Jets vs. Bills: Takeaways from Buffalo's 37-14 Win over New York
EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills silenced the critics for at least one week with arguably their most complete game by beating the New York Jets 34-17. It was a game of firsts for this team, as it was the first time they have scored over 30 points in a game this season, they held the opposition to under 20 points and got their first win in four weeks.
The Bills had the perfect game plan entering this contest, but more importantly, they executed it flawlessly. They got pressure on Geno Smith and forced him into four turnovers. This led to a short field for the offense, and Manuel was able to build a 20-point lead by halftime.
This type of game will generate positive energy for Buffalo as it heads into its bye week and prepares for the final five games of the season. These are the five biggest takeaways from today's game.
EJ Manuel Has His Best Game of the Season
It was probably a long week for EJ Manuel after his play against the Steelers and wanting nothing more than to have a great game that would silence his critics. He did just that against the Jets with one of his best games of the season and did it without his top two wide receivers.
He finished the game completing 20 of his 28 passes for 245 yards with two touchdowns. There were two areas of his game that he improved drastically from last week that led to this success. For the first time this year, Manuel was able to throw the ball deep and connect on two touchdowns.
Last week against Pittsburgh, he played too conservatively and was quick to check down. This week, he connected on a number of deep balls to Marquise Goodwin and T.J. Graham, which really opened up what this offense could do.
The second thing that he really improved on was his ability to go through his progressions. He completed 20 passes to nine different receivers and knew where he wanted to go with the ball.
Manuel looked very comfortable in this game, which is a great sign considering the last time he played the Jets he was sacked eight times and completed only 45 percent of his passes.
C.J. Spiller Continues to Struggle
This has to be a disappointing and frustrating year for C.J. Spiller after the success he had last year. He spent the majority of this season dealing with an ankle injury but even now that he is back healthy, he has struggled finding room to run. Mike Rodak of ESPN.com mentioned in his Rapid Reactions after the game his concern for Spiller's lack of effectiveness.
This game was no different, as he was able to pick up six yards on the ground on 13 carries. It seemed on every carry there was little running room between the tackles, and when he tried to bounce outside, a Jets defender was flying to stop him in the backfield.
This has to be a focal point entering the bye week in terms of figuring out how to put Spiller in a position to be the game-changing back from 2012. He has too much speed and explosiveness to average only 0.5 yards per carry and for his longest carry to be only three yards.
Marquise Goodwin Steps Up
When news broke that Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods would both be out against the New York Jets, many wondered who would step up among Buffalo's wide receivers in their absence. That question was answered by third-round pick Marquise Goodwin, who had career highs in receptions (six) and yards (81).
This week's increased production is due to the injuries to Woods and Johnson; however, Goodwin was already becoming more involved in the offense prior to this game. He now has three touchdowns on the year, with two of those coming in the past three weeks.
It would not be a surprise to see Goodwin continue this type of success even after the injured receivers return. He has unbelievable speed that should warrant two or three deep passes a game in his direction.
Bills Defense Rattles Geno Smith
The Bills defense set the tone early that Geno Smith would not have the same kind of game that he did against them in Week 3. The Jets quarterback passed for 331 yards, was not sacked once and only hit twice. This week, he only completed eight of his 23 passes for 103 yards.
It may have been the added presence of Jairus Byrd and Stephon Gilmore in the secondary that forced Smith to hold the ball a split second longer, but the rookie quarterback looked frustrated the whole game. He ended up committing four turnovers, three of which were interceptions, and was sacked four times.
The success of the defense is determined by two things: 1) how many times it can get to the quarterback, and 2) how many turnovers it can force. If it's are able to do these two things, it has the potential of being a dominant defense.
Can Kyle Williams Be Stopped?
Every week, it seems Kyle Williams' name is mentioned in this article because of his play. This week was no different, as once again he was near unstoppable. He finished the game with three tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.
He now has seven sacks on the year and has already surpassed his previous career high of 5.5. The eight-year defensive tackle has stepped up his play and has formed one of the best defensive tackle tandems this year with Marcell Dareus.
He has developed into one of the leaders on this team and is not afraid to say what's on his mind. He was asked after the game by Kimberly Jones of the NFL Network about the Jets' Dave & Buster field trip the night before the game and responded:
"I think we'll stay off of Dave & Busters. It didn't work out very well for the other team that had a party there."