The Bills scored 17 points in a 2:50 span late in the first half as they blew out the Jets 37-14 at windy Ralph Wilson Stadium. EJ Manuel was impressive with the deep ball as he went 20 of 28 for 245 yards and two touchdowns. His first score was a 34 yard pass to T.J. Graham which followed the first of three Dan Carpenter field goals from 40+ yards with the swirling winds. After Geno Smith fumbled the ball away at the Jets four, Frank Summers scored his first career touchdown from 3 yards out to help give the Bills a 20-0 halftime lead. They didn't let up in the second half as Manuel hit Marquise Goodwin for a 43 yard touchdown bomb and Da'Norris Searcy returned an interception 32 yards for a score to make it 34-7. Jairus Byrd had two interceptions and a sack while Kyle Williams added two sacks. Smith turned the ball over four times and threw for just 103 yards before being benched.
The Turning Point:
Williams Strip Sack: The Bills were already up 10-0 but this play gave them firm control of the game. Kyle Williams had a strip sack that was recovered by Manny Lawson at the 4 to setup Buffalo's second touchdown and gave them a 17-0 lead.
The Big Drive:
Bills First TD Drive: The Bills went 68 yards in 13 plays to Manuel's TD pass to Graham to give the Bills a 10-0 lead. Manuel converted a 3rd and 1 and a 4th and 1 with QB sneaks on the drive. The Bills were going to punt at one point but a false start allowed them to go for it on 4th down. Graham's TD pass was underthrown and caught in the wind but he came back for it nicely and then ran it in for the score.
The Big Drive 2:
The 2 play, 83 yard drive for a third quarter touchdown. Manuel hit Graham on a beautiful 40 yard sideline bomb then found Goodwin on the right side for the score. That gave the Bills a 27-7 lead and ended all thoughts of a Jets comeback.
Stat I Did Like:
Third down defense: Jets were 2 of 11 on third downs.
Stat I Didn't Like:
Penalties: 8 of them for 64 yards including four big ones on returns.
Quick Slants: - All branches of the armed forces were honored before the game and they had a full field size flag for the National Anthem. Governor Cuomo was there and thanked members of the National Guard before the game. - The winds were a factor as they were gusting well into the 40mph range and sustained in the 20mph range. It even affected the flag as it ripped near the end of the Anthem. Talks of heavy rain never materialized as it stayed dry throughout the game - The Jets signed Ed Reed this week and he started just five days after being released by Baltimore. - Rex Ryan made former Bill David Nelson a captain for today's game. He made a point in the press this week to say he wasn't happy how he was let go and this game meant more to him than any other game.
Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article: CB Nickell Robey vs. WR David Nelson: Winner: Robey. Nelson didn't catch a pass until a 12 yarder in the final minutes of garbage time. Robey had a good day like the rest of the defense. LG Doug Legursky vs. DE Muhammad Wilkerson: Winner: Legursky. Wilkinson's never really got near Manuel. RB Fred Jackson vs. LB David Harris: Winner: Harris. The Bills did nothing on the ground. Jackson led the way with 34 yards on 12 carries. Not good. S Jairus Byrd vs. QB Geno Smith: Winner: Byrd. In a landslide as he picked off two of Smith's passes and sacked him once.
Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out: 1. Go through progressions: Success! Manuel would check down to his second or third option on more than a handful of plays. 2. Protect Manuel: Success! He really had time to throw throughout the game. He was sacked once and he made it back to the line of scrimmage. 3. Get Spiller Going: Failure! He just looks real lost out there like his rookie year all over again. He has no confidence in his game right now.
We've been waiting for the Bills to put it all together and this was the week they finally did it. Doug Marrone took the blame for their first embarrassing effort of his era last week in Pittsburgh. The team took it personally and came out ready to go against the second best team in the division hurting their chances at a playoff spot. The team showed good mental toughness in not letting the Jets back into the game after they scored their first touchdown. They stayed on the attack and Manuel hit the big passes downfield to erase any thoughts of a comeback for New York. It's real nice to go in the bye week off of this performance. The team can now look ahead to the last five games as building blocks toward the future. It now looks a bit brighter as the young players all played a role in this game and the young coach came of age too against a potential coach of the year candidate in Rex Ryan.
The Bills finally get a week off during the final week of byes. They make their annual trek North of the border to Toronto to take on the Falcons in two weeks.
Jairus Byrd - Had two interceptions and a sack.
Kyle Williams - He had two sacks, the second one forced a fumble that they recovered.
Manny Lawson - He had five tackles, a sack, and a fumble recovery.
Dan Carpenter - Hit all three field goals from 40, 42, and 43 yards out with the wind swirling.
EJ Manuel - Really showed some toughness in bouncing back with his best game as a pro so far.
Kiko Alonso - He had 13 tackles and seemed to be everywhere.
C.J. Spiller - He was just awful as his game hit rock bottom. He had just six yards on 13 carries.
Player Of The Week
Jairus Byrd - He is back to his dominating self. Made him self some money in this game.