Inside The Bills

Fitz struggling with costly loss for Jets

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2016 – 10:25 pm

He was one of the main reasons that the Jets were in a position to go to the playoffs for the first time in 2010, but in the fourth quarter on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three consecutive interceptions to help sink New York’s playoff hopes. And the Jets QB was taking it particularly hard in the minutes after the loss.

“There’s not a whole lot of talking in there right now,” said Fitzpatrick of the Jets locker room during his postgame press conference. “But it’s hard to come up with words just because we really came together as a team this year and I feel like we fought through a lot of adversity. We were on a nice little run there and we just couldn’t finish it off. I stand in front of them and I’m proud to be their teammate, I’m proud to be in that locker room, but also just feel bad for not being able to pull it out.”

For Fitzpatrick it was the best statistical season of his career, but after the loss to the Bills that eliminated their chance to advance to the playoffs, it was hard for the QB to appreciate the success he had.

It’s the hardest and most difficult end to a season I’ve ever had in terms of how I feel right now and how painful of a loss that was,” Fitzpatrick said. “At this point it doesn’t feel like a very great season.”


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Finishing with top run game important

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2016 – 10:13 am

The Bills enter Sunday’s game with the top rushing attack and they’d like to finish that way coming out of their final game with the Jets.

“It would be amazing. It would be amazing, especially with the group of guys we had carry the ball this year,” said Karlos Williams. “Some guys not here still, but the group of guys we’ve had running the football this year, Shady leading the way, it’s been amazing. So much to learn in this running back room and from this offense and from this coaching staff and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

“Absolutely, it’s important,” said Eric Wood. “We’re out of the playoffs, but that’s something you can hang your hat on going into the offseason. We’d rather have the win in all cases, but we’re proud to lead the league in rushing.”

It won’t be easy with the Bills facing the top run defense in football in the Jets. However, New York was the top run defense the first time Buffalo faced them and the Bills rolled up 148 yards on them, the most by any team this season.


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Meeks excited for chance to play on ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2016 – 2:09 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan said there are a few players who will be on the field a bit more than usual with this game valuable for some evaluation going into 2016. Among them is safety Jonathan Meeks, who is just excited to be healthy and available for the last game of the season.

Meeks spent each of the last two seasons on injured reserve come season’s end with injuries.

“I’m going to prepare the same way,” Meeks told Buffalobills.com regarding Sunday’s game. “This week is probably a little bigger more so because I want to finish strong. It’s a different approach to finish with growth. I don’t want to take a step back. My mindset right now is continue to work hard. I’m proud of myself for finishing this season healthy. It was out of my control the last two years. I’ve been fortunate. I want to play and I’m excited about finishing the season strong and healthy for the first time.”

Meeks is eager to show he can handle the mental demands of the safety position in Ryan’s scheme.

“I’m excited to do that. I haven’t had the opportunity to do that,” he said. “That’ll help me to build trust in teammates and coaches in this league. They need to know I can make calls and just play. I’m ready to prove that and excited to do that.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick has just one interception in his last five gaems, but Meeks is hoping there are some chances to pick one off when he’s on the field.

“I love running with the ball in my hands, so if I can make a play then I want to take advantage of every chance,” he said. “I want teams to throw it because that should give me more opportunities. I’ll be happy if Fitz gives me some chances, but he’s playing great ball. That’s why they’ve got 10 wins. I don’t know if they’ll be throwing much with snow and wind supposed to be here on Sunday. They’ll probably run more.”

 


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More prep time for Revis matchup #2 for Watkins

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2015 – 3:01 pm

Heading into the first meeting against the Jets, Sammy Watkins was coming off a short week and there weren’t many practice reps to be had before facing New York with the game on a Thursday night. It cost Watkins and Tyrod Taylor a couple of opportunities to make some big plays in the Week 10 win over the Jets. Now with a full week of preparation offensive coordinator Greg Roman was asked to assess if Watkins might have more success against Jets CB Darrelle Revis.

