Bills Earn Sloppy OT Victory Against Jets


By PFC Bills Writer Jay Kommuru

It was a battle of wills this past Sunday as the Bills barely edged out the Jets in an important divisional victory. More importantly, head coach Dick Jauron bought himself a few more weeks of job security. The victory was a big one for the Bills as they had not won a divisional game since 2007, and ironically enough it came at a pivotal point in the season.  This was an absolute must-win game for the Bills if they have any shot left at making the playoffs this year. They lost QB Trent Edwards to a concussion in the 2nd quarter (he was 5 for 5 passing up until that point), and in came backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who had his own problems with inconsistency.     The Bills defense welcomed back Paul Posluszny who chipped in with an INT of his own and the pass defense as a whole played their best game of the season picking off Jets QB Mark “Sanchize” Sanchez 5 times. S John Wendling had another INT on a botched field goal attempt as well bringing the turnover count to 6 for the Jets.

Game Recap

It was a sloppy game by both teams and it seemed as if neither team really wanted to win. K Ryan Lindell missed a 40+ yard winning field goal as time expired which took the game to OT. Jets won the toss in OT and opted to receive but they got called for a crucial holding penalty and then had a botched FG attempt and ended up turning the ball over. Both teams then traded punts and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an INT around midfield which seemed like it would be the end of the game shortly thereafter. But “Sanchize” threw an INT of his own and the Bills advanced the ball to the Jets 29 and Lindell got a chance at redemption – at which he succeeded putting the Bills up 16-13 for their 2nd victory.

Defense
All in all, the Bills pass defense was excellent but the run defense looked terrible. They gave up over 300 yards rushing, including a 71 and a 64 yarder to RB Thomas Jones.  Most of the blame can be put squarely on the line-backing core as Palmer and Ellison were huge liabilities against the run.  The LBs tended to shade to the strong-side of the offensive formation (where the TE lines up) and Jones was simply able to cut-back and gain significant yardage. S Donte Whitner was also poor at run-support as both the long runs came on plays where he had the gap responsibility. Either way if the Bills want to stop anyone on the ground this year they need to upgrade the weak-side LB. DT Kyle Williams might miss this week’s game against the Carolina Panthers further depleting the run defense. The Bills reportedly worked out six defensive linemen on Monday including former Colts DT Ed Johnson. (The others were Marlon Favorite, Antwan Lake, Joshua Leonard, Langston Moore and Rodrique Wright).

Offense

The passing game was mediocre yet again, however Fitzpatrick was able to involve the WRs a bit more as Lee Evans finally caught his 2nd TD and ended up with 68 yards (he would’ve had 97 had it not been for a questionable replay overturn by the officials in OT). Other than that, most of the passing game success actually came on multiple pass-interference penalties against the Jets. T.O. was mostly quiet in the game but was able to draw some flags against Jets CB Darrelle Revis. The offensive line played well and gave up just one sack (unfortunately that sack was the one that concussed Edwards). Fitzpatrick was effective in avoiding sacks and showed good pocket presence in minimizing the O-line’s relative inexperience. The rushing game was decent racking up about 120 yards rushing (20 more if you count Fitzpatrick’s scrambles). But overall, the offense did just enough to win the game while the defense really gave them plenty of chances to do so.

This week is yet another important contest in terms of 2009 playoff aspirations for the Bills as they face off against the reeling Panthers.  A short write-up on a proposed strategy will be up later in the week.