4 observations from Bills-Packers and Week 4 in the NFL

Rookie Siran Neal registers his first career sack on Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers.
Rookie Siran Neal registers his first career sack on Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers.

1. ROOKIE DEFENDERS MAKE IMPACT PLAYS

If there was a bright spot for Buffalo in their 22-0 loss to the Packers it was the play of their rookie defenders. Tremaine Edmunds and Taron Johnson are logging an awful lot of playing time and the two made their presence felt in the loss at Green Bay.

Johnson was a force in run support making several tackles up near the line of scrimmage early. He also had a sack and forced fumble on Aaron Rodgers in the second half that led to a turnover.

“I know I’m a rookie, we’re just trying to get better day by day,” said Johnson, who had five tackles. “I know Tremaine doesn’t consider himself a rookie anymore. He’s trying to step up and be a major guy in this defense and so am I.”

Edmunds matched the playmaking ability of his draft classmate. The middle linebacker reached high when defending the middle of the field to tip a pass from Rodgers in the air and it was picked off by Jordan Poyer.

“Just kind of playing ball to be honest with you,” said Edmunds of the play. “I saw him breaking that way, so I was just trying to get in the throwing lane and affect the throw a little bit. It was a big play in the game.”

Additionally, Edmunds had a quarterback hit on third down that forced Green Bay to settle for a field goal. The rookie had six tackles.

First-year CB Ryan Lewis, who was targeted a bunch in the game, was the team’s leading tackler with eight stops and had a pair of pass breakups and a pair of forced fumbles.

Even rookie safety Siran Neal, who made a cameo appearance on defense, when Rafael Bush had to fill in for Johnson at nickel corner for a few plays, got a sack on a safety blitz.

“Overall, I thought some of the guys stepped up and made plays like Taron, Tremaine,” said head coach Sean McDermott. “You saw Ryan (Lewis) out there make a big play. We had a couple of opportunities on the ball that may have changed the game. We’ve got to make those and going forward we will.”

2. NUMBERS TO KNOW

150 - Jordan Poyer broke Rodgers streak of 150 passes without an interception. Rodgers entered the game as one of three starting QBs without an INT in 2018 (Mahomes and Brees).

19% - Bills third down conversion percentage (3-16)

58% - Packers third down conversion percentage (11-19)

7 – Number of three and outs for the Bills offense

1 – Number of three and outs for the Packers offense

423 – Total net yards for Packers

145 – Total net yards for Bills

5 – Packers plays of 20 yards or more

1 – Bills plays of 20 yards or more

34:37 – Time of possession for the Packers

25:23 – Time of possession for the Bills

3. AROUND THE AFC EAST

The New England Patriots knocked the Miami Dolphins from the ranks of the unbeatens winning handily in Foxborough by a final score of 38-7. New England’s defense held Miami to just 172 total net yards. The victory lifted the Patriots to 2-2 as the Dolphins fell to 3-1.

The New York Jets fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who dispatched of the home standing Jets rather easily 31-12. Rookie QB Sam Darnold struggled going 17-34 passing for 167 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked three times. With the loss the Jets fell to 1-3.

4. THEY SAID IT

“You’re like a little kid, right? You’re running around the backyard, counting down the seconds. This is why you play the game, to have an opportunity to win it. There was not a blink in the eye in the guys, and we were able to go down there and score.”

--Titans QB Marcus Mariota after Tennessee’s overtime win over Philadelphia 26-23, their third in a row.

"I woke up this morning, I felt pretty good. So I was expecting to come out here and play well for my teammates and my team today."

--Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney following Houston’s 37-34 overtime win over Indianapolis where he had two sacks, four quarterback hits, four tackles for loss and a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown.

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