Inside The Bills

Stats that stood out

Posted by Chris Brown on November 3, 2017 – 3:47 am

Bills average yards per carry – 2.9
Jets average yards per carry – 4.7

Bills net yards rushing – 63
Jets net yards rushing – 194

Time of possession – Jets – 33:30, Bills 26:30

Number of drive starts inside their own 20-yard line
Jets – 1
Bills – 3

Number of drive starts from their own 25-yard line or in
Jets – 3
Bills – 10

Number of drive starts in the opponent’s territory
Jets – 3
Bills – 0

Number of sacks by LBs
Bills – 0
Jets – 4

Number of QB hits
Bills – 4
Jets – 11

Number of QB sacks
Bills – 1
Jets – 7

Tyrod Taylor’s completion percentage (72.5%) (29-40 passing)

Offensive plays of 20 yards or more in the game
Bills – 2
Jets – 6

Bills total number of possession – 13
Bills number of possessions that went three-and-out – 4
Number of Bills possessions that gained fewer than 10 net yards – 6

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Why a Jets trend aids Bills takeaway streak

Posted by Chris Brown on November 2, 2017 – 5:40 pm

The Bills takeaway streak has been well documented. For those who don’t know, Buffalo has gone five straight games with at least two takeaways, matching their longest streak since 2011. And in each of their last four they’ve had at least three takeaways, the longest stretch since 2004-2005. Here’s a problem the Jets have, which should help the Bills in their effort to continue their takeaway trend.

New York is one of just three NFL clubs this season to have at least one turnover in every game they’ve played this season. The only other clubs are Cleveland and Cincinnati.

So while the Bills may not roll up four takeaways like they did last week in the 20-point win over Oakland, they stand a good chance of getting at least one or two tonight.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Why 27 points tonight is important

Posted by Chris Brown on November 2, 2017 – 4:25 pm

The Bills defense has done a good job of holding opponents down on the scoreboard, with the exception of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7. The Jets aren’t exactly a juggernaut on offense, but holding New York under 27 points tonight looks like a pretty important number with respect to the game history between these two division rivals.

Buffalo has won six of the last eight meetings with the Jets, and dating back to 2010, 27 points scored has been the difference for the Jets when facing the Bills.

Since 2010, when the Jets put up 27 points against the Bills they win. When they don’t, they lose, as seen by the
won-loss table below.

Jets, 2010-2017 – Record Breakdown vs. Bills
Scoring 27+ points:        8-0
Scoring fewer than 27:     0-7

When the Jets score fewer than 27, they’re winless against the Bills. When they score more than 27 they’re undefeated.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Zay Jones playing down first primetime game

Posted by Chris Brown on November 2, 2017 – 3:35 pm

For Zay Jones, tonight will be the first primetime game of his NFL career. But the rookie receiver, who makes it a point to stay grounded in the way he approaches his job, is trying to downplay the bright lights and exposure to a national audience tonight against the Jets.

“I won’t try to make it a bigger deal than what it is,” Jones said. “There will be more eyes, but I have the same job, just another game of football. It’ll be a fun time, but I’m not going to make more of it than it is.”

Coming off his most productive game on offense last week, Jones is just keeping an even keel with his emotions.

“I’m always building confidence each and every day,” Jones said. “I’ve got great timing with my quarterback and feel that groove in play, so my confidence is building and I’m working on that each and every day.”

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Jets DT McClendon: McCoy not a super hero

Posted by Chris Brown on November 2, 2017 – 12:37 pm

The Jets were getting a little tired of hearing about LeSean McCoy this week in interviews with New York reporters. New York DT Steve McClendon felt they were pumping up the abilities of Buffalo’s feature back a bit too much. So he made sure everybody understood that the Jets don’t see him as some super human talent.

“He’s not a superhero,” McLendon told the Daily News this week of McCoy. “You don’t want to make it seem
like he can’t be stopped. He’s an amazing athlete. He can do some things with the football that you see done on the basketball court. I give him that. … (But) this is how I look at everybody. And like I said, no disrespect to anybody. They put on their pads just like I do. They put on their pants just like I do. They put on their helmet just like I do. They put on their jersey just like I do. It doesn’t make no difference to me.

