|Positional Unit||1st Half||Game|
Game Analysis for the Buffalo Bills:
Passing Offense: A brilliant rebound game for Manuel, who tore apart the Jets secondary after an ugly first series. The Jets defense dared Manuel to throw over the top after seeing him not attempt a pass for over 21 yards a week ago against Pittsburgh. The rookie quarterback completed three of the longest passes of his young career, despite missing his top two receiving options.
Rushing Offense: Not much there for Buffalo. The Bills put up their worst effort of the season in the run game. C.J. Spiller totaled just six yards on 13 rush attempts. The poor results were the product of a good Jets defense and a lack of holes created by the offensive line. Bills running backs were hit at least six times directly off of the handoff.
Passing Defense: Best effort by a Bills defense in a long while. Buffalo forced Geno Smith to throw three interceptions, but that total could have been much higher if not for blatant drops by Leodis McKelvin and Aaron Williams. The pick-six returned by Da’Norris Searcy was far from a routine play and he thwarted whatever thoughts New York had of a comeback.
Rushing Defense: Buffalo held the Jets under 70 yards rushing until a late 69-yard scamper by Chris Ivory. The final box score won’t reward them for its stellar play in defending the run, but the containment of running backs was very good.
Special Teams: Has Dan Carpenter made the Bills regret drafting Dustin Hopkins? The former Dolphins kicker has revived his career in Buffalo after getting released twice during the offseason. The day was not all good for the unit, as avoidable penalties piled up as the game went on. Ron Brooks committed two boneheaded penalties, including running into Josh Cribbs before he could catch the ball. These errors would have cost the Bills in a closer game.
Coaching: Any time you beat a division rival by 23 points, you will win some respect from your fan base. The Bills coaches outworked the Jets staff the entire game, as the team put forth their best effort of the season. The Bills have struggled to find consistency on both sides of the ball for an entire game, but today was a product of Marrone’s no-excuses mentality.
First-Half Analysis for the Buffalo Bills
Passing Offense: The expectation coming into the game was that EJ Manuel would not pass much with the extreme wind conditions at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The rookie played very well despite the conditions, completing 11 of his first 14 passes, including a long touchdown pass to T.J. Graham. Chris Hogan had several first-down receptions filling in for Stevie Johnson.
Rushing Offense: Neither Fred Jackson nor C.J. Spiller could get anything going against a stout Jets front line. Several times the talented backs were met in the backfield almost immediately, as the run-blocking has been poor up the middle.
Passing Defense: Best half this season. Not even close. Two sacks by defensive backs, including one by Jairus Byrd, who is playing up to the level he wants to be paid. Byrd followed up a perfectly timed safety blitz by undercutting Jeff Cumberland a few plays later. Byrd picked up the 20th interception of his career and set up the Bills in Jets territory for Dan Carpenter’s second made field goal of the day.
Rushing Defense: Hot and cold best sums up this unit’s half. There have been just as many big runs as stuffs, which has been how the rush defense has operated all season. With a big lead, Buffalo might not see many rushing attempts for the remainder of the game.
Special Teams: The illegal blocking penalties have become an ugly black eye for a unit that has performed well for the most part in 2013. The biggest surprise of the day has been Carpenter, who has made two 40-plus-yard field goals going into the blustery winds. The look on Carpenter’s face after the second field goal gave the impression that even he is surprised to be 2-for-2 at the break.
Coaching: Coach Doug Marrone has been hopping mad in postgame interviews the last two weeks and for good reason. The Bills defense set the tone early and the offense has looked great for the first time in over a month.