Bills Jets Liveblog

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Updated: November 6, 2011

A little bit late but let’s quickly get up to date. The Bills run defense is doing better than it usually does against the Jets, but not enough to prevent a grinding drive from Gang Green. Thankfully, Mark Sanchez is playing QB for the other team and revived the ol’ “Nacho to Byrd” connection that has proved so reliable in years past. The Bills need to a better job of disguising their blitzes though, as Sanchez seems to be reading them well.

Offensively, after a Bills 3 and out, Jackson has been running the ball better than any Bills back has against the Jets. We’ll see if it continues.

Second Quarter

14:05 On a 3rd and 1, the Bills decide to go to a big set and are unsuccessful running FJ for a first. Don’t like that playcall. To me, this is getting away from what you do well. I don’t mind running the ball, but they need to spread the field and at least threaten with the pass. As good as our run game is, we don’t do it by bull rushing people over. Or, why not run a Brad Smith wildcat play that’s been successful in these situations around 2/3 of the time?

9:14 After a holding penalty wiped out a Shonn Greene run that would have put the Jets deep into Buffalo territory, the Jets failed to pick up a 3rd and 7 after Sanchez missed Holmes on a slant by a mile. Despite getting another stop, the Jets offense continues to be effective. If our defensive gameplan continues to be “rely on Mark Sanchez to make a horrible throw once every 5 dropbacks”, we’re in for a long afternoon.

8:18 A trend I’ve noticed is that the Jets secondary are phenomenal tacklers. Many short routes and slants that the Bills generally get 4 or 5 yards off of are stopped for the minimum yardage.

3:04 Another effective drive by the Jets, another bad throw by Mark Sanchez. Maybe the Bills can rely on nothing else other than Nacho Gaffes defensively (not optimistic). Anyway, with about 3 minutes left, the Bills have a huge opportunity to go ahead at the half.

3:00 And nevermind. Hoculi overturned it, eschewing his favored method of long form narrative when describing why a challenge went the way it did, saying simply “the ball hit the ground before the interception.” This bothers me slightly, because while I think Wilson probably trapped the ball, I’m not sure that there was conclusive evidence, and Hoculi usually makes such a big deal about methodology. BAD JOB BY YOU, EDDY!

1:36 The Bills are driving with less than 2 minutes left. About 25 yards from FG range, if they can escape the half tied or better, that’d be a huge win for them, especially considering the Jets are getting the ball back at the half.

0:43 I’ve had this update written 3 times, and each time I’ve had to update. Quickly: The Jets miss a long FG, Fitz throws a pick, the Jets fumble a snap, and Marcell Dareus recovers. I liked the Bills going to Jackson off tackle to maybe put the team into field goal range.

0:31 Or maybe not. On a 4th and 2, the Bills decide to take a shot downfield to Donald Jones on the right sideline. It was well covered by Cromartie and and Pool, so the Bills turn the ball over without anything to show for it. I like the call to go for it, as the there turned out to be no threat from a timeout less Jets team. I even like the idea of throwing downfield, as the Jets were likely to be focused on stopping short plays. What I don’t like is that the offense and/or Fitzpatrick seemed set on throwing the ball deep whether or not Jones was covered. I would have liked to seen a checkdown option. Where’s Trent Edwards when you need him?

Halftime

The Bills are very fortunate to be only down 3 points. The Jets thoroughly outplayed the Bills, and are a few bad Sanchez throws away from being up 13-0. However, contrary to every preview of this game, including mine, the story has not been the running game. The Jets outgained the Bills on the ground with 62 yards to 49, but the Bills have been more effective gaining their yards on only 11 carries compared to the Jets 17.

The reason the Jets were able to dominate is their Secondary. Revis and Co have been tough, physical, and unimpressed with the Bills quick space based pass game. While Buffalo boasts a top 5 rushing attack, it’s not enough to win without an effective passing game. This has lead to Buffalo’s inability to hang on to the football, and why the Jets have more than doubled the Bills TOP (20:47 to 9:13).

On the other side of the ball, our secondary is not matching the Jets efforts. 129 yards allowed actually isn’t horrible, especially for this unit, but it won’t get the job done if the offense can’t hang on to the ball.

Looking forward to the 2nd half, whether or not the Bills can swing the momentum will depend on their ability to find a way to gain some traction in the passing game. As noted, the Bills are actually running the ball better, so hopefully they can begin there. First, however, the Bills will need to prevent another 10 minute drive from the Jets on their opening possession.

3rd Quarter

13:08 Strong start for the Bills run D as they force a punt from the Jets. However, it’s going to be tough for the Bills to fight their way out of the shadow of their own end zone after the Westoff and the Jets teams unit pinned Buffalo on their own one. Let’s see what adjustments Gailey drew up, even if they are limited by space.

10:16 Another nice piece of stinginess from the Bills defense holds the Jets to a field goal after a batted ball and errant pass from Sanchez. The Bills will now have space to operate, and are down by less than a TD. Things are still very much within reach, provided the Bills have found a better way to attack this airtight Jets defense. If nothing else, the Bills need a few first downs to give the D a breather.

