In part one of the AFC East week 1 recap, Alex Riley looked at how the Patriots and Dolphins fared in their 2019 kickoff games. In part two, I look at what happened with the Bills and Jets. A nice, simple recap as they played each other to start the campaign at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
Buffalo Bills Beat New York Jets 17-16 in an AFC East brawl
New York Jets
Regarding the Jets, the Meadowlands saw lackadaisical offence from both sides for most the game. However, it was a tale of two halves (well.. three quarters). The Jets were leading 16-0 at the end of the third quarter but that wasn’t through particular offensive success. Buffalo’s defence proved it’s still worthy of all the compliments from last season, forcing the Jets to punt on 4/5 of their opening drives.
Additionally, when they finally managed to get into the endzone, through a CJ Mosley pick 6 rather than offensive threat, the Jets’ rookie Kicker missed the extra point. Also missing a field goal at the end of the half, ultimately costing him his job. However it wasn’t all bad for the Jets. Sam Darnold didn’t look too shabby, throwing for 175 yards and a touchdown. With star Le’Veon Bell on the receiving end. Bell was used to carry 17 times, racking up 60 rushing yards with an additional 32 yards receiving. First game stats that delighted Jets fans and fantasy owners alike.
Jamison Crowder also had a big part to play in the offence the Jets did manage to play, catching 14 balls for 99 yards. Just one shy of the impressive 100 mark. Whilst on the Jets receivers, it’s important to note sympathy for Quincy Enunwa. Enunwa picked up yet another injury on Sunday. An injury that is likely prematurely ending his season yet again.
The Jets defence was a key factor as to why they lead the game for 45 minutes. Four turnovers in the first 6 Bills drives held them to 0 points, despite having 157 yards of offence. Two of the turnovers were interceptions from Mosley and Hewitt. While two were forced fumbles stripping Josh Allen and Cole Beasley of the ball.
Cause to worry in New York City?
Despite coming away with the loss on the day due to a 4th quarter implode, the Jets don’t need to be too worried about finishing last in the division just yet. Showing good signs while the Dolphins were getting crushed 59-10 against Baltimore.
Regarding the Bills, the 4th quarter comeback similar to pre-season game week 4 against the Vikings showed the resilience of the team. The defence did its usual thing all game long, only allowing one offensive touchdown to be scored by the world class Le’Veon Bell. They managed 4 sacks on the day and only allowed 175 passing yards against them all game. It was actually the Bills offence that were their own worst enemy in terms of conceding points and turnovers. Two interceptions (one of which wasn’t Allen’s fault) and two bad fumbles meant Buffalo didn’t have to punt all that much. If they practice ball security in upstate New York, the Bills could look like a real wild card worthy team.
The offence really got going in the 4th quarter, with John Brown ending up with 7 catches for 123 yards and a TD. Ultimately winning the game for the Bills after Josh Allen ran one in to begin the comeback. Offensive rookies also had decent weeks. 3rd rounder Devin Singletary impressed on limited snaps, setting up the aforementioned Allen rushing TD. While 7th rounder Tommy Sweeney did well, showing he is in contention for the Bills TE1 roster spot. Overall the Bills had many positives to take out of the game too, but also a few learning points. Points to improve on as they attempt to put some wins together to reach only their second playoff berth in 20 years.
It was a very tight divisional game at the MetLife, not much separated the long time rivals. It will be interesting to see which out of the two teams can put together the best challenge at knocking down the Patriots from their pedestal on the division.
Next week in the AFC East :
- The Patriots and the Dolphins take on each other in another AFC East battle. However I can’t be the only one who believes the score gap will be a little wider than the Bills and Jets game in Week 1…..
- The Jets take on the Browns in Cleveland. The Browns look to bounce back from a tough start to the season, especially with all their off-season hype spurring them on.
- The Bills take on a MetLife resident again in the Giants. This time upstate in Buffalo at New Era field as they look to begin the season 2-0 for the first time since 2014.
(image courtesy of theathletic.com)