“We went into that game on a short week,” said Roman in reference to the Week 10 game. “We were banged up. We really couldn’t practice. So we had to go in there kind of roll the dice a little bit, gamble on a game plan to find a way to win and we were fortunate it worked out. But I think it’ll be a good battle. They got a lot of other cover players on their defense too though. It’ll be a really good test for us.”

In the first meeting Watkins had just three catches for 14 yards, though two of them went for first downs.


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Jets Marshall: playoffs will be dream come true

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2015 – 10:16 am

Jets WR Brandon Marshall has had a monster season with over 100 receptions and 13 touchdowns, but in his 10 NFL seasons he has never made it to the playoffs. Marshall, who appeared on Inside the NFL this week, said if they can get a win over Buffalo to qualify for the postseason it would be the realization of a dream he’s held his entire career.

“I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine. I had goosebumps before this last game [Patriots vs. Jets],” Marshall said. “And I’m sure I’ll have goose bumps again for this game against Buffalo. It’s a big division rivalry game. Obviously, we understand the implications attached to it. If we win, we are in [the playoffs]. I just have to stay focused. But if we get in, I can’t imagine what you are talking about [to Phil]. It’ll be a dream come true.”

Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has never been to the playoffs either.


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Turnovers why Bills have had Jets number

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2015 – 11:34 am

On Thursday Night Football the Bills made it four in a row over the Jets thanks largely to turnovers, something that’s become a common thread in Buffalo’s win streak against their AFC East rival.

The Bills won the turnover battle Thursday night by a count of 4-0, despite the fact that the Jets came into the game a plus-7 in turnover margin, which was tied for the AFC lead. But the situation has been just the opposite in New York’s last four meetings with Buffalo.

In the last four games between the Bills and Jets, Buffalo has won the turnover margin by a count of 15-0. Those 15 takeaways by the Bills is a large reason why Buffalo has outscored New York in the last four meetings 140 to 57.


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Rex gets game ball

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2015 – 4:30 am

It’s usually the head coach that hands out game balls after a big win, but on Thursday night at MetLife stadium the roles were reversed in Buffalo’s locker room.

Although Rex Ryan refused to make the matchup with his former team the Jets about him and his history with the rival AFC East club, the players knew what a win would mean for him.

“He was just excited, he didn’t say much,” said Preston Brown of the postgame locker room atmosphere. “We know how proud he is for us to get this win. It was a big moment for him, so for us to go out and get that win I’m sure he’s happy.”

Handing Ryan his game ball after the victory was Eric Wood.

“I just said welcome back to the Big Apple, man. And I just gave him a hug,” Wood said. “I leave the talking to Rex.  He’s a lot more talented speaker than really anybody I’ve been around.”


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Will Jets blitz Tyrod Taylor?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2015 – 5:30 pm

The New York Jets blitz opposing offenses more often than any other defense in football, but will they be as aggressive with a quarterback as elusive as Tyrod Taylor?

The Jets blitz about half the time on pass plays with their highest percentage being 61 percent against the Raiders, a game New York lost as they proved susceptible to big plays. In light of how successful some recent opponents have been in beating their blitz schemes will the Jets sit back and play coverage?

It might be a good idea. Tyrod Taylor, according to ESPN statistics has the highest completion percentage in the league against the blitz at 64 percent. He’s also one of the fastest running quarterbacks in the league.

New York’s secondary however, is injury riddled, so does Jets head coach Todd Bowles blitz in an effort to help his ailing secondary or does he commit more defenders to coverage to assist the defensive backfield?


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Hughes a fan of division games

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2015 – 12:44 pm

Jerry Hughes has been a pretty productive player the last two seasons for Buffalo, registering a pair of 10 sack campaigns. He’s been particularly effective of late against AFC East opponents.

