The Buffalo Bills stymied the New York Jets, whose offense remains anemic at halftime
After 30 minutes of action, it doesn’t feel like this matchup between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills will require overtime.
Buffalo booted three field goals and broke through for a James Cook touchdown reception after a Zach Wilson interception, creating a 16-6 lead over the Jets at halftime of their late afternoon showdown at Highmark Stadium. The Jets ran no plays in Buffalo territory until their final drive of the opening half, one energized by a fake Thomas Morstead punt that instead became a throw to Brandin Echols. They did manage to break their long-standing touchdown drought, one that ended with Wilson’s nine-yard scoring toss to Breece Hall.
New York is looking for its first sweep of its yearly set against Buffalo since 2016.
- PASSING: Zach Wilson (5-of-12, 67 yards, 1 INT)
- RUSHING: Zach Wilson (3 carries, 15 yards)
- RECEIVING: Breece Hall (4 rec., 49 yards, 1 TD)
- PASSING: Josh Allen (14-of-24, 128 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT)
- RUSHING: James Cook (9 carries, 50 yards)
- RECEIVING: Dalton Kincaid (6 rec., 46 yards)
Injuries continue to eat away at the top of the Jets’ depth chart: Mekhi Becton had to be carted to the locker room shortly after Tony Adams had to go for x-rays after enduring an apparent finger injury on a failed deflection. That forced fourth-round choice Carter Warren to step up on the outside blocking and veteran Adrian Amos on defense. Amos can hopefully handle the middle of the field, where the Bills have targeted freshman tight end Dalton Kincaid six times for five receptions. He came up big on a third down pass deflection, the first failed target to Kincaid, that forced Buffalo’s first punt of the game.
The Jets’ defense has kept them in the game, their resilience best defined by forcing the Bills into a three-and-out on the opening drive deep in green territory after Week 1 hero Xavier Gipson fumbled and lost the opening kickoff. That drive was capped off by a Quinnen Williams sack and D.J. Reed picked up two tackles for a loss after being charged with a questionable illegal contact penalty that wiped out a different sack.
Ashtyn Davis finished off the half with an interception on an Allen Hail Mary.
The Jets, for whatever reason, continue to place their faith in Wilson, who finally broke through with the paydirt pass to Hall. Asking for a backup is probably moot at this point, so all one can suggest is to find a way for the Jets to make do with Wilson.
The one thing Wilson perhaps still has going for him is his relative semblance of mobile ability. With the Buffalo refusing to budge from a nine-man front (clogging the rushing lanes for Breece Hall), the Jets’ singular hope is perhaps to keep Wilson rolling out or trying to spark an RPO outpouring.
Sticking Tim Boyle into this sordid affair is also a possibility, albeit an entirely new and uncomfortable conversation. The discussion should probably involve Morstead after his brilliant fake offered the Jets their longest tally of the opening half-hour.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on X @GeoffJMags
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