The Jets may have had a great defense heading into the game, but in round 2 of the Jets & Bills series, the Bills trounced the Jets 37-14. Clearly the Jets spent too much time partying last night before the game today… In actuality, this was in large part to the Bills defense coming up big in several times throughout the game. In addition, E.J. Manuel, despite being down his top 2 receivers, easily outshined fellow rookie QB Geno Smith in a blustery afternoon at home. The Bills can feel good as they head into their bye week on a big positive note. Here’s the breakdown.
Rushing Offense: D-
The Jets have a defense thanks to their ability to stuff the run. Fred Jackson put up just 34 yards on 12 carries (2.8 avg), while C.J. Spiller had 13 runs for only 6 yards!! Despite the Bills offensive line excelling in pocket protection, they have not had the same success in the run game. On the plus side though, FB Frank Summers had 4 yards on 2 carries including a 2 yard TD plunge (that’s one way to score on the ground) and Goodwin broke off a nice 17 yard gain on a reverse. E.J. Manuel also converted a 4th and short on a QB sneak.
Passing Offense: A
Despite crazy winds and being down his top 2 targets, E.J. Manuel was poised, accurate and made big throws throughout the game. E.J. finished with a 121.9 QB rating with 20/28 passes completed (71.4%) for 245 yards and 2 TDs. Goodwin had 6 catches for 81 yards including a 43 yard TD while the other speedster, T.J. Graham hauled in 2 balls for 74 yards including a 40 yard TD in the first half. Hogan stepped up big at times with 3 catches for 29 yards while TE Scott Chandler had 2 for 40 yards.
Run Defense: B
I’m a little perplexed. The defensive line actually had a decent outing for the first 56 minutes. True they gave up moderate gains here or there, but Dareus, Kiko and company made big stops at times. But then they gave up a 69 yard run to Chris Ivory (who finished with 15 carries for 98 yards). The Jets finished with 134 yards and a TD on the ground, but the defense did well for most of the game to stop the run. Kiko finished with 13 tackles.
Pass Defense: A+
Revenge is a dish best served cold, or to Pettine, best served by overwhelming rookie Geno Smith. No Justin Rogers on the field today as well helped, but the defense had 4 sacks (2 by Kyle Williams), a fumble, 3 picks (2 by Jairus Byrd and a pick six by Searcy), as well as multiple knockdowns and hurries on the day. Geno completed just 8/23 passes for a paltry 103 yards and no TDs before being benched. Yes Santonio Holmes had 2 big catches against our starting corners, but that was it despite multiple targets. SS Aaron Williams also had a solid game with 10 tackles and a pass broken up, while Byrd had 2 passes defended. (For a recap, please feel free to check out this link from Shutdown Corner via Yahoo)
Backup Matt Simms was 4 /6 for 60 yards and a TD late, but I think that was more so the result of tradition wherein the backup is supposed to handoff the ball (oops). Don’t let that small performance outweigh the significance of what the defense did today (and they stopped a late drive on passes late too).
Special Teams: C
Bad news first; Ron Brooks was flagged twice for blocks in the back (on four special teams penalties) negating punt returns by McKelvin. Also, Moorman botched a snap yielding a 2 yard punt. But on the plus side, he had 3 of 6 punts land inside the 20. The unsung hero though is Dan Carpenter. Remember that hilarious 48 yard attempt by Jet Nick Folk (his first miss was a doozy). Carpenter nailed all three tries from 40, 42 and 43 yards out without a problem.
Marrone got his first blowout victory (and fourth of the year) and against a tough divisional foe. While penalties almost became an issue, the play-calling was good although Marrone could have challenged a possible Chandler first down (but they made the fourth down try so it’s all good). Pettine’s defense generated tons of pressure and turnovers while there were few mistakes offensively. E.J. looked comfortable and completed 8 of 19 third down attempts.