The Buffalo Bills were riding high following a come-from-behind victory against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2. It seemed as though things might be coming together on both sides of the ball for this relatively youthful and inexperienced team. The defense came up with plenty of big stops to keep E.J. Manuel and his explosive young offense in the game.
More importantly, everything appeared to be on the up and up in Buffalo, and there was reason to believe that Doug Marrone‘s squad would put it together sooner rather than later.
It’s now a week later, and the Bills have come back down to earth. Manuel was mostly rendered ineffective by the New York Jets‘ aggressive defensive scheme, and the Bills’ defense allowed way too many big plays in the secondary, including two long TD passes from rookie Geno Smith.
Although Manuel avoided making any crucial mistakes for the third straight week, he also consistently failed to get it done in the red zone. This resulted in four Bills field goals before they finally found the end zone in the fourth quarter. The toughest pill for the Bills’ offense to swallow is that they failed to capitalize on a number of turnovers and a record-setting 20 penalties by the Jets.
Buffalo’s defense played a more complete game, but lost several key players to injury and still couldn’t do enough to bring home the win. Smith’s two long TD bombs were both the results of blown coverage in the secondary, and demonstrated a general lack of discipline and cohesion for the new-look defense.
The D was able to generate multiple turnovers, including two Smith interceptions, but Mike Pettine‘s squad clearly still has their work cut out for them.
That was the recurring theme for Buffalo in last night’s loss. Although the team once again showed promise on both sides of the ball, the Bills clearly have a log way to go when it comes to learning how to consistently win in the NFL.