Monday Morning Quarterback: New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills


It was a happy afternoon at MetLife Stadium as the Jets took down the Buffalo Bills by a score of 27-20. Aside from a few plays, the defense was terrific all day long, but before we get to the recap I have to give a shout out to some people.

Thanks to the “Road to MetLife Stadium” preferred blogger program, I had the opportunity to receive Coaches Club access for the game. All of the food is included, you can watch the game from inside, or on the field from a platform right behind the bench. Our seats were in section 115, right along the 30 yard line. The food was terrific, the access was great, and the folks at the stadium treat you like a king. After the game we were given the opportunity to walk the field, that is where the picture of the scoreboard to the right is from.

Thanks to Shane Arman and his team for the opportunity. Now to the recap.

It wasn’t pretty, but it sure was nice. The Jets did set a franchise record with 20 penalties on the afternoon. Several were on Kyle Wilson, which we are used to by now. He may have had four on one drive which was scary. Vlad Ducasse had several as well, which was not a positive, although the offensive line looked quite good. The most positive to take out of that was that the team didn’t quit and was able to RECOVER from those penalties.

Other than a few moments, and the penalties, the defense played quite well. They sacked E.J. Manuel eight times, which the Jets have not done since December 18, 1988. Mo Wilkerson led the charge in the backfield with two sacks, and the defense added 16 quarterback hits to the eight sacks.

We said all week that the way to bother a rookie quarterback is to put him under pressure all game, and is EXACTLY what the Jets did. It reflected in the stats, as Manuel only completed 19 out of 42 passes. He did throw for 243 yards and one touchdown, but much of that came late, as his day was not nearly as strong as those stats reflect. E.J. was running for his life all afternoon.

The run defense, as always, is something teams need to worry about as well. Yes, E.J. broke out some scrambles, and Fred Jackson broke a 59 yard run, bloating the Bills average yardage per carry to 4.8, but it really had no impact on the game. Before leaving with an injury, C.J. Spiller recorded 10 carries for nine yards. They were stout, and remained stout for the majority of the afternoon.

Great to see Quinton Coples back on the field, three weeks after ankle surgery, and making an impact with 2.5 tackles. Even in a part-time role he makes this team better.

Sep 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) at MetLife Stadium before the game against the Buffalo Bills. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The young man to the left did a whole lot of maturing before our very eyes yesterday.

First of all, the stats were terrific. 16-29 for 331 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions is a very nice afternoon for ANY quarterback, much less a rookie. All game long, Geno looked decisive with the football, made good reads, and hit the open man. The offensive line gave him a ton of time, not allowing a single sack.

Geno Smith had control, poise and a short memory. On the first drive, an eight yard quarterback draw put the Jets up 7-0. Early in the second quarter, Geno was baited into a bad interception by our old buddy Jim Leonhard. Instead of falling into a slump of trying to do too much, Geno led the Jets on their next drive on six play touchdown drive, culminating in a 51 yard TD strike to Stephen Hill.

An interception in the third quarter did not phase Geno either, as he hung in there, and it Santonio Holmes with the game winning 69 yard TD pass to put win the game 27-20. This offense is close to being outstanding. With two touchdowns of over 50 yards, and four plays over 40, Marty already has them better. The next step is going to be to be able to put the dagger in when they have the chance. They had several chances to go up by two scores and put the game out of reach early in the second half, but weren’t able to.

If they can do that, they will improve by leaps and bounds, and they will do it fast.

Sep 22, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill (84) celebrates after a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Geno got a great deal of help yesterday as well. The wide receiver drops were down, and the guys made plays on the outside. Stephen Hill was terrific with three receptions for 108 yards and the 51 yard TD catch, showing the big-play ability that he was drafted for. Santonio Holmes continued his return to form with five catches for 154 yards and the game winner, a 69 yard TD pass.

If Santonio is healthy, and Stephen Hill is getting the job done, all of a sudden this offense has some weapons that we didn’t think it had.

A career day from Bilal Powell didn’t hurt either. Chris Ivory left the game early after tweaking his hamstring, so the Jets needed Bilal Powell to step up, and he did. 27 carries for 149 yards, a terrific day by Bilal. As this time, Chris Ivory’s status has not been announced, but the Jets may have to ride Powell for a while.

One more point, even though they did have the penalties, at least Vlad did, the offensive line had a nice afternoon. Any time you can render Mario Williams useless, you had a good day. Kudos to the guys up front.

There is what to improve on, no doubt, but there were a lot of encouraging signs in yesterday’s win. The biggest part is the Jets 2-1 record as they head into a difficult part of the schedule.