OPINION: Arrow Up/Arrow Down: Bills at Jets

The Bills sweep their AFC East rival for first time since 2015
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By WGR 550 SportsRadio

The Buffalo Bills beat the New York Jets on Sunday, 18-10 to sweep them for the first time since 2015.

It wasn’t the kind of game many envisioned, but it moved the Bills to 5-2 on the season and gives us the chance to start with the Arrows Up again:

ARROW UP:

Tyler Bass

Bass was 6-for-8 on field goal attempts, tying a franchise record for made kicks in a game and setting the record for attempts. He bailed the offense out from not converting touchdowns on several drives. Bass nailed field goals from 53, 48, 46, 37, 29, and 40 yards. He was the only scoring for the Bills the entire day with all 18 of their points.

Josh Allen

Allen was literally the only Bills offense through the first quarter-and-a-half. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll started the game by calling 16 straight passes. Allen threw the ball on 13 of them and scrambled the other three. The Bills didn’t hand the ball off to a running back until the first play of their third drive, which was with 7:17 left in the second quarter. Allen finished 30-for-43 (69.8%) for 307 yards. He added another 61 yards rushing for a total of 368 on the day. Allen played well, the Bills just didn’t score any touchdowns.

Zack Moss

Even when Moss has played this season, he hasn’t been very productive. That changed on Sunday when he ran seven times for 47 yards, for an average of 6.7 yards per-carry. He also caught three passes for 25 yards. Only one touch (a reception) came before halftime. The rookie had 67 yards from scrimmage in the second half, including several key runs.

Jerry Hughes

Hughes often has games where he plays well but doesn’t register stats, but he showed up big-time on the stat sheet Sunday, registering six total tackles, including one for a loss, two sacks, an interception, a pass breakup, and a forced fumble.

A.J. Epenesa

The Bills rookie seemed to flash several times and finished the game with three total tackles, a half of sack, and a quarterback hurry.

Dane Jackson

What a way to make your NFL debut.  In Jackson’s first-ever action, he grabbed his first career interception, while also making key tackles and big pass breakup on a third down early in the game.

Second half defense

The Jets did some nice things on offense in the first half, especially in the run game, and had with 186 yards and 10 points at halftime. But what a turnaround by the Bills defense in the second half! They held the Jets to four total yards of offense, no points, two first downs (one via penalty), held Jets quarterback Sam Darnold to 1-for-8 passing for four yards, and the Jets to less than seven minutes of time of possession thanks to four out of five three-and-out drives.

Andre Roberts

Roberts continued his excellent season on Sunday. Playing his most-recent former team, Roberts had a 58-yard kick return to start the second half, plus a 15-yard punt return that both set the Bills up in good field position. Both returns ultimately led to Bass field goals.

Pass rush!

This is the first time I’ve been able to put the pass rush on the Up side of this column, but it was deserved on Sunday after the Bills sacked Darnold six times, and also were credited with another 10 quarterback hurries. The Bills entered the game with only 11 sacks on the season. They had more than half that number in this game.

Third down defense

The Bills came into the game as one of the worst third down defenses in the league, but did a good job against the Jets, holding them to 2-of-8 third down conversions (25%).

No punts!

Punter Corey Bojorquez played eight snaps. All were holding field goals for Tyler Bass, because he never punted once. Of the Bills' 10 offensive drives, eight ended in field goal attempts, one in a lost fumble, and one with Allen kneeling to end the game.

Cole Beasley

Beasley did a great job of being Allen’s security blanket all game, leading all receivers with 11 catches and 112 yards.  Those 11 catches came on 12 targets, so the Allen-to-Beasley connection was totally in sync.

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ARROW DOWN:

Tyler Bass

Bass gets an Up for making six, but a Down for missing two from 45 and 37 yards. The Bills knew they’d have to live with the ups and downs of a rookie kicker, and he gets both here this week.

Tremaine Edmunds' missed plays

Bills head coach Sean McDermott answered affirmatively last week when asked if Edmunds needs to make more game-changing plays. He had a chance for a couple against the Jets, but didn’t. The Bills middle linebacker dropped an interception right in his hands and had a great chance for another, but couldn’t get to the ball in time as it was falling to the ground in front of him.

Third down offense

The Bills entered the game with the best third down offense in the NFL, but only converted on 3-of-11 chances against the Jets (27%).  All eight of the non-conversions resulted in field goal attempts.

Red zone offense

Of course when you attempt eight field goals it means you didn’t cash in on touchdowns when given chances. That was definitely the case for the Bills who were 0-for-5 in the red zone.

Penalties

11 penalties for 106 yards for the Bills. Too many, again. It was an issue last week against the Kansas City Chiefs and again Sunday against the Jets. For the second time in three games, a penalty cost the team a touchdown, both of which were receptions by wide receiver Gabriel Davis that were called back.

First half run defense

The Bills were getting gashed again against the run, just six days after allowing 245 yards on the ground to the Chiefs. In the first half, the Jets slammed it at them for 86 yards and 4.6 yards per-carry. They obviously turned that around in the second half.

Follow me on Twitter: @SalSports

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