They were down there more than once on Sunday against the Jets, but none of Buffalo’s three red zone trips resulted in a touchdown and it proved costly in a seven-point loss to the Bills.
Early in the second quarter they had a 2nd-and-8 and a 3rd-and-8 at the Jets 19-yard line, but C.J. Spiller rushed for no gain on second down and EJ Manuel’s pass to the right to Robert Woods fell incomplete.
After a Jim Leonhard interception set the offense up at the 21, Buffalo got a good first down carry from Fred Jackson for eight yards, but the Jets ‘D’ tightened down from there allowing a total of two yards on the next three carries by Buffalo. On a 2nd-and-11 at the 11, Manuel ran off the left end for five yards to get down to the six-yard line.
Nathaniel Hackett dialed up a pass play to take a shot at the end zone on 3rd-and-goal, and Manuel couldn’t find anyone so he scrambled, but could only get a yard leading to another field goal attempt.
Again the defense set up the offense on another short field after Kiko Alonso’s interception, which put them 1st-and-10 on the Jets 13. The Bills again chose to run the football on first and second down, and gained five yards. On 3rd-and-5 however, Manuel could not connect with Stevie Johnson and again a field goal was the result.
Head coach Doug Marrone commented on why they were dead set on running the ball on early downs in the red zone Sunday, and it was not to be conservative with EJ Manuel down close.
“When you go into the red zone where they play coverage and our point is if they’re going to play coverage and make sure we don’t throw the touchdown we want to be able to run the ball,” he said. “I think when you do that, when you’re able to do that, run the ball in there, you look at the percentage of the offenses that are better in the red zone, eight out of 10 can run the football down there. That was our plan more than trying to protect EJ.”
Tags: Doug Marrone, EJ Manuel, red zone
Posted in Inside the Bills