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Buffalo Bills 45, New York Jets 17: Rapid recap and notes

Buffalo annihilated the Jets and Mike White

The Buffalo Bills, surely venting some frustration from last week’s 9-6 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, launched some missiles at the New York Jets in a 45-17 blowout win. It took a while for the Bills to find their groove, and they only led 10-3 with two minutes remaining in the first half. But from there, they scored four unanswered touchdowns in less than a quarter, leading to a 38-3 margin that the Jets simply could not answer.

Buffalo started on the right foot by forcing a three-and out, then traveling 58 yards on five plays for one of their easiest touchdown drives of the year. Jets quarterback Mike White was intercepted by Taron Johnson on the next drive, a sign of things to come, setting Buffalo up in plus territory. But the drive petered out on a run for no gain and an incomplete pass, and the Bills finished with three points.

Both defenses turned up the heat in the next stretch of the game, with each team punting twice. In that stretch, the Bills seemed to have an easy gain for a first down, but Dion Dawkins was called for a hold (and taken off for a possible injury). His replacement, Tommy Doyle, surrendered half a sack on the repeat third down.

After the second Bills punt, the Jets’ running back success helped set up White to deliver a pair of crossing throws to Ryan Griffin and Keelan Cole. That put them into field goal range. Ed Oliver appeared to hit White on third down and force a fumble, but the referees ruled it an incomplete pass upon review. That allowed the Jets to get on the board with a field goal, trailing 10-3.

Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs would not let that stand. Allen hit Diggs on a double move that led to a 57-yard gain down the sideline. After Zack Moss gained 11 yards to put the Bills in the red zone, Allen threw to Diggs on three separate passes. The last one scored a touchdown.

The Jets had a minute left in the half, and seemed like they’d score again when White hit Corey Davis down the seam for a 28-yard gain. But Micah Hyde stripped the ball and recovered it, killing the drive with no points scored.

Out of halftime, the Bills unleashed another surgical script of plays. Another deep pass to Diggs, two runs for 20 yards, a reverse to Emmanuel Sanders that gained 24, and a jet sweep to Isaiah McKenzie put them in the end zone. The very next play, Tre’Davious White picked off Mike White. With the ball back in his hands, Allen hit Sanders for a 31-yard gain, but it was cancelled by offsetting penalties. Unfazed, Allen found Gabriel Davis for 49 yards on the next play. It was that kind of day. Breida ran the ball in from 15 yards out, and the Bills led 31-3, just like that.

The Jets’ next drive ended in ANOTHER interception, this time going to Levi Wallace. Allen tried another deep pass to Sanders, but that one was once again cancelled by offsetting penalties. Allen hit Davis three plays later for a 36 yard gain, on a wild toe-tapping ball-juggling circus catch near the end zone. That set them up for a Zack Moss touchdown run to take the 38-3 lead.

Another Jets drive ended in an interception, this one from Jordan Poyer, and it seemed like the game was done at that point. But the Bills didn’t do a perfect job closing the door. Allen threw a bad pass two plays later that the Jets picked off. The Jets took a deep breath and scored their first touchdown, on an 11-play, 35-yard drive that took every ounce of energy to achieve against this Bills defense.

Again, the Bills turned the ball over, this time when Breida lost a fumble. But this time, the Jets saw their drive end on downs, a bit of a controversial call. Jamison Crowder appeared to catch the ball on fourth down, but the officials ruled that he didn’t have two feet inbounds, and they didn’t allow Saleh to appeal it (since the booth in New York agreed with them). Ultimately not a big deal, as a 38-17 game is the same as a 38-10 game in the fourth quarter.

Allen brought one more deep pass, this time a 43 yarder to Diggs, and that set the Bills up for one more touchdown and a 45-10 lead. The Jets lost Mike White to an injury on their final drive, but Joe Flacco had a couple good passes that led to rookie Elijah Moore scoring a garbage time TD.

The 6-3 Bills are feeling a little better about their standing in the AFC today, and they avoided major injuries ahead of a critical two-game stretch of their season.

Injury report

  • A few Buffalo Bills starters were nicked up in this one, but returned to play out the game. That includes Micah Hyde, Levi Wallace, and Dion Dawkins.
  • Isaiah McKenzie had his lower right leg seize up after a carry in the fourth quarter. It looks like it was just a cramp, though, as he came back into the game to close it out.

Quick hits

  • Congratulations to the Buffalo Bills’ defensive backs for hitting the cycle. Every single one of the five starters had a turnover: interceptions by Tre’ White, Jordan Poyer, Taron Johnson, and Levi Wallace; and a forced fumble (and fumble recovery) by Micah Hyde.
  • We wondered how Buffalo’s linebackers would work without Tremaine Edmunds, but the Bills had a perfect game plan for mixing in A.J. Klein. He had two TFLs and a pass deflection, a perfect execution of the team’s pressure schemes.
  • Rookie tackle Tommy Doyle made his debut in the first quarter, as Dion Dawkins was taken off the field with an injury. But he’d like to have that play back, as he was one of the players responsible for a sack.
  • The Bills were fortunate to avoid a penalty in the second quarter, when A.J. Klein pushed Mike White down on a dead play after the whistle had blown. The referees held back their flag, but the move upset the Jets, who started a scrum with Bills defenders.
  • Stefon Diggs was a full virtuoso today, stunting on the Jets defensive backs on short and long passes. He had eight catches for 162 yards and a touchdown, and it feels like he should’ve had 200 given how well he dominated the game.
  • Matt Breida will mostly be proud of how he played in his return to the lineup today. He touched the ball six times for 50 yards and two touchdowns. The only blemish: a lost fumble in the fourth quarter.
  • Josh Allen, with better pass protection (and a worse defense) this week, was in full bombs-away mode from start to finish. With more than 13 yards per attempt, he gained more than twice as many yards per pass as Mike White.
  • Another beneficiary of the Bills’ change in philosophy today was Gabriel Davis. The second-year receiver caught three passes for 105 yards, gaining more yards than Emmanuel Sanders, Dawson Knox, and Cole Beasley combined.
  • Congratulations to Davis Webb! The Bills’ third-string quarterback took the first snaps of his career at the end of the game today. A former third-round pick by the New York Giants, Webb had never even been active for a game until last week. Sadly, his first career pass will need to wait.
  • For the THIRD time this season, the Bills forced and recovered a fumble, in the closing minutes of the second quarter, when the opponent was in field goal range. Today, it came when Corey Davis caught a 28-yard pass, but Micah Hyde stripped the ball and dove on it.

Next week

The Bills have a two-fer! First, they’ll play the Indianapolis Colts in Orchard Park. The Colts advanced to 5-5 with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars this afternoon. Four days later (on Thanksgiving), the Bills will play in New Orleans against the 5-4 Saints.