“Every superhero gets knocked down some time. Ya’ll looking at him as a superhero. We’re looking at him just like an ordinary man that has to be stopped.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Wood on the challenge a short week presents

Posted by Chris Brown on October 30, 2017 – 10:57 am

It’s a short, compressed week for the Bills to not only prepare for the Jets, but to travel and allow their bodies to physically recover. Most players will tell you a week this short doesn’t allow the body to completely recover from the physical demands of Sunday’s game, but everyone has to do their best.

“You’ve got to get your body back—quick recovery,” said Eric Wood. “Everything has to speed up as far as preparation goes. A lot of time spent at home studying as well as at the building. It’s tough on players and coaches, but the way I look at it, it’s a chance for us to play in prime time which we don’t do a ton. I’m looking forward to it.”


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Chunk plays proved timely

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2017 – 3:52 pm

The big play passing game for Buffalo is going to be a work in progress with all the new pieces added to the offense throughout the course of the offseason. But on Sunday the Bills were able to hit on five pass plays of 20 yards or more, and LeSean McCoy chipped in with a few runs that went for big gains as well.

Run after the catch proved valuable as Jordan Matthews took a short pass 47 yards for the longest play of the day. Charles Clay pulled in the longest pass of the day as Taylor went deep to him for a 35-yard hook-up.

“It was big, especially when you get a team that likes to blitz a lot,” said Clay. “You want to take advantage of those opportunities and get some of those big plays in that situation, and kind of calm them down. We were able to do a little of that, and at the same time we have to improve on some of things, but we’ll go back and watch the film and get better at that.”

McCoy was then responsible for three of the next four longest plays, with two coming on the ground for 27 and 23 yards, followed by his 21 yards catch and run.

When asked why the Jets defense was hit with eight plays of 20 yards or more, Jets head coach Todd Bowles has simple answer.

“Missed assignments,” he said.

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Jets run front should still be good

Posted by Chris Brown on September 10, 2017 – 11:05 am

The Jets were a top 10 run defense in the preseason, which may not hold much significance until you realize their run defense the past two years has put opposing rushing attacks on lock down.

Under head coach Todd Bowles, the Jets run defense has allowed opponents to run for just 91 yards per game. That’s the third-best mark in the NFL over that span.

Yes, they traded away Sheldon Richardson, but Steve McLendon is no slouch on the nose and Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson are Pro Bowl caliber players.

Over the last two seasons, LeSean McCoy’s best day against the Jets was the Thursday night game in 2015 at MetLife Stadium when he ran for 112 yards on just 19 carries in a 22-17 win.

Shady averaged 5.9 yards per carry against what at the time was the number one run defense in the league and literally willed the Bills to victory.

It will take a lot to repeat that kind of production, but McCoy and the offensive line might be two of the most productive aspects of the entire team the past two seasons. The Jets led the league last year in fewest broken tackles allowed with just nine all season.

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Jets injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on September 8, 2017 – 3:23 pm

The Jets injury report is just as short as that of the Bills. Only two players appear on their report for Week 1 and both players are out.

TE Jordan Leggett – knee
S Rontez Miles – eye

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Jets sign WR Kerley

Posted by Chris Brown on September 5, 2017 – 2:17 pm

On the same day he made a free agent visit, Jeremy Kerley has signed for a second go round with the team that drafted him. The slot receiver inked a one-year deal with the Jets late Tuesday.

The Jets are trying to bolster a largely unproven receiving corps. Over the weekend they traded DL Sheldon Richardson in exchange for WR Jermaine Kearse. Kerley is a former fifth-round pick of the Jets back in 2011.

Kerley is coming off a career-best 66-catch season with San Francisco. He had signed a three-year extension with the 49ers, but they ultimately cut him over the weekend.

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Forte out for Jets, Powell questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2016 – 3:24 pm

The running back situation for the Jets entering the season finale may require all hands on deck. Matt Forte is out with knee and shoulder injuries and backups Bilal Powell (knee/illness) and Brandon Wilds (hamstring) are questionable.

The only fully healthy back is Brandon Burks. Powell was limited Friday and reports indicate he will try to play Sunday, but he sounds like a game time decision.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Jets injury report for Sunday’s game.

