The Buffalo Bills traveled to the swampy industrial wastelands of northeastern New Jersey to battle the Jets in front of a national audience this past week on Thursday Night Football. It was a chance to show the media and fans from across the country that the Bills were a new team who had changed their previous culture of losing.
Jets head coach Todd Bowles was determined not to get swept by the Bills this season after losing to Buffalo week 1 and so he pulled out all the stops. Taking a cue from Sean McDermott's "defend our dirt" playbook, Bowles told the Jets they needed to defend their swamp also known as northeastern New Jersey.
He put a small bottle of industrial swamp water in each players locker during the week just like McDermott did with the dirt. What Bowles didn't know was that the water he left in their lockers was radioactive and after being exposed to it, it gave the Jets special strength on Thursday night.
That strength allowed the Jets defensive line to color rush the crap out of the Bills offensive line and dominate upfront all game. The Jets ended up with 7 sacks total on the night and 11 quarterback hits according to ESPN. Their offense also rushed all over the Bills racking up nearly 200 yards including their first touchdown of the game which was a 10 yard run by quarterback Josh McCown.
Later in the first quarter, Tyrod Taylor scrambled for 18 yards on 3rd and 1 to move the Bills into the Jets territory. The drive would be capped off with Zay Jones' first touchdown catch of his career. The rookie caught 6 balls on 7 targets which means either he is starting to get rid of his nerves, or he's using stickum on his hands. Either way, I'm good if he catches the rock.
The Jets would respond immediately with a field goal giving them a 10 - 7 lead. The Bills came back down the field to have a chance to tie the game heading into half but Jordan Matthews fumbled after a catch and they would go into the break trailing. Buffalo received the ball in the second half so they had a real chance to take hold of this game but it all went wrong for them at that point...
1 shot of Captain Morgan
1 hugely disappointing first half
NYJ 10 - BUF 7
The Bills went three and out to start the second half and the Jets made them pay immediately with a touchdown increasing their lead to 17 - 7. At this moment, I couldn't continue to stomach beer anymore. I needed something stronger and went for a Jack and Coke.
Buffalo would go three and out on their next two drives as well. My blood was literally boiling. Tyrod had no time in the pocket and the Jets defense was swarming the Bills like the paparazzi swarming Princess Diana's limo. (What? Too soon?)
The Jets would only need two plays to add fuel to my furious fire. After a 51 yard run by Bilal Powell, Matt Forte would run 10 yards for a touchdown increasing the Jets lead to 24 - 7.
The next drive for Buffalo was special kinds of terrible. On 2nd and 3, in the Jets territory, the Bills snapped the ball right between Tyrod's legs for a fumble which LeSean McCoy receovered but lost a yard on the play. On 3rd down, Buffalo converted a pass to Nick O'Leary and those velvety soft hands of his for a first down. O'Leary was not touched on the play, when he got up to run further, he fumbled the ball which was recovered by Jamal Adams of the Jets.
Buffalo's defense would hold the Jets after the fumble but on the very next drive, Tyrod must of thought -- hey that fumble thing seemed fun, let's try it again. He was sacked and fumbled the ball to the Jets. Matt Forte took the first play in for a 5 yard touchdown to increase the Jets lead to 31 to 7, ending any hopes I had for enjoying another minute of this awful Thursday night. I was so angry I was now laughing because I was having a complete mental breakdown.
Buffalo's offense was in four down territory and they wasted no time showing that. They went four and out (I guess that's better than watching another three and out?) and gave the ball back to the Jets who would add a field goal to their tally.
In garbage time, Buffalo was able to score back to back touchdowns to make the final score of 34 to 21 seem like the game was close but it was not by any stretch of the imagination. Between the two touchdowns, Steven Hauschka was successful on back to back onside kicks because the Bills committed a penalty on the first one continuing their theme on the day of hurting themselves with penalties and turnovers. In fact, the Bills doubled their turnover total on the season from 3 to 6 which is not a good formula if you like to win games.
By the end of the game I was numb from the pain of watching another poor performance on national television by the Bills. Maybe the Jack Daniels helped too. The Bills squandered a huge opportunity to dramatically increase their playoff chances for this season against a weaker opponent. The Jets treated the Bills like they were their little brother all night long and it was tough to stomach unlike the delicious wings I consumed during the game.
3 Jack and Cokes
1 shot of Captain Morgan
1 major opportunity blown
NYJ 34 - BUF 21