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NFL – Bills’ Game Review

17 Nov

The Buffalo Bills rebounded from a dismal performance in Pittsburgh last week with a resounding 37-14 win over the AFC East rival New York Jets on Sunday. It was an impressive win by the Bills, who have been inconsistent all season, but highly competitive at home. The win was mostly orchestrated by the defense, which came up with four turnovers, including a pick-six interception by safety Da’Norris Searcy. Jairus Byrd had two interceptions and a sack, Kyle Williams two sacks and a forced fumble and Manny Lawson added a sack as rookie Jet quarterback Geno Smith was under duress all day, and was benched for backup Matt Simms in the fourth quarter. Aaron Williams and Kiko Alonso were active also, leading the team in tackles. The Bills have had the luxury, in coordinator Mike Pettine’s system, of playing three safeties all of whom are major contributors. Byrd, Searcy and Aaron Williams did that on Sunday and actually, a fourth safety – Jim Leonhard – has made plays at times also.

It wasn’t all defense that led Buffalo to its’ win, however. On a day when the Bills were missing their top two receivers due to injuries, and the winds were swirling, Rex Ryan’s Jets loaded up the box with up to 9 players at times, gearing up to stop  Buffalo’s formidable running game led by C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, daring rookie QB EJ Manuel to beat them with the passing game. It was a no-brainer strategy, really, especially after Manuel’s listless performance against the Steelers last week. The Jets, indeed, succeeded in stopping the run, but Manuel proved to be up to the challenge of beating the Jets through the air, with an efficient performance in which he hit 20 of 28 throws for 245 yards and 2 scores, with no turnovers. His first TD pass was a desperation heave while under pressure that T.J. Graham made a great adjustment on, and turned into a 34 yard touchdown. The other scoring throw was a perfect deep pass covering 43 yards to Marquise Goodwin, who is establishing himself as a top deep threat. Manuel spread the ball around well, completing passes to 9 different receivers on a day when his top targets – Stevie Johnson and rookie Robert Woods – were sidelined. With the win, Buffalo improves to 4-7 on the year going into their bye week. After the bye, their next three opponents – Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville – have combined to win a total of 5 games this season, so the possibility of getting to .500 is there, if coach Doug Marrone and his staff can get the club to play consistently on the road.

 
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  1. louise

    November 18, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Great to see EJ rebound from the Pittsburgh loss. EJs long passes against the Jets impressed even more since they were into a stiff wind. We now know that he can play in ‘weather’!

     
  2. Patrice Buck

    November 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    It may come as a bit of a surprise, but Marquise Goodwin does not lead the team in big pass plays this season. It’s due mainly to the fact that he missed four games with a broken hand. As we covered on Buffalobills.com today however, he is a developing weapon for the offense . Here’s a breakdown of the top big play receiving targets of the Bills this season, and it clearly favors those who have been able to stay in the lineup.