In Hughes’ past five games against division opponents, Hughes has 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Sacking Ryan Fitzpatrick might prove difficult as he gets the ball out quick, but for Hughes there has been something about playing division opponents.

“(Thursday night) is a division game for us so it’s important in its entirety there,” said Hughes. “We have to beat the Jets to move up in our division so that’s what we’re focused on.”

Of course Jets DT Sheldon Richardson enjoys facing division opponents as well. He has 6.5 sacks and a forced fumble in his last four games against the AFC East.


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Rex has had Chan and Fitz’s number

Posted by Chris Brown on November 11, 2015 – 4:01 pm

They squared off against one another as head coaches six times with Ryan Fitzpatrick in the lineup as Bills quarterback. Rex Ryan for the most part had Chan Gailey’s number posting a 5-1 record as the current Jets offensive coordinator. Will Ryan’s dominance over Gailey and Fitzpatrick continue?

Fitzpatrick believes he’s got different game breaking talent in New York with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, two huge receiving targets who have combined for 11 touchdowns in eight games. Fitzpatrick with Gailey calling the plays against Ryan averaged just 182.5 passing yards a game and a total of 16 turnovers in that span.

“He’s always a tough defense to go against and he does a great job,” said Fitzpatrick of Ryan. “They’re very creative in their schemes and what they do. I don’t know. I’m just going to rely on my experience, not just in the games I’ve played against him before, but everything that I’ve learned the last few years and how I’ve grown as a player. We’ve got a much different team here. The scheme is similar in that it’s Chan’s offense, but we’ve got a different set of personnel and we like to the run the ball, different talents so it is a much different offense in that regard. I think I’m a much better player than I was four years ago.”

In those six games against Ryan’s defense, Fitzpatrick started five of those games and completed just under 52 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. He completed just 53.5 percent of his passes and was sacked six times. His passer rating was 81.7.

In the seven games in which Fitz has appeared against Rex Ryan defenses in his career the Jets QB has a completion percentage of just under 50 percent (49.8%) with 12 touchdowns and seven INTs. He’s got a passer rating of 75 and his team has a 3-5 record in that span. Only once in those eight games did he pass for more than 250 yards.


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Jets still nicked up at safety

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2015 – 5:10 pm

The Jets are getting a bit healthier on the offensive side of the ball as C Nick Mangold and WR Brandon Marshall were full participants in Tuesday’s practice, but defensive back is a position where the Jets are beat up.

Antonio Cromartie was a non-participant against Tuesday with a deep thigh contusion. Meanwhile safeties Calvin Pryor couldn’t practice again and Buster Skrine was a limited participant.

Player Pos Injury Participation Tuesday
BAILEY, DION DB ANKLE DNP
CROMARTIE, ANTONIO DB QUAD DNP
PRYOR, CALVIN DB ANKLE DNP
KERLEY, JEREMY WR ILLNESS DNP
COLON, WILLIE OL KNEE DNP
FOLK, NICK K RIGHT QUAD IR
SKRINE, BUSTER DB SHOULDER/HAND LP
POWELL, BILAL RB ANKLE LP
MANGOLD, NICK OL NECK FP
DECKER, ERIC WR KNEE FP
MARSHALL, BRANDON WR TOE/ANKLE FP
BOHANON, TOMMY RB SHOULDER FP
IVORY, CHRIS RB HAMSTRING FP
MCDOUGLE, DEXTER DB HAND/ANKLE FP
RIDLEY, STEVAN RB KNEE FP
FITZPATRICK, RYAN QB LEFT THUMB FP
SMITH, GENO QB LEFT SHOULDER FP
DAVIS, KELLEN TE HAND FP

 


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Jets sign K Bullock; Folk to I-R

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2015 – 4:41 pm

The Jets knew they had to sign a kicker this week after Nick Folk went down with a strained quad in his kicking leg last Sunday against the Jaguars. On Tuesday the Jets signed free agent K Randy Bullock.

