Ground game and run ‘D’ carry Bills to Week 1 win

Posted Sep 10, 2017

The Bills run game had success in the team's Week 1 win over the Jets.

Location: New Era Field, Orchard Park, NY

Regular season records: Buffalo (1-0), New York (0-1)

In a nutshell:
It was a familiar phrase by Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy. Run and stop the run. Buffalo did that Sunday as LeSean McCoy spearheaded a rushing attack the rolled up 190 yards and averaged almost five yards per carry, while the defense held the Jets ground game to just 38 yards in a 21-12 victory, the first of Sean McDermott’s head coaching career.

McCoy had 159 yards from scrimmage, with 110 of them coming on the ground as he averaged five yards per carry and went over the 12,000 mark for career yards from scrimmage.

Meanwhile Buffalo’s run defense stymied the Jets running game. New York managed just 2.5 yards per carry and 38 rushing yards in a game that never saw the Bills lead by double digits.

The Jets only reached the red zone once in a game that could’ve been more lopsided than the final score.

With the win Buffalo sits atop the AFC East with a 1-0 mark on the season.

How it went down:
Buffalo got on the scoreboard first with 11 minutes left in the first half when Tyrod Taylor found Charles Clay for a one-yard touchdown pass. It capped a 12-play, 77-yard drive that featured both LeSean McCoy and Mike Tolbert who accounted for 58 of the yards gained.

-The Jets responded on the ensuing possession with a field goal drive. Chandler Catanzaro put a 48-yard attempt up and through to cut Buffalo’s lead to 7-3 at the six minute mark of the second quarter.

-New York put together another field goal drive before the half was over. Catanzaro was good from 52 yards out to make it a one-point game going to the half (7-6).

-The Bills put a third quarter touchdown drive together. Sparked by a 47-yard Jordan Matthews catch and run that set Buffalo up in the red zone. Four plays later Taylor found Andre Holmes for a one-yard touchdown catch (14-6) midway through the third.

-Again the Jets had an answer. New York rolled up 75 yards on 11 plays before Josh McCown dove in for a one-yard QB sneak on 4th-and-goal from the one for a touchdown. Down two, the Jets two-point conversion attempt failed keeping Buffalo ahead (14-12) with two minutes left in the third quarter.

-Buffalo answered right back with LeSean McCoy carrying the offense on the drive. The Bills feature back rolled up 53 of the 80 yards gained on the drive before Mike Tolbert took a hand-off into the end zone from a yard out for a touchdown (21-12) with 13 minutes left.

LeSean McCoy went over 12,000 scrimmage yards for his career after he rolled up 1. He is the sixth active player to reach this mark. He now has 12,007 scrimmage yards.

-EJ Gaines suffered a shoulder injury in the second half and did not return to the game. He was replaced in the lineup by Shareece Wright.

-Tyrod Taylor went 16-28 passing for 224 with two touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for 38 yards on eight carries.

-With Mike Tolbert’s one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter the Bills have now recorded a rushing touchdown in their 13th consecutive game – tying a team record (1980) and extending the longest active streak in the NFL.

-Jordan Poyer came up with a crucial fourth quarter interception with six and a half minutes left in the game to protect Buffalo’s nine-point lead late.

-The Jets had just 11 rushing yards at halftime on six carries (1.8 avg.).

-Stephen Hauschka missed a 46-yard field goal attempt wide left in the second quarter.

-On Buffalo’s first possession they were marching down the field, when a Tyrod Taylor pass bounced off the chest of Charles Clay, who was hit as he attempted to make a touchdown reception. The ball caromed right into the arms of Jets CB Juston Burris for a valuable takeaway that took points off the board for the Bills.

-Rookie Dion Dawkins subbed in for Cordy Glenn on the team’s third offensive series at left tackle.

-Inactive for the season opener were WR Kaelin Clay, CB Greg Mabin, LB Tanner Vallejo, G Vladimir Ducasse, OT Conor McDermott, TE Khari Lee, DL Jerel Worthy

Up next:
The Bills travel to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers on Sunday Sept. 17 for a 1 pm kickoff.