For the Buffalo Bills, there is a simple method to winning football games this season: Force turnovers.
Leading the league with 14 interceptions and tied for most takeaways (18), the Bills rely on forcing more turnovers than committing them.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Bills are 0-15 in their last 15 games when they don’t force a turnover.
“They’re playing sound defense, but they’re also taking a lot of risks,” tight end Dustin Keller said. “That’s why they’re able to make a lot of these turnovers. If we protect the ball, there’s going to be some opportunities for some big plays.”
“I’ll tell you what, it’s not by accident,” Rex Ryan said of Buffalo’s defensive success. “They catch a lot of tipped passes, because they play hard. They run to the football. Things we pride ourselves in, as well, you see it with them. . . . It seems like they attack the football. It’s a ball-hawking group in the back end.”
Said Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer: “It’s risk-reward a little bit. But they do a good job of recovering when they try to take a chance.”
“A couple small factors can make a big difference,” Keller said. “That shows with them. They don’t have a bunch of changes, but clearly they’re playing better football.”
Jets QB Mark Sanchez think the Bills defenders are playing sound defense and not jus getting lucky.
“I think some of the times they’ve just been at the right place,” Sanchez said. “It’s not just them being aggressive (or) jumping routes so much as being in the right place and running their scheme so well and hustling to the football. When they tip a pass, the guy behind them is right there, where maybe in years past they haven’t been. . . . It’s an energized group.”
As for the Jets, the solution today appears to be on the ground as the team is averaging 279 rushing yards in the last four games against Buffalo. This number should open up the playaction for Sanchez, and the opportunity for a big play.
“I think those big plays will come,” Sanchez said. “That’s great, but at the end of the day, if we’re sustaining 10-, 12-, 13-play drives, that’s just as good as one big-play drive. They do help with momentum, that’s for sure.”
“Sometimes if you don’t make it, sometimes the ball can go by you, but they’re very aggressive,” Ryan said. “They’re not going to change their style.”