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Report card: Passing game, coaching get 'F' grades after ugly loss


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Second-year veteran James Cook handled the bulk of the work, carrying 12 times, but for just 46 yards, an average of just 3.8 yards per rush. Quarterback Josh Allen rushed six times for 36 yards, but lost a costly fumble in the fourth quarter when he couldn’t handle a snap, then tried to save the play and fumbled. When is Allen going to learn to step out of bounds instead of taking needless punishment? At this point, it’s no longer on the coaching staff. Allen isn’t a rookie or second-year player. He needs to play smarter football to avoid those hits. Backup running backs Damien Harris and Latavius Murray combined to rush just three times for 11 yards, while receiver Deonte Harty carried once for just 4 yards. The long gain on the ground was 14 yards, by Allen.


All that talk about how laser focused Allen was coming into the 2023 season fell awfully flat Monday night. He was, in a word, awful against the Jets. Throwing into double coverage down the middle of the field, not once, but twice. To be fair, the Bills’ offensive line is no match for the Jets’ defensive front, but that doesn’t totally excuse Allen. According to football analyst Warren Sharp, Allen was pressured on just 26% of his dropbacks Monday, which was the 10th-lowest of any quarterback in Week 1. Despite that, he was hit nine times (third most) and sacked five times (fifth most). That speaks to decision making. Allen went 8 of 9 for 54 yards in the first quarter, then finished the game 21 of 32, averaging 5.7 yards per attempt and throwing three picks in the process. Stefon Diggs looked every bit the part of a No. 1 receiver, finishing with 10 catches for 102 yards and a touchdown, but he didn’t get much help, as nobody else finished with more than four catches.


It was apparent from the very first defensive play of the night that things were going to be an issue in this regard. Jets running back Breece Hall, playing in his first game since tearing his ACL last year, ripped off a 26-yard run on his team’s first offensive play from scrimmage. Hall had an 83-yard run on his next carry, meaning he accumulated 109 yards in just two rushing attempts. He finished the game with 127 yards on 10 carries, part of a New York rushing attack that finished with 172 yards on just 28 carries, an average of 6.1 yards per attempt.


The job got easier when Jets starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers was lost for the game after running just three plays for the Jets. In his place, Zach Wilson threw for just 140 yards. Wilson was intercepted by Bills linebacker Matt Milano on a bad throw over the middle, but did connect with Garrett Wilson on a 3-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White had good coverage on the play, but Wilson made a highlight-reel catch. Wilson attempted just 21 passes, but that was enough to beat the Bills for the second straight season, which is nothing short of an embarrassment for the Buffalo defense.


A walkoff punt return for a touchdown is a sure-fire way to earn a failing grade. Sam Martin’s punt was bad – low and to the middle of the field – and the coverage was equally poor, leading to the loss. Martin had punted well until that point. Tyler Bass banked in a tying, 50-yard field goal near the end of regulation. Deonte Harty didn’t get to do much as the team’s primary return man. He brought just one punt back for 4 yards, while all six of the Jets’ kickoffs went for touchbacks.


There are major concerns after this game for the offense, defense and special teams. Offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey again struggled to find much of anything that worked against a tough Jets defense, although his quarterback’s decision-making didn’t help things. McDermott, in his first game as defensive playcaller, mostly got the job done, but there were still a few defensive miscues that he would like back, including a couple third-and-long conversions by the Jets. Special teams coordinator Matthew Smiley is going to be feeling the heat this week. One question worth asking: Should McDermott have accepted a penalty against the Jets that would have set up third and 23, instead of declining it and allowing New York to try a 43-yard field goal, which Greg Zuerlein ended up making? Accepting the penalty would have made that a 53-yard attempt if the Jets didn’t gain any yards on third and 23.

“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

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