Inside The Bills

Rex seeks Bills intel from brother during bye

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2013 – 11:55 am

Jets head coach Rex Ryan and his team are coming off the bye as they begin preparations for the Bills on Sunday. Ryan spent part of his bye week in New Orleans seeking further intel on the Bills from his twin brother Rob Ryan.

A team’s offense and defense can morph and change over the course of a season, so Ryan was likely checking with his brother to see what ways Buffalo’s offense and defense may have changed since he initially faced them in Week 3.

Rob Ryan is the Saints defensive coordinator, who brought a lot of pass pressure down on QB Thad Lewis making him unavailable for the game the following week in a 35-17 win over the Bills. Rex Ryan faced EJ Manuel in his first road start back in Week 3 and also dialed up a lot of pressure and his team got eight sacks in a 27-20 win.

Although Ryan is 7-2 against the Bills as Jets coach, his teams are 1-3 coming off the bye. He gave his players six straight days off last week.

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Jets could have Holmes back in lineup Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2013 – 8:15 am

Santonio Holmes has missed the last five games for the Jets with a hamstring injury, but he stands a good chance of returning to the New York lineup this week to face the Bills in Buffalo Sunday.

That according to head coach Rex Ryan, who provided a promising update on Holmes’ availability in his Monday press conference.

“I think he’ll play,” said Ryan. “He looks good to me. … I know he had a big game the last time we played Buffalo. Hopefully that’ll be the same this time.”

Holmes biggest game thus far this season came against the Bills back in Week 3 when he had five catches for 154 yards and a touchdown.


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Telecast pairing for Sunday’s Jets game

Posted by Chris Brown on November 11, 2013 – 9:36 am

This weekend’s game still is not a lock to be televised with tickets still remaining for purchase. Still, here is the television broadcast team that will be doing the game on CBS Sunday.

Week 11 – N.Y. Jets @ Buffalo  – Broadcast team – Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts

In this rematch against the Jets, New York will be coming off their bye week. Prior to the first meeting with the Jets, New York had three extra days of rest having come off a Thursday night game in Week 2. This will be the fourth game for the Bills this season in which they’ll face an opponent coming off of extra rest.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Jets home game ticket update

Posted by Chris Brown on November 6, 2013 – 9:53 am

The week following this weekend’s Bills game in Pittsburgh, Buffalo hosts the Jets for a 1 pm kickoff on Nov. 17th. Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon provided an update on tickets remaining.

Making his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportradio 550, Brandon said they’ve got some selling to do.

“We’re about 7,000 (tickets) left for the Jets so we’ve made an impact over the last 10 days,” he said. “So we’re going to keep selling and hopefully get that game on TV and the experience over here at the stadium has been tremendous with all the changes we’ve made to help our fans enjoy the experience. We certainly hope that we get that game done and sold out.”

Fans can call 1-877-BB-TICKS or go to to order tickets for the Jets game.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Wood: Red zone execution was terrible

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2013 – 12:29 pm

The Bills went 0-for-3 in the red zone on Sunday when it came to punching the ball in for a touchdown. Buffalo had to settle for three field goals as gaining yards inside the Jets 20 proved hard to come by. Eric Wood didn’t think much of their efforts.

“Just a lot of mistakes on offense, and red zone execution was terrible,” said the Bills co-captain. “If we score on a couple of those when we were down there it’s a totally different ball game. We don’t give up six sacks because they’re not able to tee off on us.”

On Buffalo’s three red zone opportunities they ran a total of 10 plays. All together those 10 plays gained a total of 13 yards. The three third down situations Sunday went as follows.

3rd-and-8 – incomplete pass

3rd-and-6 – one-yard gain

3rd-and-5 – incomplete pass


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jets handed Bills 1st downs

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2013 – 1:33 am

The penalty tally by the Jets was the second-most ever against the Bills. They had an astounding 20 for 168 yards. While the total number came in second behind San Francisco. They committed 22 penalties against the Bills on Oct. 4th, 1998. What’s more interesting is how many of those penalties handed first downs to Buffalo.

While the Bills got four first downs rushing and six via the pass, the Jets handed them eight first downs off of penalty, giving Buffalo a fresh set of downs by penalty more than any other means of moving the sticks.


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Bills admit Jets ‘D’ had some wrinkles

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2013 – 1:17 am

For the most part they were well prepared for what the Jets have in their arsenal of blitz calls, but Eric Wood and Fred Jackson both admitted that the Jets threw some defensive looks at Buffalo that were tough to identify.

“You have to give them credit. They did things that are different (and) that’s their defense—create some confusion,” said Fred Jackson. “It worked for them on a couple of plays there. We have to get better at seeing those things and make the plays when we have the opportunity.”

