By Sal Maiorana - Rochester D&C
1. Which defense will win, Rex Ryan's scheme or Mike Pettine's version of Rex Ryan's scheme? There wasn't much doubt about this. The Jets' defense frustrated the Bills all day and made EJ Manuel look like a scared rookie. He had poor pocket presence and was sacked eight times for 35 yards in losses. Ryan dialed up the pressure, but it also helped that his defensive backs did a nice job locking up the Bills' wideouts. On the flip side, Pettine was severely handicapped by a secondary that lost coverage way too often. Then again, without Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin (after the first 5 minutes) and Jairus Byrd, what did anyone expect?
2. Now that Darelle Revis plays in Tampa, who will Stevie Johnson get to beat? He tried against a few of the Jets' defensive backs, and didn't have a whole lot of success. The Jets did a good job on Johnson and all the Bills receivers, though much of this had to do with their pressure packages overwhelming the Bills' offensive line. Johnson finished with six catches for 86 yards, but he was largely ineffective.
3. Was that the real Mario Williams who dominated last week, or was that a one-week aberration? No sacks, two tackles. One week up, one week down for Williams, and this was a down week for sure. When an opponent gains more than 500 yards, can anyone on defense say they had a good game? However, it would be nice if the highest-paid guy did a little more than he did. Sure, he was being held on several plays. Guess what? Every defensive linemen is held, just about on every play if you look close enough. You have to work through it, and Williams didn't in this game.
... and Out
It is almost astounding how the Bills could lose a game to an opponent that was as undisciplined as the Jets were. They took a team-record 20 penalties for 168 yards, and eight of those gave the Bills first downs. However, while the Jets couldn't stop breaking the rules, the Bills couldn't get out of their own way and they stunk out MetLife Stadium on both sides of the ball. Incredibly, the Bills had two possessions in the fourth quarter where they could have tied the game after Santonio Holmes' go-ahead touchdown catch, a game that by all rights should have been over well before that. Ultimately, all this game proved is that neither team is very good, and they're going to battle each other to stay out of the basement in the AFC East over the next three months.
20 Penalties by the Jets, a new team record and the most ever by a Bills opponent who still managed to win the game.
11.4 New York's average gain per pass attempt, an ungodly number in the NFL. Buffalo's average was 4.2.
7 Losses in nine games all-time against Rex Ryan during his tenure as Jets coach which began in 2009.
Talking points ...
• Jets LB Calvin Pace on New York's pass rush: "It was a combination of things. He hasn't played against us, and some defenses are a little more developed. We're going to attack you."
• Jets coach Rex Ryan: "We overcame 20 penalties and we overcame two turnovers to win a game. I guess I'm excited because I know we can be better. I love the fact that we found a way to win."
• Jets WR Santonio Holmes on his game-winning TD catch: "Our job is to go out and make plays and Geno gave me a chance to make a play. I think that the defense was unaware that he was even throwing me the ball all the time. The ball landed in the perfect place for me to get a chance to catch it. The rest is in the history books."
Injury report ...
• RB C.J. Spiller left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury and did not return.
• DT Marcel Dareus hurt his ankle in the third quarter and did not return.
• CB Leodis McKelvin left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return.
• DE Alex Carrington suffered a knee injury late in the game and was carted off.
• RG Kraig Urbik went out in the second quarter with a knee injury, but was able to come back.
• FS Jairus Byrd was listed as questionable, but he once again sat out, missing his third straight game.
• OG Doug Legursky was also questionable after a week of limited practice, but he sat out a third game with a knee injury.