Jets 26 Bills 17
by Brian Clark
Quarterback – C
Brett Favre – 19/28 201 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Coach Mangini told him prior to the week to not hit on 20 when playing blackjack. For the majority of the game Favre played within himself taking what the Bills defense gave him. Instead of retreating in the pocket and throwing off of his back foot, he stepped up in the pocket and made throws while moving forward. His most successful plays are those where he reads the presnap defense and takes advantage of holes and mismatches. Twice in the game he did a fake look to the right and then turned and threw to a slanting WR, once in the first half to Coles for a short gain and then in the second half for a 35 yard completion to Cotchery. His experience of reading defenses put him in and the Jets in an advantageous position. His one bad throw was a horrible play call doubled with poor execution on a first down throw across the field up by 13 midway through the 4th. That play call was weak, and he should have just taken the sack. Despite that play, he played with within himself and led the Jets well, in his first game without a TD pass.
Running Backs – B+
Thomas Jones – 12 carries, 69 yards, 1 TD 5.8 yards per carry, 6 receptions 38 yards
Leon Washington 7 carries, 13 yards, 2 receptions 42 yards
Thomas Jones has shown no signs of aging as he is hitting the hole harder and faster than I have ever seen him as a Jet. On his 7 yard TD run he ran strong off the right side and had a nose for the end zone, something that he was criticized for not having in years prior. Leon Washington had another strong game, taking the screen on the first drive for 40+ yards as well as a strong Special Teams day which will be mentioned later.
Wide Receivers – B-
Jerricho Cotchery – 6 receptions, 62 yards
Laverneus Coles – 3 receptions, 40 yards
With the defense that Buffalo plays, it doesn’t allow for big plays deep. With our receiving corps, that does not matter as both Coles and Cotchery are strong possession receivers and run well after the catch. Coles had a decent game making a few nice catches on third down. Cotchery played well too, and his splitting of the defense for 35 yards in the 2nd half directly set up Thomas Jones’ TD run. Stuckey had his first non impact game, and Brad Smith was a non factor as well.
Tight Ends – C
Dustin Keller – 2 reception, 19 yards
With Bubba Franks hurt, and Chris Baker coming off injury, only Dustin Keller got on the score sheet today. This group did well in run blocking though, so their contributions did not go completely unnoticed. Favre only threw to 5 receivers (Cotch, Coles, TJ, Leon, and Keller).
Offensive Line – A
This is the best game that this line has had this year, and it was the first time in a long time that I have been overly happy with the play of the offensive line. Brick did great in pass protection, as he protected Favre’s blind side well. Faneca had in my opinion the strongest game out of the group. He did great as a pulling guard on runs off tackle on the right side, and on Thomas Jones touchdown run, he put Paul Poluzsny 8 yards off the line of scrimmage, so far back out of the play that he only touched Jones when he got to the end zone. The drive in the 4th quarter was one of the prettiest things I saw all year, as the line manhandled the Bills front 4. They controlled the line of scrimmage and allowed for the running game to be successful. Besides that they also allowed no sacks to Favre, as he remained relatively clean in the pocket. Great game by this group, a true statement as that drive was the turning point of the season for me.
Defensive Line – A
Kris Jenkins should be a Pro Bowler, and was an absolute beast in the middle. He had 2 sacks, and blew up more plays in the middle while being double covered. If it wasn’t such a strong game by Revis, Jenkins would have easily won player of the week. The line allowed a Bills team which normally tears our defense up on the ground to 18 yards rushing. I’ll say it again. The Buffalo Bills, with a top 10 running back Lynch, got 18 yards on the ground against the Jets. C.J. Mosley picked up a sack and Ellis got half of a sack as well. Great game by this group.
Linebackers – C+
Despite the great play by the defense, I am less than enthused by the play of this group. They missed Harris in the middle, especially in coverage. Calvin Pace who has been great rushing the quarterback is a step slow in coverage. Marshawn Lynch went uncovered and ran for 40+ yards due to poor LB coverage and David Bowens looked lost in coverage as there is no excuse for any tight end to be that wide open in the end zone. The teams that hurt us the most are those utilize screens, the running back out of the backfield, and the tight ends. I’m worried about how this group will play against teams like New England and Tennessee, where their entire offense is based off of those types of players.
Secondary – A
Kerry Rhodes had a strong game breaking up some passes but the star of the game goes to Darrelle Revis. I doubted the Jets drafting him a few years ago, but this kid is a stud. 1 INT to end the game, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery and a DPOW nomination if not a victory. He shut down Lee Evans a threat with speed and Edwards #1 target. Teams don’t even try to throw thte ball his way and when they do, he punishes them for it. Abram Elam made a great play baiting Edwards to throw the ball to Parrish on the pick. It was a play that they had seen on the video tape and Elam said in the post game interview that Mangini told them to look for that alignment and that play when the Bills were on that side of the field. Great planning and a great play paid off for that key pick six. Drew Coleman needs to get cleats with longer spikes as he slips in coverage and falls down almost as much as Eric Smith.
Special Teams – B+
Let’s start with the kicking game. Feely went 4 for 5 in a tough win, including a key kick with 3 minutes to go. Reggie Hodges put three bad snaps down and made it so Feely could even put them through. Leon had a stellar game though, as he made big gains in the return game, as he consistently puts us at the 40 yard line for our offense. We lead the league in starting field position and it is mostly because of his play. That play on the sideline was an extremely heady play and basically changed the field position from our 8 to our 40. A 32 yard gain because of smart recognition and great coaching made that play.
Coaching – A-
This feels like the strongest coaching game in the Mangini era. The Jets sustained long drives against the Bills defense as Schotty mixed up the run and pass beautifully. The defense shut down an efficient offense, knocking Edwards off of his game. They shurt down the run, pressured the quarterback, and got turnovers. In Special teams Westhoff told Leon about that rule and that affected the field position. There was big steps made by the coaches that helped this team go on the road, to a division team, in a hostile environment, and win a game that the good teams need to win. Many times we say a win was won because of a single player or group of players strong performance. This game was won due to great coaching and preparation, and for the first time, great 2nd half adjustments.
Studs Of The Game: Darrelle Revis, Kris Jenkins