Good News/Bad News from the New York Jets’ Week 1 loss to Buffalo

Positives were hard to come by as the New York Jets offense continued to look stagnant in their 2020 opener.

It was deja vu all over again in the worst possible way for the New York Jets. For the second straight season, the team was on the wrong end of an opening week decision to the Buffalo Bills. This one didn’t even require a blown lead, as Buffalo scored 21 unanswered points to open things up, all but the extra points coming from the arms or legs of Buffalo quarter Josh Allen. The Bills withstood limited resistance to prevail in a 27-17 final at Bills Stadium in Orchard Park.



The Jets (0-1) mounted a mini-rally in the latter stages, energized by missed field goals on the Buffalo end. Their main catalyst was a 69-yard scoring hookup between Jamison Crowder and Sam Darnold that narrowed things to 21-10 in the third quarter. However, a Chris Herndon fumble more or less any hopes of a revival in Central New York.

GOOD NEWS 

If anything, the Jets’ special teams appeared to be in somewhat decent shape. Forced into action six different times, rookie Braden Mann did what he could to make Buffalo’s job on offense a bit tougher, averaging 46.3 yards per boot, with a long of 58 in his NFL debut. Sam Ficken also made his lone field goal attempt of the afternoon, successfully converting a 31-yard triple toward the end of the first half. With the offense continuing to struggle, the kickers will be vital, whether it’s salvaging a drive that entered enemy territory or making the opposing offense work a little harder. They can’t do anything about their comrades not capitalizing on those opportunities.

In the midst of a brutal defensive performance (Allen became the first Bills quarterback to throw for 300 yards since Tyrod Taylor in December 2016), Marcus Maye started to capitalize on the opportunity Jamal Adams’ departure left open for him. It was his turn to invade the backfield this week, earning two sacks in defeat. Maye also got two additional hits on Allen and led all defenders with 10 tackles and two pass defenses.

BAD NEWS

Everything else. The 27-17 final was nowhere near as indicative of just how far the Jets have to go to catch up to the favorites in Buffalo and New England.

Le’Veon Bell missed a majority of the second half with a hamstring injury, and his time on the field wasn’t filled with much hope (6 carries, 14 yards). Darnold was somewhat better protected, sacked “only” three times, but the run game failed to generate further hype, averaging only 3.4 yards per carry.

Turnovers continued to be an issue for the Jets. It’s obvious that not everything is Darnold’s fault, as the third-year man is desperate for assistance, but desperation toss in the latter stages of the first half killed momentum the Jets were trying to create. Herndon’s fumble, coming in his first full game since the end of the 2018 season, more or less sealed the deal in favor the Bills.

Penalties also were the negative name of the game for the Jets. Roughing the passer calls were far too common, as the Jets were a bit overzealous in trying to stop Allen (who nonetheless had 60 additional yards on the ground). Overly conservative coaching decisions and playcalling also distracted from the cause, with defensive lapses leading to Buffalo’s triumph.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Jets return to action at MetLife Stadium next week, taking on the defending NFC finalist San Francisco 49ers (1 p.m. ET, Fox).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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