JETS 37 / BILLS 31
Take that Rex Ryan!!
The Jets got some sweet revenge Thursday night in Buffalo as Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets offense turned things into second gear in a 37-31 victory. While the game was certainly sloppy to watch on both sides, the Jets nearly had four different players break the century mark en route to a dominating display of offense.
Brandon Marshall (six catches, 101 yards), Eric Decker (six catches, 126 yards, TD) and Matt Forte (30 carries, 100 yards, 3 touchdowns) were the highlights of the show. Quincy Enunwa almost joined them with 92-yards receiving on the evening. In short it was a huge night for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who picked apart a patchwork secondary for the Buffalo Bills.
Let's break it down!
Ryan Fitzpatrick and the offense:
Going into the game, all the talk was how Fitzpatrick struggled against Rex Ryan coached defenses, and with good reason. He was 1-8 against Ryan's teams head-to-head. Keep in mind a lot of those match-ups came when the roles were reversed, with Ryan coaching the Jets, and Fitzpatrick as the quarterback of the Bills.
It wasn't pretty early on. Fitzpatrick was strip sacked twice on the opening drive, with the Jets fortunately recovering the fumble both times. He even connected on a terribly designed shovel pass to Bilal Powell that the Buffalo defense sniffed out for a loss on the play. Somehow New York was able to get a field goal out of the slop that was their opening series.
By the second quarter, Fitzpatrick started dropping dimes all over the field. He connected with Brandon Marshall twice on New York's first touchdown drive, including a 37-yard completion to the sideline to set up shop at the 29. Matt Forte finished the drive off with a 1-yard plunge into the end zone to make it 13-7.
On New York's next drive, Fitzpatrick was 5-for-5 with completions of 21-yards and 14-yards to Enunwa, and a 21-yard completion up the middle to Marshall to the Buffalo 22. Three plays later, Fitzpatrick hit a wide open Eric Decker for an 18-yard gain to the Buffalo five yard line, before hitting Decker again on a laser in the end zone for the score.
After falling behind 24-20 in the third quarter, the Jets responded with a 12-play 84-yard drive that ate 6:27 off the clock with Forte finding pay dirt, for the second time to give the Jets a 27-24 lead.
Fitzpatrick continued to work his magic in the fourth quarter. On the drive that culminated in a Nick Folk field goal that made it 30-24, Fitzpatrick hit Jalin Marshall for 27-yards to the Jets' 41 on a beautiful touch pass that Marshall came back to catch. Finally, he connected once again with Eric Decker on a 35-yard completion to the Buffalo 24.
Matt Forte capped off the showcase with a 12-yard spring to the end zone on the Jets final drive of the day to put the game away at 37-24.
Fitzpatrick threw for 374 yards and completed 70 percent of his passes. It was his best day in a Jets uniform since last December's 23-20 overtime win against the Giants, when Fitzpatrick threw for 390 yards.
Decker was really big. Not only did he break 100 yards receiving, it seemed that each catch he made had back-breaking consequences for Buffalo as he helped move the chains for New York.
Brandon Marshall is one lucky dude.
Brandon Marshall is one lucky dude, and he knows it. He took a wicked slide into the turf where his leg got twisted in the opposite direction. By looking at the photo, Marshall was very lucky he didn't tear any ligament in his knee. When he went down it didn't look good. Marshall was able to get up on his own power and returned to the game. The Jets are very lucky.
Revis Island Where are You?
While it was a great day for the Jets offense, it was not for Darrelle Revis. Revis was beat badly by Marquise Goodwin, a third round pick from the 2013 draft, for a 84-yard score that put the Bills up 7-3. It marked the second straight week Revis has been beaten badly by a wide receiver. It is pretty obvious that Revis can't handle receivers in one-on-one match-ups the way he used to. The Jets have to devise schemes where he gets more safety help.
This will be a story that will carry over into the next week.
Too Many Big Plays Allowed by the Jets.
The Revis play was one of many big plays Gang Green allowed last night. Like I wrote earlier, it was a sloppy football game. The Jets allowed Buffalo to hang around all night. At the start of the third quarter, they allowed Tyrod Taylor to roll out of the pocket and find a wide open Greg Salas for a walk-in 71-yard touchdown to cut the Jets lead to 20-17.
On the ensuing Jets drive, New York fumbled the football back to the Bills. Nickell Roby-Coleman picked up the loose ball and dashed into the end zone for the score to give the Bills the lead.
The Jets didn't get any pressure on Taylor, who threw for 297 yards and three scores. A week ago, New York sacked Andy Dalton seven times, but never once touched Taylor. The lack of pressure up front, combined with the Jets leaky secondary allowed Buffalo to stay in the game the entire night.
What did we learn?
The Jets offense is explosive. The emergence of Enunwa and Jalin Marshall complements the stars in Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall very nicely. They now give Ryan Fitzpatrick four options to throw to down the field, which puts tremendous pressure on secondaries. Not to mention, the Jets now have a stronger running attack with Matt Forte controlling things out of the backfield. The Jets are going to be a handful for this "impossible schedule" they have coming up, starting next week in Kansas City.