Inside The Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Bills-Jets ticket update

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2014 – 12:29 pm

Here’s an update on the Bills-Jets ticket availability for Monday night’s game at Ford Field.


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Bills planning logistics for Browns week

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2014 – 7:47 pm

As the Bills juggle the options for this week’s game against the Jets to get some level of on field preparation done before they face their AFC East rivals, there is also advanced planning being done to prepare more effectively for the Browns game the following week if in fact the weather continues to be a hindrance in Orchard Park.

“That’s something that is also in play,” said Bills team President Russ Brandon. “Not only in preparation for this game and playing this game, but for next week there is a potential to go off site and practice somewhere if our facility is not operational. That goes in the same bucket of the layers of other things that are up in the air that we’re all trying to work through. It’s a constant evolution and a process so we’re really waiting to hear back from the league.”

Brandon said they hope to get the team on the practice field to their yet to be determined game location prior to the game against the Jets.


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Extra days have helped Jets vs. Bills before

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2014 – 3:59 pm

We noted in this very blog in the past about how the Jets have benefited from extra time and rest in advance of playing the Bills in the past. In both 2011 and 2013 the Jets faced the Bills with 10 days prep coming off a Thursday night game and two weeks prep off their bye week in those two seasons. This year the NFL may have done its best job yet of giving Buffalo a favorable schedule when it came to opponents coming off a short week or coming off their bye. This week was going to be somewhat of a wash between the two teams with the Bills having 10 days to prepare for the Jets coming off their Thursday night game while the Jets came off their bye. That all changed with the lake effect snowstorm this week that shattered all snowfall record totals in Orchard Park and neighboring suburbs as well as the city of Buffalo.

Now heading into Friday with the Bills yet to rep plays on a practice field the Jets clearly have an edge in terms of prep time heading into the game. And under Rex Ryan New York has fared well against the Bills in those situations.

In 2011 when the Jets came off their bye to face the Bills they beat Buffalo at Ralph Wilson Stadium 27-11. They also won coming off their Thursday night game at MetLife Stadium 28-24. New York avoided the series sweep in 2013 with the Jets again the beneficiaries of a bye prior to their meeting with Buffalo and a Thursday night game prior to their other meeting with the Bills.

Last year the Jets won coming off their Thursday night game at home 27-20, but the Bills, thanks mainly to four turnovers, throttled the Jets who were coming off their bye 37-14 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Still, Ryan has a 3-2 mark against Buffalo when coming off a bye or Thursday night game. This year the Bills beat the Jets with New York coming off their Thursday night game prior to their first meeting in 2014.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

How Bills dealing with snow & injured players

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2014 – 2:46 pm

The Bills’ preparations are already challenged for Sunday’s game against the Jets with no players able to reach One Bills Drive due to a travel ban in Orchard Park Wednesday. With four feet of snow on the ground in Orchard Park, and 2-3 more feet expected the big concern is for injured and nicked up players getting necessary treatment for their injuries so they’re ready to play Sunday. Here is what the Bills are doing to resolve that issue around the travel restrictions.

“I’ve talked to our medical staff and have been in constant communication with them,” said Bills head coach Doug Marrone, who did manage to get to One Bills Drive Tuesday and stayed there overnight. “I got off the phone with (Head athletic trainer) Bud Carpenter an hour ago making sure the players understand how to do the things they need to do to help themselves.

“One thing about professional players is they know how to take care of their bodies. I really believe that. We’re doing everything we can from a training staff and even the weight coaches and what they’re doing for the players. We’re doing everything we can from a proactive standpoint to give them all the information and have them in the best shape when the (travel) ban is lifted.”

Even though they’re not practicing Wednesday due to the weather the team has to submit an injury report with an estimate of how much injured players would or would not be able to participate if there were a practice. That report is expected later today.


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Jets focused on ball security

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2014 – 11:53 am

The New York Jets are still a minus-11 in turnover margin this season, but their last outing showed what Rex Ryan’s team is capable of when they protect the football.

The Jets beat one of the hottest offensive teams in football in Week 10 (Jets had a Week 11 bye) when they defeated Pittsburgh 20-13. They did in large part thanks to winning the turnover battle by a count of 4-0. New York scored 14 points off turnovers in the game and jumped out to a 17-3 lead and their defense was stout when it came to keeping the Steelers out of the end zone. Ben Roethlisberger threw for almost 350 yards, but had just one touchdown pass.

On his conference call with Buffalo media Wednesday Ryan was asked if he’s confident his team won’t have a repeat performance against the Bills when they turned it over six times and lost by 20 (43-23).

“We better not I’ll tell you that much,” said Ryan. “You’re not going to beat anybody when you turn the ball over the way we did. I think there were 11 possessions inside the 50-yard line. That can’t happen and that’s our priority going into the game is taking care of the football. It’s easier said than done, but we have to get that done for us to have an opportunity in this game.”

Ryan likes the way Michael Vick has protected the football for the offense since becoming the full-time starter following the loss to the Bills.


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DL Wilkerson, TE Amaro don’t practice for Jets

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2014 – 5:08 pm

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The Jets, who are coming off their bye held a practice on Monday and an emerging weapon for them on offense as well as one of their most valuable players on defense were not at practice.

