A (surprise) aerial assault
For those who are fans of teams with real, attacking offenses, featuring big arm quarterbacks, and wide receivers you may even consider drafting in fantasy, this feeling will seem totally alien to you: Jet Nation could hardly believe that the team had completed completed not one, not two, not three, but four passes of over 40 yards in a single game. As far as the fans are concerned, the Jets simply do not complete deep passes, period. Geno Smith connected with Hill twice and Holmes twice four a combined 205 yards and 2 touchdowns. That's more offense than the Jets seemed able to muster over the course of an entire game during some particularly bad stretches during last season. It's a sign that there's hope for the offense, lead by Geno Smith and offensive coordinate Marty Mornhinweg.
The Jets traded for Chris Ivory and signed Mike Goodson, yet it's Bilal Powell who's taken the starting job by the horns by being the most reliable back on the roster from day 1 of training and continuing into the season. Powell rushed for 149 yards on 27 carries, a 5.5 average YPC. He was the beneficiary of good blocking but also showed good patience and let the holes develop. The Jets can look forward to Goodson's return from suspension in week 5, who is a much more explosive back and could make some big plays out of the screen game, but for now, the Jets are more than happy with what Powell is providing in all facets of the offense.
And it was all yellow
Flag, flag, flag flag flag. The Jets committed 20 penalties, a whopping 8 of which coming in one drive alone. Frankly, the penalties are the main reason the Bills remained in the game into the 4th quarter despite being definitively outplayed over the first 3 quarters. They won, therefore the penalties should not be the main headline, but there's no doubt that if they even hint at coming close to 20 penalties again it will result in a loss. Ryan has already announced that for every penalty committed in practice this week, the rest of the team, staff, and even Woody Johnson himself will be doing push-ups-- that's everybody except the player who commits the penalty. They get to watch. For what it's worth, many of the penalties (offsides, neutral zone infractions, and false starts) were a result of the players jumping out of their skin to bring the fight to the Bills rather than being overmatched. Ryan preaches "controlled mayhem" to his players, they've got the mayhem down now they just need a bit more control.
Another big day for the D
The big passes from Geno were the storyline on the offensive side of the ball, but the real winner yet again was the Jets defense. They recorded 8 sacks on EJ Manuel and gave the Bills very, very little room to breathe. The Bills entire offense really consisted of 2 big plays, a TD pass over the middle to Chandler and a 59 yard run from Fred Jackson (which, not to take anything away from Jackson's great effort, was a bit of a freak play). The bottom line is that the defense gave up just 10 first downs in total to Buffalo after giving up just 9 the week before in New England. The next thing to look for from this D is the ability to create turnovers, as they may have been stout but not opportunistic, forcing not one this week from a rookie QB.
The Jets go to Tennessee next week where they should have a good shot at climbing to 3-1 (despite being 5 point underdogs already). Look for Geno to continue to gain more confidence throwing the ball down the field while working to eliminate the turnovers, and for the defense to continue to stop the ground game against a run-happy Titans team.