The Buffalo Bills had nothing to play for in the standings on Sunday and rested their starters for the vast majority of the game. They gave it a valiant effort but the backups couldn’t finish the job.
Here are my five takeaways from the game:
The only thing we wanted out of this game was to leave healthy. Cornerback Levi Wallace was carted off the field, OT Ty Nsekhe and CB Taron Johnson both left the game and didn’t return. Right tackle Cory Ford did return after his injury. We don’t know the extent of the injuries now, but it really stinks that so many contributors went down.
Duke Williams busts out
Outside of his one drop that probably converts for a first down, Williams was all over the place in a good way today. He was targeted a game-high 12 times, catching six passes for 108 yards. It won’t be enough to get him on the roster next week in the playoffs, but it bodes well for his long-term place in the league.
Trent Murphy shows up
Playing deep into the game with Shaq Lawson sidelined due to injury and Jerry Hughes resting for the postseason, Murphy had a solid day. He had two sacks of Sam Darnold. It’s only the second two-sack day of his career and first as a member of the Bills. He had just three sacks on the year heading into Sunday.
T.J. Yeldon should probably be active
Yeldon had seven rushes for 18 yards behind Buffalo’s backup o-line and added three catches for 24 yards out of the backfield. With how Frank Gore has been playing (or not playing) in recent weeks, it might be worth a look on the active roster going forward, even if that means as the primary backup next year.
Backup defense really played well
The New York Jets were playing their starters all game, and the Bills’ defense really held the Jets in check. If they could have solidified a couple more turnovers—one was overturned via penalty and a couple more went through the hands of the defenders—it would have been an even better performance. They deserve a lot of credit, especially at cornerback with guys playing out of position. Heck, even WR Isaiah McKenzie got some run at CB following Taron Johnson’s injury.