Bills struggle on both sides of the ball in loss to Jets

NFL Buffalo

Sean McDermott’s process hit a speed bump Thursday night in East Rutherford.

The Bills got off to a rough start against the Jets and struggled to control the line of scrimmage all night long. In their first play on offense, Tyrod Taylor was sacked for a 12-yard loss. That was followed by an incomplete pass and a LeSean McCoy run for no gain. 

The rest of the night was little improvement. 

Buffalo turned the ball over three times, took seven sacks and got blitzed for nearly 200 yards rushing as the Jets laughed to a 34-21 win. The Bills fell to 5-3 and 1-3 on the road. 

“This room is really disappointed,” Eric Wood said. “A great opportunity tonight to show the country what we’re about. We’re obviously disappointed.”

“Small mistakes that we haven’t made in the past, we made today,” LeSean McCoy said. “Started at the beginning of the game with small things like alignments, being onside. We’ll get it together. Tonight, we just didn’t bring it.” 

Sean McDermott did not think Buffalo’s 5-2 start made them overconfident against the last place Jets. 

“No, these guys are humble,” McDermott said. “They’ve prepared like they have every week. No excuses. We got beat and we have ot learn from it.”

It was 34-7 early in the fourth quarter before Tyrod Taylor led a pair of cosmetic TD drives on either side of a successful Bills onside kick. 

The Jets got their offense going on their second drive of the game, thanks to the legs of the 38-year old quarterback.

Josh McCown picked up a 3rd down with a 6-yard scramble, before capping off an eight play drive with a 10-yard touchdown run to give the Jets a 7-0 lead. 

Zay Jones’ first career touchdown catch early in the 2nd quarter tied the game up at 7-7. 

The Bills rookie had a scary moment later in the 1st half, when he hyper extended his knee. Jones had to be helped off the field but did return to the game.

Newly acquired wideout Kelvin Benjamin was inactive. Sean McDermott said he thought the whirlwind 48 hours of being traded, flying to Buffalo, meeting a new team and flying to New Jersey was too much to also ask Benjamin for 60 minutes of football.

“It was a short week,” Taylor said. “He hasn’t really had a chance to learn the playbook. I think it was a smart move.” 

Buffalo trailed 10-7 at the half but could have been even. Jordan Matthews fumbled the ball inside New York territory and within Steven Hauschka field goal range in the final minute of the 2nd quarter.

Taylor was sacked five times in the opening 30 minutes. 

Out of the break, the Bills offense continued to struggle. Buffalo gained just 9 yards of offense in the 3rd quarter.

New York extended their lead when McCown connected with Robbie Anderson for a 25-yard touchdown to make it 17-7.

Things got worse for Buffalo when Bilal Powell broke a 51-yard run, shaking off a handful of would be tacklers. Matt Forte scored on the next snap to give the Jets a 17-point advantage. Forte finished the night with two touchdowns.

In the 4th quarter, Taylor was sacked and lost the ball which led to Forte’s second rushing touchdown of the night.

The Bills looked barely competitive in the first half and totally outclassed in the second. 

“We didn’t play well. They did what they wanted to do with us,” Alexander said. “Just didn’t come out and start fast. Once stuff went bad, we couldn’t come out of that funk.”

The Bills didn’t force a turnover for only the second time all season.

Taylor finished the night with 285 yards passing and three total touchdowns, but the seven sacks dirtied his stat line.  

Jones had his best night as a rookie, catching six passes for 53 yards and the touchdown.

Buffalo was outgained in yards for the seventh straight game.

This was the third time the Bills started 5-2 during the playoff Drought. All three times, Buffalo has lost to the Jets in game eight. 

“Whatever may be said… ‘here the Bills go again’. That’s not it. That’s not how this team thinks,” Micah Hyde said. “It’s a totally different mindset this year.”  

The Bills will have 10 days to stew before they get to prove it. Buffalo will host the NFC South leading New Orleans Saints at New Era Field November 12th. 

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