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Jets 37 Bills 31: The Win They Needed

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Was in nine and a half months too late? Perhaps, but the Jets got a needed win tonight. The team moved to 1-1 on the 2016 season after a 37-31 win over the Bills in Buffalo. It wasn't a clean performance. It was a win this team had to have. Let's talk about it below.

The Good

Ryan Fitzpatrick: This was the script we were hoping to see on offense, Fitzpatrick building on his 2015 success and spreading the ball around with his bigger assortment of weapons. It wasn't just that Fitzpatrick was hitting passes. It's that he was hitting passes down the field. The Jets only punted twice as Fitzpatrick threw for 374 yards on a 24 for 34 night with a touchdown pass. We saw good reads, smart decisions, and accurate passes. That is a beautiful trio.

Matt Forte: It was a 100 yard, 3 touchdown night on the ground for Forte. While his average per run was not great with 33 carries, I thought he did a lot of tough running, grinding out difficult yardage.

Quincy Enunwa: I did not want to get too excited after one game, but now Enunwa has put in a pair of strong receiving games. He added 6 catches for 92 yards, and his big plays exhibited different skills. He showed strong hands making contested catches, an ability to get down the field, and an ability to run with the ball in his hands.

Brandon Marshall: The scariest moment of this game was Marshall's first half injury. Looking at how he went down, one could not help but fear the worst. He returned to the game, however, and posted his first 100 yard game of 2016, atoning for a quiet Week 1. There was a bad drop, but he won his battles all night.

Eric Decker: So did Decker on his way to a 6 catch, 124 yard night with a touchdown. He and Marshall beat a group of good cornerbacks.

David Harris: He tied for the team lead with 5 tackles, a number of which came in open field situations where a missed tackle would have made a big gain.

Darron Lee: There were a few mistakes, but he had a significant tackle for a loss and combined with Sheldon Richardson on a key fourth down stop.

Marcus Williams: I'm not sure how he would have done against a fully healthy Sammy Watkins, but he was in great position when he was tested and made a nice play on yet another interception.

Sheldon Richardson: His return did not provide a huge performance, but that one tackle was big.

Marcus Gilchrist: After a rough opener, it seemed like he was where he needed to be most of the night on his way to 4 tackles, second most on the team.

Nick Folk: They were all chip shots, but he at least bounced back from a brutal opener.

The Bad

Darrelle Revis: It's time to be worried. It's one thing to have a bad week against A.J. Green. Revis didn't bounce back strong, though. He followed it by giving up an 85 yard touchdown to Marquise Goodwin. Yes, Goodwin is fast, but Revis gave a giant cushion as it was to start the play. These first two weeks have done anything but quiet concerns about his decline. He doesn't look like a guy playing with any confidence right now.

Jalin Marshall: I liked that he bounced back from his mistake and made a few big receptions after his fumble. You can't fumble, though. It could have proven very costly for the Jets.

The Greg Salas touchdown: That was such a huge breakdown that I still haven't been able to piece together exactly what happened aside from Julian Stanford allowing Tyrod Taylor to break the pocket.

Todd Bowles' Game Management: You saw good and bad things reflect on the coaching staff tonight. There were a number of breakdowns and mental errors. On the other side, we saw a team overcome those breakdowns and errors and overcome rough patches in the game. What didn't make sense was kicking an extra point after a fourth quarter touchdown to put the Jets up 12. What difference does 12 and 13 points ahead make? Barring a miracle, you lose if the other team scores two touchdowns. Hit a two point conversion, and the other team scoring two only puts you in overtime.

Other Thought

  • There were no sacks from defensive line tonight, but I wonder how much of the strategy was to make sure Taylor stayed confined to the pocket, even if that meant not bringing him down. He is dangerous when escaping the pocket. The second touchdown was a result of him extending the play and getting outside the pocket. He isn't a natural anticipation passer, and he struggles when confined to the pocket and forced to go through reads. Maybe this wasn't the case, but I wonder whether there was more than meets the eye on the stat sheet.
I wish the Jets had put this away earlier, but the bottom line is the team needed a win. Only 12% of teams under the current Playoff format have recovered from 0-2 to make the Playoffs. Given the slate of opponents over the next month, there is virtually no chance the Jets would have been part of that 12%. Now the Bills can worry about that number. The Jets can worry about Kansas City a week from Sunday.