“They did a pretty good job of stacking the box early and throwing a few different looks that gave us trouble identifying, but we didn’t execute well enough against it,” said Wood.

EJ Manuel was sacked eight times in the game, the most sacks surrendered by Buffalo in a game since giving up nine to Indianapolis on Dec. 11, 2000.

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Bills pass pro better of late vs. Jets

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2013 – 1:02 pm

The Jets have been known as a dominant defense under head coach Rex Ryan. Over the last couple of seasons they have not been known as a defense that racks up sacks.

In 2011 New York ranked 17th in sacks with 35 and then last season slipped all the way to 25th managing just 30. More important for today’s matchup is the fact that the Bills did not surrender a single sack to the Jets in both meetings last season.

Part of that was due to Buffalo’s quick release passing game, but the Bills new offensive scheme has been emphasizing getting the ball out quick with EJ Manuel too. He’s been sacked just once in the first two games. Geno Smith meanwhile has been taken down nine times in two games this season.

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Previous QB play has dulled Bills-Jets

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2013 – 11:56 am

With the first two quarterbacks taken in the 2013 draft squaring off today at MetLife Stadium it hopefully brings about improved quarterback play between the two division rivals. For the past four seasons, subpar quarterback play has compromised the twice a year AFC East matchup.

Since 2009 New York quarterbacks have completed just 54 percent of their passes against the Bills with 14 TDs and 11 INTs. The collective passer rating over that span? A pedestrian 75.

Unfortunately for the Bills it’s been even worse. Bills QBs managed just a 51 percent completion percentage with 11 TDs and 11 INTs. The passer rating was just 65.3.

Geno Smith and EJ Manuel could provide a glimpse today on where this division rivalry is headed.

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Jets run game vs. Bills has tailed off

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2013 – 10:48 am

The Jets have still found a way to win six of their last eight meetings with the Bills, including a 3-1 mark at the Meadowlands over that four-year span, but the numbers show their run game is not what it used to be.

Back in 2009 and 2010, the Jets ran the ball at will to victory over Buffalo, when the Bills run defense was among the least effective in football. Since then their success running the football has been limited. Here’s a look at their yards per carry average against the Bills in their last eight games.

Year       Yds per carry avg.
2009       7.9, 5.8
2010       5.6, 5.5
2011       3.2, 6.0
2012       3.3, 3.7

In the four games in 2009 and 2010, the Jets were one of the better rushing teams in football, and against the Bills they were even better averaging a fat 6.14 yards per carry. With the losses in recent years of Thomas Smith, LaDainian Tomlinson and primary FB Tony Richardson, the run game hasn’t had the same pop.

In the four meetings from 2011 to 2012, the Jets have averaged just 3.69 yards per carry. Even Jets head coach Rex Ryan admitted they’re not the rushing team they used to be on Friday.

“When we were ground and pound, that thing has come with me forever,” said Ryan. “That was based on our personnel. If you look at the backs that we had, we had three great tailbacks with Thomas Jones, with Shonn Greene and with Leon Washington. That was pretty good. We had [Danny] Woodhead, things like that behind him. That was a pretty darn good backfield, Tony Richardson.

can still win in today’s league with a strong rushing attack, Ryan referenced the personnel he no longer has on his roster.

“Yeah, if we had those backs and the line and all that stuff. And D-Wood [Damien Woody], I’m sure you could.”

So far this season the Jets are averaging 3.6 yards per carry.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Woods has already played big at MetLife

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2013 – 9:48 am

Robert Woods, Ri"shard Anderson

For Bills rookies this is their first road game in the NFL, but for Robert Woods MetLife Stadium will feel a bit like home based on his past playing history at that venue.

Back on Sept. 8th, 2012, Woods had a monster game for USC against Syracuse on the neutral field. He had 10 receptions for 93 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also had a 76-yard end around and a 31-yard punt return for a total of 200 all-purpose yards in a 42-29 win.

“The last time I was there I had a good game,” Woods told “It’s a new team on both sides, but I feel comfortable playing in that stadium. It’s kind of one of those things where you try to have in your head, I had a big game here last time, and let’s do it again. Going through the stadium it might feel a little like home field.”

His big game came over his current head coach’s team at the time as Doug Marrone was coaching Syracuse.

“He remembers,” said Woods with a wry smile.

Coach Marrone certainly wouldn’t mind seeing a duplicate performance today against the Jets.

“Relive it a little.”

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Returners trying to stay patient

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2013 – 12:05 pm

Buffalo’s kick returners and punt returners have largely been held in neutral the first two weeks thanks to big legged kickers. Not having an impact on the Bills field position has been tough to take, but head coach Doug Marrone is preaching patience.

