Run defense: We all knew that the Buffalo Bills' run defense was bad. We all knew that the New York Jets run the ball well. Based on last year, when the Jets gashed the Buffalo defense on the ground, New York running the ball well should have come of no surprise to anyone. There is a line between running the ball well and running the ball at will. To all those that thought the 3-4 defense would mysteriously solve the run defense, think again. Kyle Williams playing one technique isn't working. Williams got penetration in one gap, and Nick Mangold routinely turned him away from the play. The ends were not stout at all. The outside linebackers turned plays back inside well enough, but often no one was there to make the tackle. This is what happens when a team changes defensive schemes twice in five years. Maybe Buddy Nix knew something we all didn't when fans clamored for offensive linemen, and he selected Torell Troup and Alex Carrington.
Blitz pickup: Again, everyone knew Buffalo's offensive line was a work in progress, and the Jets have some great blitz packages. No one expected the Jets to completely shut down the passing game. The offensive linemen looked as if they handled their one-on-one assignments well enough. They didn't look good as a unit, though, often leaving free runners that hurried Ryan Fitzpatrick on several occasions. And C.J. Spiller, seriously, put a shoulder pad into someone. Please.
Performance from certain players: Someone tell me why Lee Evans can't catch the ball all of a sudden. For someone that Chan Gailey is clearly trying to utilize more, and that many prognosticators surmise is wasting away in Buffalo, you would think Evans welcomes the work and would make the most of his opportunities. Chris Kelsay still can't tackle in space or rush the passer. He may be an average OLB that Buffalo has to live with, though, for the time being. It's clear that Kelsay needs to be platooned or a reserve. Donte Whitner missed too many tackles. He's not special in coverage either. He lays the lumber at times, but someone that wants respect needs to tackle better. Leodis McKelvin is a Pro Bowler one play and not the next. He's going to be special but needs consistency.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: He dealt with a pass rush coming from every direction, Evans dropping balls, and general bad play. Fitzpatrick didn't look flustered, kept the offense together, and competed hard. He correctly identified that the Jets' blitzing and playing man coverage left a bunch of room for running, and he did. Fitzpatrick is still just a good back-up quarterback, but once Buffalo builds a team that can win, fans and players know that he can get them through games if needed.
Buffalo receivers not named Evans: Steve Johnson responded to his benching well. He's starting to become the possession receiver that Gailey thinks he can become. David Nelson is a find as an undrafted rookie free agent. He beats coverage and gets open, catches the ball, and can even run after the catch. Good thing that Nix didn't get rid of Roscoe Parrish. He wasn't up to his standards so far against the Jets, but he consistently gives Buffalo a chance by providing good field position on punt returns.
Physical nature and effort: The Jets had their way with the Ravens-like team that no one likes playing., but Buffalo continued to play hard and hit hard all game long. That's not saying much for Sunday, but the culture that is being created is clearly evident. Buffalo needs some more talent, but if the right talent is added, the Bills could turn into a
Though it's hard to see, Buffalo is trying to build a hard-nosed team for the long-term. A lot of the current players don't fit in right now, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see a large turnover of personnel at the end of the season, including many players that were former high draft picks and/or considered core players. On defense, Buffalo has a long way to go in their front seven. Buffalo has 46 personnel (Kelsay, Marcus Stroud) and Tampa 2 personnel (Williams, Spencer Johnson) in their defensive front, and a bunch of guys still learning their position (Chris Ellis, Aaron Maybin, Troup, Carrington). Chalk this game up to a rebuilding team that just hit bottom.
Next up: Jacksonville visits Ralph Wilson Stadium at 1 PM on Sunday, October 10.