Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets: Live Grades and Analysis for New York

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IMarch 22, 2017

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09:  C.J. Spiller #28 of the Buffalo Bills runs by  Antonio Cromartie #31 of the New York Jets  during their season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 9, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The New York Jets got a huge home win against divisional rival Buffalo Bills to move to 2-1 on the young season. 

Check below for grades and analysis for each of New York's positional units in the big win.


New York: 27

Buffalo: 20


Final Analysis for the New York Jets

Pass Offense: Geno Smith and the Jets pass offense couldn't repeat the success they had in the first half. However, Smith's 69-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes was perfectly executed, and it ended up being the decisive play. Smith's two interceptions were both bad reads, but the rookie did enough to maintain the franchise's faith in him. The pass protection was also terrific, allowing no sacks and just two quarterback hits. 

Run Offense: After struggling to get running room in the first half, the Jets rushed the ball with power in the final 30 minutes. The offensive line continually got push, and the Jets averaged a tremendous six yards per carry in the second half. Bilal Powell finished the game with a career-high 146 yards rushing, and New York put up 182 yards on the ground as a team. 

Pass Defense: EJ Manuel and the Bills passing attack had better success against New York's secondary in the second half, but they still struggled to move the ball. Manuel was consistently under pressure, and the coverage was phenomenal. However, New York's discipline on the defensive side of the ball needs to be improved. Late in the game, the unit committed several horrible penalties to keep Buffalo in the game. 

Run Defense: New York's run defense looked fantastic once again in Week 3. They limited dynamic running back CJ Spiller to less than a yard per carry and backup Fred Jackson couldn't get going in the second half, either. That's three straight solid rushing attacks that the Jets have contained. This unit could be one of the best in the league. 

Special Teams: Nick Folk continued his perfect season, nailing two important field goals, and new punter Ryan Quigley performed admirably in his first start. His final punt, which was downed at the 1-yard line, was the nail in the coffin. The return game needs a spark, though. It has failed to make an impact thus far. 

Coaching: Marty Mornhinweg called a tremendous game. He allowed Smith to freely fire it downfield against a Bills secondary that was missing Leodis McKelvin and it resulted in multiple big plays. Rex Ryan's defense shut down Manuel and company all game long, but their discipline needs to be improved. The Jets challenged the NFL record for penalties in a game with 20. 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 22: Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson #96 of the New York Jets sacks quarterback EJ Manuel #3 of the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter in a game at MetLife Stadium on September 22, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Rich Schultz/Getty Images


First-Half Analysis for the New York Jets

Pass Offense: Apart from one underthrown pass that resulted in an interception, Geno Smith was terrific in the first half. He connected with Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley and Santonio Holmes on several big plays on late downs, including a beautifully-executed 51-yard touchdown pass to Hill in the second quarter. Smith ended the half completing 10 of 17 passes for 187 yards. The offensive line also held up, allowing no sacks and just one quarterback hit through the first 30 minutes. 

Run Offense: Against a Bills run defense that ranked 30th in the league entering the game, the Jets should have had more success running the ball in the first half. The offensive line was continually manhandled by Buffalo's front seven, and Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell failed to find any running room. New York's runners combined for a lowly 56 yards on 20 carries. 

Pass Defense: New York's secondary was hardly challenged by rookie signal-caller EJ Manuel in the first half. Manuel dropped back a total of only 11 times, and he completed just five passes for 53 yards.  The Jets pass rush was hot and cold, as they failed to pressure Manuel early on but picked it up late. 

Run Defense: The Jets were destroyed by Buffalo's running game last season, but it's been a different story so far in this one. Apart from allowing a big 59-yard run to Fred Jackson that set up a field goal, New York completely shut down the Bills rush offense. Excluding Jackson's big run, the Bills carried the ball 18 times for just 38 yards. This run defense is the real deal. 

Special Teams: New York's special teams hasn't had much of a chance to make an impact thus far, but has been solid nonetheless. Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates have been decent on three returns, and punter Ryan Quigley has performed admirably. Nick Folk drained a 47-yard field goal in the closing seconds, as well. 

Coaching: Rex Ryan's defense has been phenomenal again thus far, limiting EJ Manuel and company to just 139 total yards. Marty Mornhinweg's play-calling has also been superb. He allowed Geno Smith to sling it downfield against an inexperienced Buffalo secondary throughout the first half, and it resulted in several big plays. New York outplayed Buffalo in every aspect of the game through the first 30 minutes.