Tale Of The Tape: Buffalo Bills At New York Jets
- QuarterbackThe Bills were celebrating when rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel threw a late touchdown pass to wideout Stevie Johnson to give the Bills a victory. Manuel had an excellent game, throwing for 296 yards and just one interception against Carolina’s aggressive defense. Manuel still has a long way to go, but he is climbing the ladder and showing signs of progress.While the Jets don’t have the problem of having to line Mark Sanchez up behind center, rookie quarterback Geno Smith may not be the answer. It’s too early to write off a rookie, but Smith makes too many mistakes with his reads and he does not take care of the ball. He has time to get better, but he has much work to do.
- OffenseC.J. Spiller is one of the better running backs in the league, and his contribution is vital. Spiller has gamebreaking speed and he takes significant pressure off of Manuel. Stevie Johnson may lack consistency, but when he is inspired, he is one of the best receivers in the game. Johnson broke wide open vs. the Panthers and caught the game-winning TD in the final seconds of the game.The Jets are quite shorthanded when it comes to playing competitively on the offensive side of the ball. Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell are ordinary runners, while receivers Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates are ordinary. Santonio Holmes can deliver an occasional big play, but he is not consistent. The offensive line is also average.
- DefenseThe Bills have one of the game’s primary wrecking-crew players in defensive end Mario Williams, who is coming off a 4.5-sack effort against the Panthers. He should be primed for a big game against the Jets. Linebacker Kiko Alonso is an active linebacker who had 10 tackles and 1.0 sack against the Panthers.The Jets may have gotten some help from the poor weather conditions, but they held Tom Brady and the Patriots in check. FS Antonio Allen is coming off an eight tackle game and he is a solid hitter. Linebacker David Harris can be counted on to deliver a solid effort every game. He is always well-positioned and he does not miss tackles.
- Special TeamsThe Bills are asking Dan Carpenter to handle their placekicking duties. He made 3-of-4 FG attempts against the Bills, and he’s just an average kicker. Punter Shawn Powell also fits into that category, while Leodis McKelvin has the speed to give the Bills a solid return game.The Jets have decided to get rid of punter Robert Malone and they will have an open competition for the punter’s spot this weekend. Nick Folk is a journeyman placekicker who is not likely to have an advantage over his competition most weeks.
The Bills have an advantage at a number of spots, but are they going to keep up their effort when they go on the road. That may be difficult for an unproven team with a rookie head coach. However, if Mario Williams can have another decisive game, the Bills have a good chance winning. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor