances where it was just poor tackling.
- Corey Bojorquez kicks a beautiful high punt, the gunners run down and just stop at the fake fair catch signaling returner as the ball bounces into the end zone. Easily could have been pinned deep.
- The hits Josh Allen kept exposing himself to when he takes off. It’s a long season. Don’t go out of your way to end it early.
- The offensive line in the first half. I guess it was to be expected but boy they look shaky at times.
- Cole Beasley drops on the int (you’re an NFL receiver, that has to be caught) and in the 2nd half on a nice drop it in the bucket throw.
- Siran Neal defending the 2 point play. Yeesh.
- The safety. All aspects of it from the play call to the blocking to Gore not tunneling for the extra inch to get it out of there.
Things I liked:
- The defense!! All day (besides those missed tackles on Bell). Robbie Anderson was rendered moot. (injury a factor?) Crowder was fantastic but didn’t do big damage. Good to excellent pass rush all game long. Shaq Lawson did a LOT of good things as did Ed Oliver. Great work in the secondary to not give up big chunk plays. Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano were all over the place making tackles. They looked well coordinated and in charge. Jets only had 223 total yards and 17 first downs.
- Poise under pressure, both sides of the ball, in the 2nd half. Not quitting when the turnovers came and letting it really avalanche.
- Hauschka not making me sweat the field goal and extra points.
- Devin Singletary with 98 all purposes yards in the 2nd half. In the first half it looked like the speed of the game was too much for his pass catching abilities and I was beginning to wonder if the good hands he showed in preseason were a mirage.
- John Brown! Outstanding catches, over a hundred yards for the day and a GREAT read on that TD pass.
Outstanding players of the game: Jets: Lachlan Edwards (great punting all game), Bell, Crowder, Mosley. Their major free agent signees all played well. Bills: Entire defense. Just too many contributors to single one out. Devin Singletary (2nd half) and John “Smoke” Brown.
Least valuable performances: Jets: Kaare Vedvik (in what might be his last NFL game for 2019). Bills: 1st half Josh Allen, 2nd half Siran Neal (who they went at relentlessly with Crowder after Johnson got hurt)
1-0! And back to their new home away from home again next week to see Saquon Barkley and Eli Manning.
Editor’s babble: I’m still trying to recover from this game. Thanks to Joe Tauriello for his contributions to our blog. You can find Joe on Twitter @Joe_Tauriello.