Through the first two games Buffalo has just one punt return from Leodis McKelvin with three fair catches. T.J. Graham has the team’s only kick return back in Week 1. That’s been it. Everything else on kickoffs have been touchbacks.

Marrone has told his players not to force anything.

“I think you’re at the mercy and you have to be careful. You can’t get frustrated back there,” Marrone told “We can’t lose sight of the fact that we will get opportunities as the year goes on and we have to be ready for it. That’s one of the most important things. The other side is we can’t become frustrated where we feel we have to make something happen and go for kicks that you normally wouldn’t go for. We have great patience. We’ll wait and when those opportunities come we’ll be ready to go.”

Marcus Easley is again expected to be the primary kick returner with McKelvin on punts. Easley could get some chances with Nick Folk ranking 23rd in the league in touchback percentage (57.1%) for the Jets. New York also just signed a new punter this week in Ryan Quigley after opponents had nine punt returns for 107 yards in two games.

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Wood: Our ‘D’ readied us for Jets ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2013 – 10:44 am

As we profiled on the home page of this morning, both EJ Manuel and Geno Smith might be seeing more familiar defensive looks pre-snap on Sunday than they have seen to this point from an opponent in their young careers because of the similarities between their own team’s defense and that of their opponent this week in the Bills-Jets matchup. Bills center Eric Wood also found it helpful when it came to putting together the line call assignments.

“Yeah absolutely,” Wood said. “We feel it’s an advantage that we’ve seen this all summer. There are some differences, but some of the looks are the same and some of them are tough to prepare for so having seen these all summer has made some of the assignment installation easier.”

We’ll see on Sunday if that leads to more effective execution and faster tempo for the Bills with what is anticipated to be improved pre-snap recognition.

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Coples to play, Holmes probable

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2013 – 7:17 pm

The Jets have a lengthy injury report, but they’re relatively healthy heading into Sunday’s game against the Bills.

Head coach Rex Ryan listed all of his players except one as probable for their Week 3 game, including DL Quinton Coples, who was yet to play this season after suffering a hairline fracture in his ankle. He was limited all week in practice, but Ryan said he’ll play.

“Pretty amazing, looks like Quinton Coples will play,” said Ryan. “We’ll see. I’d say he’s probable for the game. That’s probably a story in itself, young man that’s coming off surgery, what, three, four weeks ago. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how he’s doing it, but he’s done it. We’ll see what he can do.”

When asked if he’ll have a full time role Ryan indicated that he’d probably be part of a rotation on their D-line. Here’s the rest of New York’s injury report.

RB Bilal Powell (shoulder)
DL Quinton Coples (ankle)
DL Kenrick Ellis (back)
WR Santonio Holmes (foot)
DL Sheldon Richardson (shoulder)
TE Kellen Winslow (knee)
OL Willie Colon (knee)
CB Antonio Cromartie (hip)
WR Clyde Gates (knee)
WR Stephen Hill (knee)
OL Austin Howard (ribs)
WR Jeremy Kerley (concussion)
LB Garrett McInytre (knee)
QB Geno Smith (ankle)
DL Mo Wilkerson (ankle)

OL Oday Aboushi – knee

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gannon on EJ and Geno

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2013 – 10:23 am

CBS NFL color analyst Rich Gannon will be doing Sunday’s Bills-Jets broadcast with veteran play-by-play man Marv Albert. Gannon sounds like he’s a bit higher on Bills QB EJ Manuel than he is on Jets QB Geno Smith.

Here’s what Gannon had to say about Manuel.

“Last year we got spoiled with some of the young rookie quarterbacks coming in and playing so well – RGIII, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck,” said Gannon. “E.J. Manuel has handled himself well and in a difficult situation – Week 1 against the Patriots and in a tough one against Carolina last week, but they found a way to pull it out.

“They’ve been patient with him in terms of the game plan. They’ve tried to scale it down and really focus in on things he does well. He is a guy that can make every throw and is a terror when he runs the ball because he’s a lot faster than his frame would indicate. He’s off to a terrific start. This is what they need in Buffalo – production and consistency at the quarterback position. He can handle the role of being the face of the franchise, which is amazing.”

As for Smith, Gannon feels Smith is not as NFL ready as Manuel.

“Is he really ready to play right now? The answer is no, but necessary with the Sanchez situation,” he said. “He has his weaknesses and makes some poor throws, but he’s very athletic and he gives the Jets a chance to win. You have to take the good with the bad with some of these young players. He has some play-making ability. He is mobile and going to force defenses to account for his duel threat capabilities with his ability to run, particularly out on the edge. But, he clearly has a ways to go to learn a very complicated system that Marty Mornhinweg is going to run in New York.”

