The Buffalo Bills served up a back-to-basics win over the New York Jets on Sunday, playing well on both sides of the ball. It was a complete victory for the Bills, and gets the bad taste out from the loss last weekend. Now the Bills can stare down the rest of their schedule with confidence.
Here are my takeaways from the game:
Spreading it out offensively
Bills QB Josh Allen found eight different receivers on the way to the first 31 points of the game. Obviously, Stefon Diggs was the main target but being able to spread it out kept the Jets on their heels. It wasn’t just in the passing game, either. Six players had rushes, with Emmanuel Sanders and Isaiah McKenzie running jet sweeps. (I’m writing this early, and am fully expecting a Davis Webb kneel-down to add a seventh rusher.)
Josh Allen under center
The Bills went under center a lot in this game. You would think that would be to help out the run game, but they passed out of it a ton. On virtually every first-down snap outside of the red zone, Allen took the snap under center. They ended up being very successful on those plays, including several touchdown plays.
Ball don’t lie
The Bills are league leaders in turnovers. They were tied for third in interceptions (11) and tied for third in fumble recoveries (12) heading into today. They added a bunch more on Sunday against the Jets. Interceptions by Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer, Levi Wallace, and Taron Johnson plus a forced fumble and recovery by Micah Hyde meant every member of the secondary had a turnover. The defensive line was all over Jets’ QB Mike White, forcing the bad passes, and the DBs were able to capitalize.
Ed Oliver earning it
The Bills need to make a determination on the status of Ed Oliver at the end of the year, when they have to decide on his fifth-year option. Man, has he been earning it this year. Against the Jets, he had several pressures on White including forcing one of his errant passes that resulted in an interception. On that play, he split a double-team to get in the backfield.
Four penalties for 26 yards in the first three quarters was really good. One turnover on an interception from Josh Allen that may have hit the ground. They were up by four touchdowns when they had turnover number two. The biggest miscue was Dion Dawkins with a holding call on the team’s third drive that negated a Josh Allen third-down conversion. Buffalo eventually had to punt instead of being well inside Tyler Bass’s field goal range.
Even with the Bills winning, the New England Patriots were able to keep pace after throttling the Cleveland Browns. They entered the game a half-game behind Buffalo and stay there.