The Buffalo Bills finally came through with a late touchdown to take a 7-0 lead over the New York Jets, after two quarters of play at Orchard Park, NY. The two teams already sport two of the best defenses in the NFL, and today adds a sloppy, miserable set of weather conditions on top of that, and all of that adds up to ten punts before halftime.
The cold wintery mix and wind have affected both team’s passes and catches, and that includes Buffalo’s star quarterback, Allen. He’s only 9 of 15 for 71 yards in the first half, although he broke through with a 24-yard TD strike to Dawson Knox in the final 30 seconds of the half. Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner perfectly broke up a surefire deep touchdown to John Brown in the first quarter, and the Jets haven’t had any problems controlling the line of scrimmage. Allen’s taken three sacks, and Bills’ running backs only have 28 yards on seven carries.
Offensive playcalling might be a factor here, but mostly the team struggled situationally until their final drive of the half. The team is 2-of-8 on third down and committed three penalties, which all set them back on offensive drives. But the key penalty was actually by the Jets, when C.J. Mosley was baited into leaping over the line of scrimmage on 4th & 1. That injected new life into the Bills, enough to set up their score.
You might be surprised to see that Mike White has more passing yards than Allen at this stage, but it’s true, and not just by circumstance. White’s done a good job of placing passes, from time to time, hitting a few clutch throws down the seam to convert three third downs for the Jets. His limitations have been apparent, though, in the number of checkdowns that the Bills were able to bait and then close and tackle. Zonovan Knight, the rookie runner who starred in the last two weeks, has been limited behind a makeshift offensive line, with 31 yards on nine carries.
Luckily, Sam Martin’s been a tremendous asset in the field-position battle. The Jets have starts at the two and the six-yard line today.
Two key injuries came in on the Jets’ side: DT Quinnen Williams suffered a calf injury, and WR Corey Davis went into concussion protocol.
Here’s your open thread for the second half of the game. The Jets start the second half with the ball. If the Bills keep avoiding turnovers and other mistakes, they can win this one.