1 – Bills lost line of scrimmage battleThe Buffalo offense had a tough go of it primarily at the line of scrimmage. The Bills could not open holes in the run game and could not establish a consistent pocket for Tyrod Taylor.
"Extremely frustrating. We couldn't get anything going on offense," said Eric Wood. "We kind of did what we were forcing other teams to do, make dumb plays. We lost the battle at the line of scrimmage."
Taylor was sacked five times in the first half alone as Jets defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson were matchups problems for the Bills. The pair combined for eight tackles, 1.5 sacks and four quarterback hits.
"They did a great job of pushing the pocket up front," said Taylor of the Jets defensive front. "Our guys battled their butts off, but this is a very talented defensive line. We knew that going into the game and that it would be a challenge for us. They did a great job of pushing the pocket and they had a couple of spies on me during the game. Overall they just executed better than we did."
There was no running room for LeSean McCoy either as the penetration into the Bills backfield seemed to be a constant. Buffalo's feature back was held to 25 yards on 12 carries.
"Some of our zone read stuff they stayed in base defense when we were in 11 personnel," Wood said. "So that kind of shored up the edges there. Then a lot of our base stuff they were just coming downhill and hitting it. Some of our play action stuff was effective because of it, but we weren't able to get anything going on the ground."
"We got off schedule," said Richie Incognito. "We didn't hit those early first down runs and second down runs and put ourselves in third and long situations and really played right into their hands. They can cover on the back end and can get after the passer on the front end. When they get turned loose like that it's difficult."
The situation was no better on the defensive side of the ball where Buffalo gave up a season-high 194 rushing yards to the Jets.
"We just gave up too many big plays and they ran the ball basically down our throat the whole game," said Micah Hyde. "We understand what happened and it's a tough one to swallow."
"We just didn't tackle well. Nobody did. Normally one guy misses and another guy is there. It just seemed like we were flat. We didn't play well," said Lorenzo Alexander. "Guys were flowing well getting to the ball, we just didn't wrap up. Good backs, Powell, Forte, they extended some plays and that's really what hurts you they had those chunk plays."
Matt Forte and Bilal Powell combined for 141 of the Jets' 194 yards on the ground and a pair of touchdowns. Forte had a 20-yard run and Powell had a long of 51 yards on a play where the Bills had three missed tackles.
2 – Jones shines early, but leaves injuredBills rookie receiver Zay Jones got off to a fast start on Thursday night. By halftime he already had single-game career highs in receptions (4) and receiving yards (40) and caught his first NFL touchdown. Unfortunately, he also suffered an injury in the first half when Jets CB Buster Skrine purposely tripped him.
Jones had beaten Skrine on a double move. Knowing he was beat Skrine stuck his left leg out to trip Jones as he turned his route up the field vertically.
Tyrod Taylor was targeting Jones on the play seeing that he had beaten his man, but with Jones tripped up by Skrine on the play the ball fell incomplete.
The ball however, wasn't the only thing that fell to the turf on the play. Jones in an effort to keep his feet after being tripped, over-strided with his right leg and it hyperextended awkwardly with his full body weight over the leg.
Jones remained on the ground and athletic trainers and the team's medical staff tended to him for two to three minutes on the field. The receiver eventually limped to the sidelines with the athletic trainers and did not return for the remainder of the half.
Skrine was flagged for illegal contact on the play, but had Jones not been tripped the play could've gone for a touchdown.
"Yes, you would like to think so," said Taylor of the likelihood that it could've been a scoring play. "Definitely a big gain for us. He would've had to make the safety miss. It's unfortunate. Hopefully the injury isn't too bad. Luckily it was called."
Jones, surprisingly, returned to the game in the second half and made two more catches in the game for a total of 53 yards on the night, before exiting again with his right leg clearly bothering him.
"He's a warrior," said Taylor of Jones. "He wants to be out there on the field. He wants to compete. He's a confident guy. I hope the injury isn't too bad. I want him out there on the field. I know his passion for the game and how he wants to play."
The team had no update on Jones' condition after the game. He will be re-evaluated on Friday.
3 – Penalties creeping upLike many other areas of Buffalo's game that experienced a setback Thursday night, the number of penalties the Bills committed in the game was a problem. Buffalo committed 11 penalties in the game, matching a season high and were assessed a season-high 99 yards in infractions.
"You look at the penalties, some of those were aggressive, a few of them, but you can't do that and expect to win a game in the NFL," said head coach Sean McDermott. "We've got to get better. We'll learn from this. No excuses."
Buffalo had been one of the league leaders in fewest pre-snap penalties, but on Thursday night the Bills committed five penalties before the snap and one undisciplined penalty when Jerry Hughes was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for arguing with an official.
"These guys want to win. It means a lot to them," McDermott said. "You see the emotion. You see them getting into the game. We can't do that. We have to stay poised regardless of the situation in the game and be disciplined. We need to do a better job with that."
Buffalo also had 11 penalties for 95 yards last week in the win over Oakland.