The Jets’ alternating win-loss season continued as they were blown out by Buffalo, 37-14, and fell to 5-5 on the year. The Jets are 1-4 coming off the bye week under Rex Ryan.
The first half was nothing short of a disaster. Nick Folk missed a field goal for the first time this season. A horrifically timed penalty on Leger Douzable extended a Bills drive that became a touchdown, and a fumble and interception by Geno Smith led directly to points for Buffalo.
The offense couldn’t put it together the entire half. They only managed 50 yards. The offensive line couldn’t stop a nosebleed, picked up almost no blitzes, and Smith had almost no time to throw for most of the half. Really, the only good thing that happened in the first half was Ryan Quigley’s 53 yard punt to make sure the Bills couldn’t add MORE points just before half time. It was 20-0 at the half.
The carnage only got worse as the game went on. After the Bills punter fumbled a snap and gave the Jets excellent field position, the Jets finally put together a professional looking drive and scored a touchdown on an Ivory fourth down run, making the score 20-7. But Smith threw two more interceptions, including a pick-6. The other interception gave the Bills excellent field position, and by the time it was all over, the Jets were being run out of Buffalo. The offense only managed 267 yards the entire game, and a significant chunk of those yards came in garbage time.
Smith was mercifully pulled in the fourth quarter, although he should have been pulled sooner. Backup Matt Simms hooked up with tight end Jeff Cumberland for the Jets second touchdown. He was 4 of 6 for 60 yards with one touchdown and a quarterback rating of 138.9.
It’s hard to make much of Simms’ time, though. Buffalo backed off the coverage by the time he was on the field. Still, it’s hard not to be worried about Geno Smith when he’s still having games like this in Week 11. He gets a full season to prove himself, but that games with stats like these – 8/23 for 103 yards with three interceptions, two fumbles with one lost, taking four sacks for -30 yards, and a quarterback rating of 10.1 (yes, 10.1, that’s not a typo) – are still happening in Week 11 is alarming. No, the offensive line didn’t give him a lot of help, but he has to be better than that. The Jets can’t win with numbers like those.
Lost in all this was the fact that Santonio Holmes finally returned to the field after being out with a hamstring injury. He led the Jets, making two receptions for 71 yards. Chris Ivory was the Jets’ leading rusher with 15 carries for 98 yards.
There were no highlights today, and that’s not an exaggeration. The defensive line stuffed Buffalo’s rushing game, but the Bills didn’t need it. They burned the secondary, frequently targeting Dee Milliner, who doesn’t look like an NFL cornerback right now. Antonio Cromartie also got burned for a long touchdown. Kyle Wilson also nearly gave up a huge touchdown, but got lucky when the receiver dropped the ball.
All of this brings us to the pattern that’s been forming all season. If the defensive line can’t put pressure on the quarterback, and Bills’ QB EJ Manuel faced almost no real pressure all afternoon, the Jets are lit up like a Christmas tree. Tennessee, Cincinnati, and now Buffalo have been able to keep the defensive line away from the quarterback, and the Jets have been blown out every time.
The Jets kickoff next week at 1:00 PM against the Ravens. The game will be in Baltimore.