Bullock was last with the Houston Texans, but lost his job due to inconsistency and was replaced by Nick Novak. Folk was surprisingly moved to injured reserve, as initial reports did not believe the injury to be season ending.

New York is also expected to activate CB Dee Milliner off the short term injured reserve list at some point before Thursday night’s game against the Bills.


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Where motivation lies for Fitz facing Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2015 – 3:59 pm

Former Bills and current Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick admits that facing the Buffalo team he used to quarterback will bring some added motivation, much like it did last year when he faced them as quarterback of the Houston Texans. For Fitz the motivation lies in being moved off the roster a year and a half after signing a long term contract.

“Last year was an emotional win for me,” said Fitzpatrick of the Texans win over the Bills. “I think anytime you play against a team that told you you’re not good enough that carries some extra weight, so this one will definitely carry extra weight for me. But that being said, the more you’re removed from that, the more the faces have changed… I don’t know as many guys on the team anymore. There are a lot of things that have changed in a year.”

Fitzpatrick said when he signed the big money contract with the Bills as the starter here he thought at the time that he would finish his career in Buffalo.

“My plan wasn’t to have everything come crumbling down and have to move the next year,” said Fitzpatrick. “I signed that contract with that expectation, but things didn’t work out for a lot of reasons. Some of that I didn’t play up to expectations and I understand that and why they moved on. I just think the last few years that I’ve become a better quarterback. It’s made me a lot stronger and I’ve continued to grow through all my different teams and experiences.”

Fitz believes his accuracy has improved and that he’s a bit more restrained when it comes to taking risks. His touchdown to interception ratio has been an indication of that as he has 13 touchdowns against just seven interceptions.


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Jets will need new kicker for Thursday night

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2015 – 9:21 am

The Jets have a handful of injured players, whose status is up in the air for Thursday night’s game. One player who will assuredly be out for the game this week with Buffalo is New York K Nick Folk.

Folk suffered a strained quad in his kicking leg last Sunday against the Jaguars forcing punter Ryan Quigley to attempt field goals the rest of the game. Jets head coach Todd Bowles said Monday that Folk is expected to be out for a month or more.

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The Jets reportedly worked out four free agent kickers Monday to find a suitable replacement for Thursday night’s game. According to NJ.com the four kickers who worked out were Billy Cundiff, Garrett Hartley, Kyle Brindza, and Randy Bullock.


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Ryan: Got to give Woods credit

Posted by Chris Brown on November 26, 2014 – 11:04 am

Jets head coach Rex Ryan admitted that their defensive game plan was to shut down Sammy Watkins after he torched them in the first meeting for 157 yards on three catches and a touchdown. In the aftermath of their 38-3 loss to the Bills in the second meeting Ryan tipped his hat to Robert Woods (9 rec. 118 yds, 1 TD), who made the Jets pay for focusing their pass defense on Watkins.

“We had a plan to take away Sammy Watkins,” Ryan said. “I thought we pretty much did that, but they kind of exposed us on the other side and I probably should’ve been more balanced in my approach, coverage wise.

“They have some talented players on there and they made some plays. Robert Woods had a career day and again like I said, they knew, they’re no dummies. We weren’t going to let the one kid (Watkins) kill us again, so the other guy hurt us. To their credit, Woods made some great catches. I give him credit.”


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Duke uses the game to get first INT

Posted by Chris Brown on November 25, 2014 – 1:04 am

Duke Williams had a critical interception at a key point in Monday night’s win over the Jets, and he used some knowledge from earlier in the game to get the key takeaway.

“It was a slant-flat,” said Williams of the play. “They ran it the first third down of the game,  as soon as I saw the flat, I just jumped on the slant, and Vick threw it right to me.”

As big as Williams play was, knowing Fred Jackson scored on a five-yard run just a few plays later, he was quick to credit Buffalo’s talented defensive line, which generated consistent pressure on Michael Vick.

