The last time the Bills played, which seems like a month ago, E.J. Manuel looked better than ever—a week after OC Nate Hackett told his rookie to just trust his receivers and throw the ball down the field before they make their breaks. Manuel did just that and hit on several deep balls.
The Bills passing game skyrocketed and The Jets looked shell-shocked.
Marquise Goodwin is turning into a playmaker if not a star, just a half season into his career, world class sprinting by DBs on a weekly basis. He now has four 40 yard plays and is the first Bill with 3+ 40-yard touchdown receptions in a season since T.O. had four in 2009. Lee Evans had 5 in 2006, all of which seemed to come in the first quarter of one game against the Texans. T.J. Graham even got into the act, making two long catches and a surprisingly nifty TD. The Bills were without their top two receivers and didn’t miss them one bit.
The ground game, however, was completely grounded by a tough Jet front four with CJ and Fred Ex combining for 40 yards on 25 carries. Oops. Frank Summers, however, whom Coach Doug Marrone recently compared to a trash compactor, scored on a 3 yard plunge.
Manuel’s rookie counterpart Geno Smith was miserable, starting off slowly and then tapering off. The Jets may insert something named Matt Simms ahead of him.
The Bills defenders were in attack mode all afternoon. Kiko had 13 tackles and now has 112 in 11 games, good for second overall in the league. The Defensive backfield had a field day. Da’Norris Searcy became the first Da’Norris in NFL history to score a TD. UDFA rookie Nickel Robey leads all slot cornerbacks in the league, surrendering only .50 yards per snap.
Jairus Byrd was an ICBM against the Jets, with two INTs and a sack. Byrd has 21 picks in his career, tied for 17th among active NFL players. Everyone above him is older, and most of them near retirement. The Bills should just pay the Byrd before he flips them one.
Dan Carpenter kicked three field goals and is now 22-24, including 4-5 from 50 or more yards. It’s the best FG% in team history.
I was planning on forgetting a recap this week because of the bye, but that game was too much fun to not revisit, considering the pain we have gone through this season.
But now, the Falcons are up.
Or down I should say.
Atlanta was supposed to contend for the NFC Championship but instead are in the hunt for the top overall pick with the Texans and Jags.
The Bills, however, are finally healthy and on the upswing. There is even a glimmer of playoff hopes, mostly because of AFC mediocrity. With a win the Bills will be one game out of a playoff spot.
The game is in Toronto, and no coincidence that the idea of Jon Bon Jovi wanting to purchase the Bills when Ralph passes was flown out during the bye week. BJ is strongly rumored to be part of the Rogers Communications Group that will almost surely be a strong bidder when the time comes.
The Bills aren’t moving, btw, so don’t worry about all this hullaballoo, hype and hooey.
Turkey Day is tomorrow. Then Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. And finally the Bills and Busby’s Sunday. C’mon down to the Bison Dome and watch Doug Marrone and Mike Pettine’s inspired boys become Falconers.
Let’s bomb Canada.