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Prep for crowd noise coming

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2013 – 5:07 pm

The Bills are preparing for their first road game of the season on Sunday when they travel to Met Life Stadium to face the Jets. Crowd noise will be the new element for the offense this weekend. Head coach Doug Marrone has a plan to deal with that.

Most NFL coaches pump artificial crowd noise onto the practice field during the week.

“We typically do that on Fridays,” said Marrone following Thursday’s practice.

EJ Manuel knows they have to be prepared to communicate with hand signals if necessary.

“I’ve played in stadiums where there are 95-thousand people or 100-thousand,” Manuel said. “I know it’s going to be loud and everybody is going to be against us except for the Bills fans that are there. I think the biggest thing, early in the game you really want to try to hush their crowd down if you can go out there and put points on the board or try to get the momentum on your side. That’s where it matters the most when you’re away if you can get that momentum on your side early in the game and try to keep it I think it’ll be a lot easier as far as the noise and that kind of stuff.”

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Mario unaffected by OT Howard’s tactics

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2013 – 9:42 am

Last season in Week 1 at MetLife Stadium, Mario Williams was effectively neutralized by former undrafted free agent RT Austin Howard. Williams claimed Howard drove his hands up under his facemask and into his face and was never called for it by the officials. Williams stat line for the game was a single tackle in a blowout loss. Heading into the rematch, Williams said it doesn’t matter who it is his approach will be the same as it always is.

“Every week. Every week. Every time I step on the field Sunday whoever is across the ball that’s not my mentality that’s our mentality and we’re definitely looking forward to mixing it up,” said Williams.

When asked if he plans to talk to officials beforehand about Howard’s hands to the face tactics, Mario said he wouldn’t bother.

“No, just play ball,” he said. “That’s the mindset, just go out there and mix it up, get after it.”

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Jets injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2013 – 4:15 pm

Here’s a look at the Jets injury report for Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium. Outside of RB Bilal Powell, WR Santonio Holmes and DL Quinton Coples, the Jets have healed up well.

Player Pos Injury Participation   Wednesday
Bilal Powell RB Illness/Shoulder DNP
Quinton Coples DL Ankle LP
Kenrick Ellis DL Back LP
Santonio   Holmes WR Foot LP
Sheldon   Richardson DL Shoulder LP
Kellen Winslow TE Knee LP
Willie Colon OL Knee FP
Antonio   Cromartie DB Hip FP
Clyde Gates WR Knee FP
Stephen Hill WR Knee FP
Austin Howard OL Ribs FP
Jeremy Kerley WR Concussion FP
Garrett   McIntyre LB Knee FP
Geno Smith QB Ankle FP
Mo Wilkerson DL Ankle FP

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Jets rookie DT calling out EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2013 – 8:58 am

Jets first-round pick DT Sheldon Richardson was taken three picks ahead of EJ Manuel in last spring’s draft. They met in New York City prior to the draft, and after Manuel’s fourth quarter comeback drive last Sunday Richardson fired a message off to Manuel on Facebook.

“I told him we’re after him,” Richardson told the Newark Star Ledger. “I just told him ‘good game,’ and I told him, ‘Hey, make sure you’re in your playbook, man.’”

Not surprisingly, the Jets sound like they want to put a lot of heat on Manuel to see how he handles it. Both the Patriots and Panthers did not put a ton of heat on Buffalo’s QB in the first couple of games.

“Just get after him,” Jets OLB Antwan Barnes told the Star Ledger. “Send everything you’ve got. Send the whole house.”


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Marrone: challenges change on the road

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2013 – 8:38 am

In addition to Sunday’s game being a big division contest, it’s also the first on the road Doug Marrone’s young team. Here’s how the Bills head coach is pitching the challenge of the first road contest to his players knowing they’ve had their first two games of the season on home turf.

“When you go out on the road,  the challenge is different,” he said. “Now you don’t have to worry about tickets, you don’t have anybody coming. Now you’ve got to worry about how you handle the different environment. I think a lot of the players are used to that, depending on what program they come from.

“It’s just a level of focus. Make no mistake, it will be something different for this team, something that we haven’t experienced together. But in the first year, there are going to be a lot of those situations.”

Buffalo’s record on the road against the Jets the past three seasons has not been good. Since 2010 the Bills are 0-3 at MetLife Stadium and have been outscored 114-59 in those three games. The biggest problem? Turnovers. Buffalo has 10 in their last three games with the Jets on the road.

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