“It makes it way easier, when you got Mario, Kyle, Corbin, Jerry—those guys make it way easier for defensive backs,” Williams said. “All the credit goes to them.  Quarterbacks barely have any time to throw the ball. It just is credit to them. We were able to get interceptions due to the defensive line.  Shout out to those guys up front for doing a great job.”


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Vick brings dose of unpredictability

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2014 – 1:18 pm

In his last two starts Michael Vick has not turned the ball over as the Jets starting QB and with a stout defense it helped lift New York to an unlikely win over Pittsburgh in Week 10. You never quite know what you’re going to get in terms of performance and consistency from Vick week to week, and for Buffalo’s defenders that can be a bit bothersome.

“You just never know what you’re going to get with that guy,” said Marcell Dareus, who is tied for the team lead with Mario Williams with 10 sacks on the year. “So we’re going to try our best to put him in a box and do what we can with him because you never know what you’re going to get. He could come out there and have the game of his life or he could come out there and play mediocre. We just don’t know so we’re going to try our best to prepare and be ready for him.”

Dareus said it helps that they saw Vick live back in Week 8 when he came on in relief of Geno Smith who threw three first half interceptions in the first meeting against the Bills.


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MMQB lays out how Bills wound up in Detroit

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2014 – 12:10 pm

It was a decision that had to be made at the league level. Once it became evident that playing Buffalo’s Week 12 game at Ralph Wilson Stadium against the Jets was unrealistic, the NFL had to immediately plan for a suitable alternative location taking into account a myriad of logistical factors.

MMQB senior writer Peter King spoke to some of the chief decision makers with the NFL involved in the decision to move the game to Detroit and to Monday. Up to 12 different college and NFL venues were considered.


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Dareus, Jackson: We’re playing for our fans

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2014 – 9:55 am

Bills players know what their fans have been dealing with in Western New York. They dealt with it personally right along with them before flying out to Detroit to get ready for tonight’s game against the Jets at Ford Field. So when asked if they’re playing all the more for their Buffalo faithful, the answer was a resounding yes.

“The city is on our back,” said Marcell Dareus. “We were the lucky ones to get out to still shine light on such a gloomy situation. So we’re going to try our best to bring it home for the home team.”

“Anytime you’ve got a city going through the type of turmoil we’ve gone through you want to go out and give them something to hang their hat on,” said Fred Jackson. “We definitely want to go out and play for them. We definitely want to try to get this win, not only for ourselves but for everybody watching back home in anticipation.”

“We’ve talked about that as an organization and as a team,” said Bills team President Russ Brandon. “With what our community is going through right now we look at it as a three hour opportunity to take people’s mind off what is in front of them. And what they’ve been through and provide them Buffalo Bills football and hopefully it’ll be a great outcome for them, our fans and we expect to represent the Buffalo region and community in the appropriate manner.”


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Injured Jets probable across the board

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2014 – 4:12 pm

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The Jets have their share of nicked up players, but all indications are they’ll be able to suit up for their Monday night game with the Bills.

Coming off their bye week the Jets are still nursing some injuries, but head coach Rex Ryan was anticipating having everybody up for their rematch with the Bills.

Player Pos Injury Participation Saturday Game Status
Oday Aboushi OL Shoulder Full Probable
Antwan Barnes LB Knee Full Probable
Willie Colon OL Knee Full Probable
T.J. Graham WR Neck Full Probable
David Harris LB Shoulder Full Probable
Chris Ivory RB Shoulder Full Probable
Jaiquawn Jarrett DB Calf Full Probable
Chris Johnson RB Knee Full Probable
Nick Mangold OL Shoulder Full Probable
Trevor Reilly LB Knee Full Probable
Greg Salas WR Wrist Full Probable
Geno Smith QB Rt Shoulder Full Probable
Darrin Walls DB Calf Full Probable

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