NYJ-BUF grades: Ryan Fitzpatrick earns elite grade in Jets' shootout win
New York Jets 37, Buffalo Bills 31
Here are the biggest takeaways and top-graded players from the Jets’ 37-31 win over the Bills on Thursday night:
Quarterback grade: Ryan Fitzpatrick, 93.1
Fitzpatrick put together one of the best performances we’ve seen from him in his career. Even though his throw locations weren’t always perfect, he picked apart the Bills’ defense. At the halftime mark, he was accurate on 9-of-9 on passes targeted 10-plus yards downfield, including 4-of-4 on passes 20-plus yards downfield. Some passes fell incomplete in the second half, but he still connected on six deep passes for 178 yards, with one drop. When the Bills tried to dial up pressure with a blitz, Fitzpatrick responded by completing 8-of-9 passes, including the touchdown. Buffalo didn’t have an answer to slow him down, and it led to the second-highest grade for a QB through the first 17 games of the season.
Top offensive grades:
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, 93.1
WR Eric Decker, 86.2
WR Quincy Enunwa, 81.1
RB Matt Forte, 74.4
WR Brandon Marshall, 72.7
New York’s wide receivers had plenty of success against what is normally a good Buffalo secondary. Marshall and Decker both topped 100 yards, and Marshall would have had a lot more than his 117 yards if not for a dropped deep ball against Bills CB Ronald Darby. After two productive weeks, Quincy Enunwa looks as if he’s becoming a legitimate receiving threat beyond the Jets’ top two receivers. He caught all six passes thrown his way, with five going for first downs, and he just missed the 100-yard mark with 92 receiving yards.
Top defensive grades:
CB Buster Skrine, 82.6
CB Marcus Williams, 81.5
DE Sheldon Richardson, 81.1
DE Muhammad Wilkerson, 79.9
DT Jarvis Jenkins, 70.5
Revis gets the negative headlines, but Jets’ D-line doesn’t dominate as expected
Yes, Darrelle Revis got burnt. Yes, he allowed 91 yards and had three missed tackles. But there were more issues than just him on the Jets’ defense Thursday night. The star trio of Muhammad Wilkerson, Leonard Williams and Sheldon Richardson combined for only nine pressures that were the result of beating a block against an offensive line missing a very good starting left tackle in Cordy Glenn. All signs heading into the matchup pointed towards the Jets’ defensive line dominating, and that wasn’t close to the case. That combined with Revis’ struggles for a second straight game is cause for concern.
Quarterback grade: Tyrod Taylor, 69.1
Outside of his one gorgeous touchdown throw to Marquise Goodwin in the first quarter, Taylor was uncharacteristically shaky with his accuracy the rest of the game. No play highlights that better than his interception on a play that saw wide receiver Sammy Watkins get multiple steps ahead of Jets cornerback Marcus Williams, only for a drastic underthrow to bring Williams back into position to make the pick.
Top offensive grades:
WR Marquise Goodwin, 76.0
RT Jordan Mills, 75.2
LG Richie Incognito, 74.5
C Eric Wood, 71.5
RB LeSean McCoy, 71.0
Big plays overshadow offensive inconsistencies
The Bills offense had multiple 70-plus-yard touchdowns on the day, but on most of the drives in between it seemed as though every first down was a struggle. If one is looking to point the finger, there was plenty of blame to go around. Robert Woods ran 31 pass routes without catching a ball before finally hauling in the hook-and-lateral on the last play of the game. Tight end Charles Clay hauled in five passes, but he had a drop and a crucial slip on a third down in the middle of the third quarter that cost the Bills a conversion.
Top defensive grades:
ILB Zach Brown, 95.2
ILB Preston Brown, 92.6
OLB Jerry Hughes, 86.6
CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, 84.2
S Corey Graham, 82.1
Nightmare in secondary does defense in
While a few players in the secondary had days to forget, the defensive front seven performed very well and was particularly stout against the run. Inside linebackers Zack Brown and Preston Brown had their way with the Jets’ interior offensive line, and combined for 13 defensive stops, including 10 in run defense. While Jets RB Matt Forte did reach 100 yards rushing, it took him 30 carries and 78 yards after contact to do so. The Bills’ pass rush was able to get pressure on Fitzpatrick, but were only able to turn one into a sack that counted. Jerry Hughes’ only sack was nullified by a holding penalty in the secondary, but he managed a game-high six additional hurries over the rest of the game. Although CB Ronald Darby did play better down the stretch to break up three passes, he allowed six catches for 97 yards, and fellow cornerback Stephon Gilmore topped him with 129 yards allowed on seven receptions. It was an uncharacteristically tough day for one of the better young corner tandems in the NFL.
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