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Instant Analysis: Jets-Bills

Prolific Offensive Effort, Timely Defensive Plays Propel Jets in Western New York


Vertical Attack: The Jets had to make plays down the field against the aggressive Bills' secondary and they did just that. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (24-34-374-1TD) exploited one-on-one matchups all night, connecting on eight passes that covered 20+ yards. Fitzpatrick, who was reminded all week of his three-interception effort here last January, was on his game and his receivers continually gained separation. An offensive line, who lost LG James Carpenter to a calf injury, dictated the terms most of the evening. With the clock winding down in the final stanza, the Jets had 493 yards of total offense. The Jets very nearly had three WRs with 100 yards receiving as Eric Decker (6-126-1TD), Brandon Marshall (6-101) and Quincy Enunwa (6-92) all had monster games.

Forté's Trifecta: RB Matt Forte, who had a workmanlike 100-yard effort on the ground, scored three rush TDs. His 12-yarder in the fourth quarter put the game on ice and gave the visitors a 37-24 advantage. Forté has now rushed for 100 yards or more in 25 career games.

Countering the Counter: After a 17-point Bills' run, the Jets responded with an excellent drive in the third quarter. Taking over at their 16, they covered 84 yards on 12 plays and took the lead on Forté's 3-yard TD. Then to open up the fourth quarter, CB Marcus Williams thwarted a scoring threat with an interception of Tyrod Taylor. Williams, who led the team with six interceptions last season, has two in two weeks. The offense took over, drove 69 yards and Nick Folk's 36-yard FG gave the Green & White a 30-24 advantage. Finally Sheldon Richardson, back from suspension, stuffed LeSean McCoy for no gain, and that eventually led to Forté's final score.

Taking Charge Early: The Jets sprinted out to a 10-point halftime lead behind an impressive offensive attack. The Green & White scored on each of their first four possessions as Fitzpatrick hit on 12 of 17 for 211 yards with 1 TD. They also converted 4-of-6 on third down (67%) and repeatedly made key plays in the passing game. Fitz had five 20+yard passes in the opening 30 minutes and the Jets also picked up 26 yards on a defensive pass interference penalty as well.

Big Plays Costly:  Taylor had 84-yard and 71-yard scoring passes to WRs Marquise Goodwin and Greg Salas respectively. While the former came on a conventional go route as Goodwin ran by CB Darrelle Revis, the latter came when Taylor broke out of the pocket and took advantage of a secondary that got caught looking in the backfield. The Green & White, who were up 20-7 in the second quarter, saw their lead vanish on the game's first turnover. Rookie WR Jalin Marshall was hit following a reception in the third stanza and CB Nickell Robey-Coleman's return gave the Bills a 24-20 advantage in the third.

Enunwa's Emergence: Fitzpatrick's favorite target early was Enunwa. The 6'2", 225-pounder made an immediate impact on the opening possession, coming up clutch on three third downs. There was a wonderful 34-yard reception up the sideline, a holding infraction on Bills CB Stephon Gilmore and a 10-yard grab as well. He was a force in the opening half, collecting five receptions for 90 yards. After a career-high 7 catches last week, Enunwa had a career high in yards before the third quarter commenced.

Red Zone Rebound: After settling for field goals on their first two trips inside the red zone, the Jets answered with two touchdowns on their next two possessions. Forté fought his way for a 1-yard TD in the second and Fitzpatrick added a 5-yard toss to WR Eric Decker.  While it was Forté's first TD with the Green & White, Decker got in the end zone for an NFL-high sixth consecutive game. The Green & White finished 4-of-7 inside the 20 in Buffalo.*

*Marshall Scare: Star WR Brandon Marshall was injured in the second quarter and headed to the locker room for examination. After a 15-yard gain on a third-and-4, Bills CB Ronald Darby pulled Marshall to the ground and was called for a facemask infraction. Marshall, who also had a 37-yard reception on the possession, wasn't away long though. He immediately went to work upon his return, hauling in a 21-yard pass seconds after re-entering the contest. Marshall now has 45 career 100-yard games and 11 have come with the Jets.

Injuries: On the same play Marshall went down, LG James Carpenter suffered a calf injury and was replaced by Wesley Johnson. Veteran ILB Erin Henderson suffered a foot injury and rookie Darron Lee came on for him in relief. Late in the third, Enunwa went down with an injury to his ribs and his return was listed as questionable.

Top Images from the Thursday Night Football Matchup in Buffalo

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