RB Matt Forte – knee/shoulder
T Steve McClendon – hamstring
LB Lorenzo Mauldin – ankle
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – hamstring

CB Nick Marshall – hamstring

CB Juston Burris – knee
DE Sheldon Richardson – back
DE Muhammad Wilkerson – ankle/knee
WR Brandon Marshall – back
RB Brandon Wilds – hamstring
WR Robby Anderson – hamstring
RB Bilal Powell – knee/illness

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Watkins to play; Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 6:49 pm

Bills WR Sammy Watkins will dress and play tonight as he stated on Monday. Here’s the list of Bills inactives for tonight’s game against the Jets.

K Jordan Gay
RB Jonathan Williams
OT Cordy Glenn
S Colt Anderson
LB Brandon Spikes
QB Cardale Jones
C Patrick Lewis

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Can Fitz improve his numbers vs. Ryan?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 4:44 pm

Much has been made about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s lack of success against Rex Ryan’s defense, and that trend continued in the two meetings between the Bills and Jets in 2015.

Fitz and the Jets took two losses at the hands of the Bills last year, and Fitzpatrick’s numbers were not all that productive. Here’s a look at the combined numbers he put up in the two games against Buffalo last season.

Fitz was 31-71 passing (43.7%) for 374 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. He averaged 5.3 yards per attempt, was sacked twice and had a passer rating of 49.9.

Ironically, he performed marginally better in his last two games for the Bills against Ryan’s Jets defense in 2012, Fitz was 30-58 passing (51.7%) for 420 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He averaged 7.2 yards per attempt, wasn’t sacked and had a passer rating of 76.8.

So will those struggles for Fitz continue? Rex Ryan wouldn’t mind it.

“Gee I hope that trend continues,” Ryan said.

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McCoy expecting better results

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 2:16 pm

In his words the Bills offense laid “a big egg” last Sunday. LeSean McCoy doesn’t expect that to happen again.

McCoy can’t see the offense struggling as much as it did in Week 1 the rest of the way. That’s why he’s not adopting the sky is falling attitude of some outside observers.

“We can’t panic. I feel like a lot of people are panicking, ‘Oh, we lost the first game.’ Eh, we lost the first game,” said McCoy. “The offense played bad. You’ve got to move on. It’s a long season and this is the type of league it is so we’ll come out here this week and if we have a great game, you won’t even talk about last week. That’s how it works, so we can’t look back, man. Always got to look forward.

“The second game we’ll play, I think we’ll have a lot more success. We look forward to it, guys are preparing hard. Myself, I expect to have a bigger game than last game, so I mean you can’t control what happened last week.”

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Fitz the fastest gunslinger in the NFL?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 12:24 pm

After one week of NFL action Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick ranks first in one area that has been the calling card for his career. Fitz doesn’t take many sacks because he gets rid of the ball so quickly. How quick? After last week’s game he had the quickest release in the NFL.

According to Pro Football Focus, Fitzpatrick led the league in fastest release time. The Jets QB got the ball out at an average of 2.11 seconds in Week 1.

That’s why hands in the passing lanes and disguising coverages will be critical for Buffalo’s defense Thursday night. When a quarterback gets the ball out that fast a defense is more likely to have more interceptions than sacks, and that’s what the Bills should bank on.

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Mental reps must translate to physical execution

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2016 – 3:40 pm

On a short week the Bills, and the Jets for that matter, have to switch their approach to mastering the game plan to the mental side. The players’ bodies have to recover after just playing on Sunday. Running around on a practice field in the three days between the games is unrealistic. Reduced to walk through sessions and a whole lot of work in the film room, mental reps must now translate to the field for the game tonight.

Tyrod Taylor admits that’s easier said than done.

“Just trying to get everybody to focus in and understanding that it may not be a physical week, but it definitely is a mental one,” said Taylor. “Keeping everybody on the same page. Sometimes you have to talk through routes, have to spend the extra time in the film (room) talking with coaches. Just trying to pick their brains and try to stay ahead. So I just try to relay to the coaches what we like and what we don’t like.”

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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 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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