The Buffalo Bills did what they needed to do in Week 12, albeit in an unorthodox way: they escaped blizzard-bound Buffalo, made it out to Detroit, and then easily disposed of the New York Jets, 38-3, to end a two-game losing streak and move to 6-5 with December games quickly approaching. Here's what stood out the most from Buffalo's much-needed win.
No. 1: Goodness, the Jets have been awful against Buffalo. It's hard to take this game as any sort of sign of future success, because as mentioned last night, the Bills have absolutely clobbered the Jets in each of their last three meetings, winning all three by a combined score of 118-40 (average score: approximately 40-13). The Jets have switched quarterbacks in all three of those games, too. I don't want to take much away from Buffalo, who clearly played very well last night, but it's impossible to glean anything from a win in which an opponent can't even muster a worthwhile counterpunch.
No. 2: In a similar "don't read too far into it yet" vein, Robert Woods' breakout night (nine receptions, 118 yards, and a touchdown) was lovely, but came against one of the worst secondaries in the NFL - and one that wasn't paying him much attention. Woods made some fantastic catches, and was the obvious read on most downs with the amount of attention the Jets were giving Sammy Watkins, but that was a matchup that Woods had a clear upper hand in on paper. Buffalo needs more games like that from him down the home stretch - he'll face stiffer coverage competition along the way - because teams are going to keep rolling players in the direction of Watkins.
No. 3: The creepy-eyed version of Mario Williams that we've seen for the last two weeks? That's the $100 million player the Bills paid for two years ago, and who we'd only seen brief glimpses of in his first two years in Buffalo. Will his 5.5 sacks in two games stretch be just another one of those glimpses, or will he continue to be a dominant force as the Bills' playoff chase heats up? They need that version of Mario another five more times this season, minimum. He has been awesome these last two games, spearheading the continued outstanding efforts of one of the league's best defensive lines.
No. 4: The Bills ran the ball surprisingly well in this game. New York's run defense is excellent, and came into last night's game having allowed the Bills just 135 rushing yards in their previous two meetings combined (68 yards in the 2013 game in Buffalo, and 67 in Week 8 in New Jersey) at a paltry 1.93 yards per carry. I triple-checked that average per carry stat; it's legit. 135 yards on 70 carries. Ludicrous. It was therefore a very encouraging sign to see the Bills pile up 116 yards on the ground at an even 4.0 yards per carry against that front; it represented tremendous progress from what had become the norm.
No. 5: If quarterback Kyle Orton receives a chance to be the Bills' starter going into the 2015 season, he'll have the Jets to thank for it. Orton against the Jets this season (two games): 34-of-49 (69.4 percent completions), 468 yards (9.6 yards per attempt), six touchdowns, zero interceptions. Orton against everyone else so far (five games): 136-of-211 (64.5 percent completions), 1,342 yards (6.4 yards per attempt), six touchdowns, three interceptions, two fumbles lost. Related: I think Rex Ryan probably misses having cornerbacks.
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