The Jets and Bills kicked off the 2017 Season at Buffalo. The Bills were able to run all over the Jets defense in a 21-12 win.
The two teams met for the 12th time in Week 1. The Jets had won eight of their first 11 meetings, but the Bills were able to snap the Jets five-game winning streak against them in season openers.
Here is how the game broke down.
Buffalo dominated the play putting together two long drives. Their first drive ended when Tyrod Taylor was intercepted by Juston Burris in the end zone off of a tipped pass. It looked like Burris would return it for a TD, but he ran into Marcus Maye.
The Bills second drive totaled 77 yards and ended with a Taylor to Charles Clay one-yd TD pass. The Jets defense allowed 10 plays of over 10+ yards as they looked a lot like they did last season with allowing big plays. The Bills outgained the Jets 180-16 after their TD drive with 11:26 left in the first half.
The Jets were able to put together a few drives that led to field goals. Josh McCown connected with Eric Tomlinson on a 25-yard reception and discovered a new favorite target in Jermaine Kearse. Kearse caught four passes for 38 yards with two of those receptions coming on third down.
One very disturbing the trend for the Jets offense was their inability to run the ball. The Jets totaled 12 yards rushing on five carries in the first half. Another concern for the Jets was that Bilal Powell wasn’t used much. Most consider Powell to be the Jets best offensive weapon and he only touched the ball three times, rushing for nine yards.
The Bills offense faced very little pressure from the Jets defense and Tyrod Taylor had plenty of time to hit his targets. Lesean McCoy and Mike Tolbert ran the ball very effectively as the Bills rushed for 110 yards in the first half.
Overall the Bills outgained the Jets 236-86 in the first half and had the ball for over six and a half minutes longer. The Bills collected 15 first downs to just four for the Jets.
For the Jets most of their defensive players were invisible. Mo Wilkerson was blown off the line of scrimmage on more than one occasion creating huge running holes for the Bills. Leonard Williams and Josh Martin clearly separated themselves from the other players on defense.
Martin broke through and had the Jets only sack of the first half to stop the Bills drive at the end of the first half along with making a few stops against the run at the line of scrimmage. Williams was also very active in stopped the Bills running backs for short gains.
On the Bills second drive of the half Jordan Matthews undressed Buster Skrine, turning a short pass into a 47-yard gain that put the Bills inside the Jets 20. A few plays later Taylor pump faked the Jets silly, turning a certain loss into a 14-yard scramble to give the Bills a first and goal.
On the Bills next play, Marcus Maye was caught out of position as the Bills exposed the rookie on Andre Holmes 1-yard TD reception to extend their lead to 14-6.
After boring their fans to death with a microscopic passing game, the Josh McCown opened it up a bit on the Jets next possession. After averaging just 4.9 yards per attempt on his first 21 throws, McCown totaled 58 yards on five completions to move the Jets inside the Bills 10-yard line.
ArDarius Stewart almost had his first NFL touchdown on McCown’s next pass attempt, as the officials ruled he had kept his feet inbounds when reaching for the end zone. However, a review showed he stepped out of bounds.
After the Bills stopped the Jets on their next two plays, Todd Bowles had a decision to make on fourth and goal. Bowles trusted McCown and his offense, as the veteran QB pushed through the offensive line to give the Jets their first TD of the season.
Down by two the Jets two-point attempt was intercepted.
Taylor once again was on display on the Bills next drive, keeping a play alive on third down and finding McCoy who had beat Demario Davis over the middle for an 18-yard gain. McCoy victimized the Jets again, this time with his legs, bursting through on a 27-yard gain as the Bills offensive line continued to embarrass Steve McClendon and Mo Wilkerson blowing them 3-4 yards back from the line of scrimmage.
The Bills drive ended in their third TD of the game as once again they blew apart the Jets defensive line with a one-yard TD run by Tolbert.
The Jets last chance to get back into the game came after they had forced the Bills three-and-out and a strong punt return gave them the ball on the Bills 39. However, a dropped pass off a poorly thrown ball by McCown and a screen that netted one yard put the Jets in third and long.
Needing to gain a few yards just to get into field goal range, McCown was forced from the pocket and threw up a desperation pass that was intercepted by Jordan Poyer. Or was it? Since no one understands the NFL rules for “completing a catch” Poyer didn’t look like he completed the catch when Robby Anderson took the ball from him. However, replay officials upheld the play and Buffalo ended the Jets last real threat.
For the game the Bills outgained the Jets by almost 200 yards, 408-214. They also dominated the Jets on the ground, 190-38.
What we took away from this game
The Jets defensive line is not as good as some people thought. The Bills did whatever they wanted to do all game against the Jets front seven, creating huge holes for McCoy and Tolbert to run through.
Newcomer Kony Ealy made a few defensive plays and was very active around the ball. Leonard Williams showed why he was the Jets best defensive player last year, making a few stops at the line of scrimmage and collecting two QB hits.
Josh Martin continued his strong play from the preseason, collecting a sack and stopping a few plays for no gain. Demario Davis (14) and Darron Lee (10) finished 1-2 in tackles, but were once again often exposed in pass coverage.
Offensively, the only drive that John Morton opened up the passing game, the Jets responded with a TD drive. The rest of the game Morton was way too conservative, calling short passes that went nowhere against a defense that knew they were coming.
How did the rookies do?
In their first NFL game, the Jets first two draft picks Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye showed flashes of why the Jets are counting on them to lead this defense for years to come.
Maye collected seven tackles, but his best tackle came on Juston Burris when he ran into him hustling downfield after Burris intercepted Taylor in the end zone to stop the Bills opening drive. He also was caught out of position on the Bills second TD of the game.
Adams made five tackles and had a pass defended, but too often the Bills TE and WR were wide open downfield. The Bills had five passing plays of 20+ yards.
The Jets offensive rookies were invisible. ArDarius Stewart caught two passes and had a TD overturned when it was ruled he stepped out of bounds. Chad Hansen and Elijah McGuire saw little action, while Jordan Leggett was inactive.
What is next?
The Jets travel to Oakland next Sunday to take on the Raiders at 4PM EST.
Mark Kelly covers the New York Jets for ProFootballSpot.com. You can follow him on twitter @CkmagicSports. Looking for more Jets news and features? Like our Jets Facebook page and also follow @spot_jets on Twitter.