9:51 The Bills agreed with me that the way to go was to run the ball, however, they didn’t know the Jets were going to go helmet to helmet to cause a fumble. That wasn’t a dirty play or anything, I just don’t see why it’s not a penalty on a RB if it is on a QB. And the Jets put it in the endzone 3 plays later.

4:47 The Bills finally show signs of life as Johnson beats Revis deep for a 53 yard catch on a beautiful move to the outside. Buffalo still fails to put the ball in the endzone, but, progress! You’ve made it, Buffalo!

3:27 That was a horrible call. Holmes clearly took a dive, and I don’t blame him for trying when the refs are going to be so oblivious to a play that happened directly in front of them. They get a TD the next play. You always hate to see the the refs give the other team 7 free points.

3:12 On a positive note, apparently Chandler is the toughest Buffalo Bill to tackle.

1:52 Not sure why the Bills waited til almost the 4th quarter to bust out their first screen.

4th Quarter

On the past two plays, Bills receivers have been able to find inches of space for yards against the Jets secondary. If the Jets secondary is finally cracking, this is an encouraging sign for a Bills comeback.

14:29 Two things. First, Phil Simms is a moron. The only reason Chan challenged the play was because he might get it, if not, its a huge 4th and inches that he looked like he was going to take a timeout for anyway. Second of all, JUST CALL A SNEAK CHAN. Hindsight is rarely needs corrective lenses, but to sneaks EVER fail to pick up inches? Or bring in the Brad Smith wildcat. Anything that has, you know, worked in the past.

9:30 And so begins the perfect game for the Jets, where they pound it up the middle time after time. The Bills seem disheartened; they need a turnover to energize themselves. A Jets score ends this.

6:27 Santonio Holmes draws his second pass interference call by diving due to incidental contact. He’s like the Christiano Ronaldo of the NFL, only not transcendent. The NFL needs to do something about this before all WRs figure this out and NFL teams are working out AC Milan forwards for wide outs.

5:38 Buffalo finally looks like the offensive machine they’ve been all year. It’s probably too little too late, but you definitely want to see them find things that might work against Fat Rex Ryan’s defense, as they play again in 3 short weeks. Also, at least one thing I predicted correctly, Johnson’s having a productive game despite drawing Revis all game.

4:45 You’d think chincy pass interference calls would go both ways.

3:14 Buffalo scores on the Nelson underneath crossing route we saw against Oakland, and Fitz converts the 2. Well, at least we get to hear the shout song. So, all’s we need is a Brian Moorman onsi… nevermind.

3:00 I don’t care if it’s garbage time, that’s why Spencer Johnson can’t be an OLB. I can’t believe I need to make an argument for why a guy who plays 305 pounds is too slow to keep containment.

Fin. Jets 27, Bills 11.

A few more thoughts…

While the Bills only TD came in garbage time, that loss wasn’t nearly as bad as it looked. Our rush defense actually did the best against the Jets they have in years, holding New York to 3.2 yards per carry. I think two BS dives by Santonio Holmes put the Jets from field goalish range to inside the 10, where they quickly got TDs both times. Basically, the Jets were able to neutralize the Bills passing attack with great secondary play, and everything else flowed from the Bills resulting ineffectiveness. So it was encouraging that towards the end of the game the Bills were able to find some success through the air. They’ll need to keep that going if the Bills want the next game at the Meadowlands to be more competitive.

Special Comment

I want to take a moment to go on an Olbermannesque rant against something I disliked from the moment I heard about it. I bit my tongue initially because people seemed to be into it and I wanted to avoid being the turd in the punch bowl. Well, now that Rex Ryan has finished taking a dump in said bowl, here it goes.

I’m talking, of course, about the white out.

First of all, it’s not 2008. Second of all, this makes the Bills about the 52nd team that’s tried to make an identity for their stadium with the gimmick. Third of all, if you are a fan base that prides itself on hardcore, passionate fans, a promotion that’s made famous by the the Miami Heat probably isn’t the way to go.

Despite all these facts, I would have been converted had it made for an impressive visual spectacle. Well, not so much. Apparently only half the fans got the memo, which made it just look like a normal Bills crowd that preferred the white jerseys to the blue. It didn’t look bad until Simms mentioned that it was a “white” out, at which point it immediately looked half assed, and I can only assume more so to the remainder of the country that presumably didn’t know about it, especially on the heals of a nationally televised Alabama crowd that looked awesome last night in their uniformity of Crimson, gray, and white. And that was with an unseasonably warm game at RWS. I can’t imagine more than a third of fans would have participated had the normal low 40s November temperature prevailed.

This may sound like hate just for hates sake, which I can’t blame you for as I may be more prone to that than most, and the hates best served up fresh after a bad loss like that. But the greater point I want to make is that the promotion was unoriginal, dated, and half assed. I’d be much more supportive of something that came up that gave us identity or was organic. That was neither, and hopefully the bad taste associated with the “white out” will prevent it from happening anytime in the near future. Or ever.