Coming into Sunday’s game the Bills were one of the better teams in average drive start for their offense, and worst drive start for their opponent. Those numbers played out Sunday and were a key factor in the victory.
Buffalo had what looked like a comfortable 24-7 lead in the first half, but by the time the teams were headed to the locker room the lead was cut to seven. After the Bills offense went three-and-out to start the second half the game was there for anyone to seize control. But Bills punter Colton Schmidt bombed a 52-yarder down to the Jets’ 19 and Larry Dean and Boobie Dixon wrapped up Jeremy Kerley for no gain on the return. Then a holding penalty on the Jets backed them up to their own 10-yard line.
“Colton Schmidt hit the ball and that ball hit the ball and that ball bounced in there and I thought that was a big point in the game because I think we actually flipped the field and had the field position and kept them in there with the punts and the turnovers and the things like that we were able to score points,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “In my mind I thought that was a big, big deal.”
The Jets went three-and-out and punted from their own eight-yard line. Leodis McKelvin fielded the punt and returned it 24 yards to the Jets’ 27 virtually guaranteeing points for Buffalo. Dan Carpenter eventually delivered a 36-yard field goal to put Buffalo up 10.
On the ensuing kickoff the Bills cover unit didn’t bite on the attempted throwback pass that was supposed to go from Percy Harvin to T.J. Graham and Harvin was dropped at the Jets’ three-yard line. In the third quarter the Jets’ three drive starts came at their own 10, own 3 and own 14 yard lines.
At game’s end the drive starts added up to spell a significant advantage for Buffalo’s offense, which was also helped by the six takeaways turned in by Buffalo’s defense setting up short fields.
For the Jets their average drive start was their own 19. The Bills average drive start was their own 49. That’s a 30-yard drive start difference in average. A huge edge.
“Obviously the defense putting us in all those positions against a tough defense we were going against, the field position was huge,” said Kyle Orton. “We took advantage of enough opportunities to pull away.”
Tags: Colton Schmidt, Doug Marrone, field position, Kyle Orton
Posted in Inside the Bills