That according to ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini, who reported both their absences during the media viewing portion of practice. The absences have raised some red flags with the New York media knowing coming off the bye players that did not have a previous injury should be good to go. It has since been reported by Newsday Jets reporter Kim Martin that both players were ill Monday.


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Geno calls his play “atrocious” vs. Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on October 26, 2014 – 9:16 pm

Jets QB Geno Smith had a first quarter he hopes to soon forget Sunday against the Bills. He threw three interceptions on three consecutive possessions in the first quarter, and soon after found a seat on the bench as Jets head coach Rex Ryan turned to Michael Vick to replace him. Smith to his credit criticized his own play only.

“We didn’t execute,” said Smith. “We didn’t execute again. (When) I say we, I’m talking about myself because it was just atrocious, the way that I started out. I never expected to start a game out like that. I’ve got to make sure that I get better from that and don’t allow things like that to happen (and) put ourselves in those types of positions like that.

“It’s very surprising. Hats off to the Buffalo Bills. They had a good game plan, but I think we had a good one also. I didn’t do half as good a job as I’ve done in previous games. I really hurt us.”

Geno Smith now in nine quarters of play against the Bills in his career has thrown eight interceptions. His passer rating in each of the last two games against Buffalo is 10.1 and 0.

When asked  if he is concerned about losing his starting QB job for the Jets this was his response.

I’m just worried about what I need to do to get better from (Sunday),” he said. “I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’ve got work cut out for myself. It’s something that I believe that I can get turned around.”


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Watching for Wildcat

Posted by Chris Brown on October 26, 2014 – 10:40 am

As the Bills coaching staff prepared for the Jets this week they had to account for one new element of the Jets’ offense, namely Percy Harvin. Although New York head coach Rex Ryan has been trying to portray a plan that Harvin will only have a small package of plays due to a lack of familiarity with the offense, Buffalo’s coaches can’t buy into that. In fact they’re preparing for some simplified football plays that took the league by storm a few years back.

With Harvin unlikely to be familiar with much of New York’s passing game in the week he’s been with the club, the Jets will try to put the ball in his hands at or near the line of scrimmage and hope he can make something happen in space. Bubble screens, jet sweeps and slip screens are just a few of the options. There’s another option as well. The Wildcat.

First re-introduced to the modern game by the University of Arkansas, it spread through the league like wildfire about five seasons ago. Harvin, who would likely serve as the “quarterback” on those plays can get on the edge of a formation quickly with his speed, especially if the defense flows to the running back on the read option.

The likelihood of seeing some Wildcat looks from the Jets is further enhanced by the presence of David Lee on New York’s staff. The Jets’ quarterbacks coach, who previously was Buffalo’s quarterbacks coach under Chan Gailey, was largely responsible for turning to the Wildcat formation while he was coaching at Arkansas when everyone adopted it for their own offense.

Knowing this, Buffalo’s defense worked against some Wildcat sets through the course of the practice week in the event that it’s a card the Jets choose to play with Harvin.


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Big play opportunities?

Posted by Chris Brown on October 26, 2014 – 10:25 am

Through the first seven games this season the Bills have turned in some big offensive plays almost every week. There’s a strong likelihood they’re going to need a handful of such plays if they’re going to beat the Jets.

As we mentioned in our earlier post this morning, Buffalo should have an advantage against New York’s corners with the talent they’ll line up at receiver. And so far this season the Bills stand sixth in the league in plays that have gone for 20 yards or more with 31.

New York’s defense, while stout in many areas (run defense, forcing opponents 3&out among them), they have had trouble preventing the big play from happening. They rank near the middle of the pack (14th) in preventing big plays having given up 24 so far this season.

New York’s big play capability has not been there this season, which is partly why they chose to acquire Percy Harvin when the opportunity presented itself.


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Why Bills may not want ball control battle

Posted by Chris Brown on October 26, 2014 – 9:28 am

Since Kyle Orton has been in Buffalo’s lineup the ‘run-first’ approach on offense has fallen by the wayside. Now with Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller both out of the lineup it’ll be interesting to see if the recent surge in pass attempts by Buffalo continues. Considering the opponent today they probably should.

The Jets fully subscribe to the ground and pound approach on offense, especially in the first half of games. In an era where the majority of teams throw 60 percent or more, New York is 10 percent under that number. They run the ball half the time on their play calls in the first half through the first seven games. That’s the third-highest run percentage in football for first half play calls.

As a result the Jets have fared well in establishing ball control and eventually scoring on those possessions. New York stands ninth in the league with 11 drives that lasted five minutes or more of game clock.

The Bills, who used to be a heavy run percentage team, have slid to 13th in the league in first half run percentage (41.3%). Instead they turn more to the pass with Orton at QB. Leaning on the pass more however, has not helped with ball control. Buffalo has just four drives this season that have lasted more than five minutes, which ranks 28th.

Making use of a quick passing game and double moves with a receiving corps that on paper is vastly more talented than the Jets cornerbacks might be the way to go. If successful ball control won’t mean a whole lot because the Bills will be scoring points quickly.


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Posted in Inside the Bills