One thing that the Bills did improve on, however, was their tendency to take far too many penalties. Coming into the game, the Bills had committed 112 penalties in the 2016 season, giving up 960 penalty yards. The team ranked eighth in the NFL in both categories.
They did not, however, add to those totals today.
Now, you might remember Cardale Jones being flagged for intentional grounding on fourth down late in the game. I know I do, because flagging a quarterback who is being roughed for intentional grounding is completely absurd. Since both teams were flagged on the same play, the penalties offset and the down was played again. Neither penalty counted towards the teams’ official counts.
The Bills probably committed quite a few penalties in the game, as did the Jets. However, it seemed that referee Jeff Triplette and his crew took the week off. The Jets were only flagged twice, once for a false start and once for holding.
If you’re wondering, the last time the Bills had a penalty free game was Week 16 of the 1997 season against the Jaguars. Interestingly, the Bills also lost that game, 20-14, and the Jaguars were only flagged three times in that game. They also used two quarterbacks in that game, although both Todd Collins (107) and Alex Van Pelt (103) both had more yards than either EJ Manuel (86) or Jones (96) managed today.
If Anthony Lynn does keep the job going forward, let’s hope that’s something they can build on...and by that, I mean the penalties, not the losing and ineffective quarterback play.