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New York Jets 37
Buffalo Bills 31

This was a tighter game than I was expecting, but then again it was a tighter game than it should have been given that that the Jets looked better on both sides of the ball for most of the game and nearly put up five hundred yards on the Bills defence.

It would be curious that Rex Ryan fired his offensive coordinator after this game, given it was his defensive side of the ball that was possibly the problem, but this action does remove a possible replacement lurking on his staff as the Bill have fallen to 0-2, but let’s look at the how the teams played.

The Jets struggled to run the ball early in the game, and whilst they did manage to grind out over one hundred yards as a team, it took Matt Forte thirty carries to get his round one hundred yards, although he did punch in three touchdowns. What really struck me with the Jets on offence was the number of third down conversions the Jets made, going eight of thirteen, and having me regularly make a note of a receiver making a third down catch to get a new set of downs. In fact they had two receivers go over one yards in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, whilst Quincy Enunwa also chipped in with ninety-two with a very strong opening to the game, but who was forced out with an injury to his ribs. This meant that we saw Jalin Marshall catch three balls for forty-five yards and it seems that the Jets offence is going to be effective again this season, and certainly they appear to have depth at receiver.

The Bills defence started strongly against the run, but they never seemed to get control of the Jets passing game, and despite putting the Jets in difficult positions on third down, was unable to get regular pressure or stop the passing game. As is typical of Rex Ryan’s teams, there were some badly timed penalties, but it is really hard to fathom how a defensive coach of such skill and reputation as Ryan has come to a team that already had a very good defence and seems to have taken them backwards. The Bills did manage one sack, and flushed Ryan Fitzpatrick out the pocket several times, but often he was able to make yards or get a first down with his feet, or make a pass to a receiver. However, they did contribute a touchdown when Jets receiver Jalin Marshal fumbled after a catch and corner Nickell Robey was able to scoop up the ball and run it back for a touchdown. They also manage to limit the Jets to field goals early, or this game would not have been as close, but in the end they just gave up too much in the passing game.

The Bills offence on the other hand, was unable to get things going consistently with LeSean McCoy flashing on occasions, and quarterback Tyrod Taylor being mobile but inconsistent in the passing game. However, what kept them in this game were big splash plays. The Bills opening drive started poorly on their first two plays, but on third and twelve Tryod Taylor threw a deep pass to Marquise Goodwin who got past Darrelle Revis for an eighty-four yard touchdown. They were unable to do much for the rest of the first half, but at the start of the second half Taylor was flushed out of the pocket, yet he was able to find enough time to pass to Greg Salas who got behind the defence to score a seventy-one yard touchdown. However, when it really mattered they couldn’t make the plays they needed, and their final touchdown owed much to the Jets having a thirteen point lead and so they were focussing on stopping the Bills scoring quickly, but were playing soft coverages. The offence has not been great this season for the Bill, but I really do think there’s more to Greg Roman’s firing than just that.

The Jets defence is playing well, at least in the font seven, and they were consistently getting pressure even if they didn’t generate any sacks. However, Derrelle Revis got burned again as age is catching up with him and he can’t quite run as he used to. He is still a very good corner, but it does appear that his time as the premier shutdown corner in the league is over. The two long touchdown passes will worry head coach Todd Bowles and defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers as they gave up a lot to AJ Green in week one, so there’s plenty for them to do, but their excellent front gives them a strong foundation to work from.

The Jets got back to 1-1 on the road in a divisional game, and Ryan Fitzpatrick possibly put to rest the idea that he can’t beat a Rex Ryan defence. I still expect the Jets to push for the playoffs, whilst the Bills having fallen to 0-2 and have given themselves a real hole to climb out of, which I can’t see them doing.