Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo Bills’

Facing the Bills will be ‘personal’ for David Nelson

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Jets wide receiver David Nelson still has fond memories of Buffalo, NY.

“I’m a Duffs guy,” he joked with Jets Insider, referring to the city’s famous wing joint. “I went to Duffs probably twice a week. I miss Buffalo for that reason, for the food.”

As for Buffalo’s football team, well, the memories are a little more stale.

“Anybody who tells you that when they play an old team or a team that cut them, that it’s just another game, is lying to you,” Nelson said. “Because this is definitely more than just another game for me.”

Sunday’s divisional game against the Bills will be the first time Nelson is back in Buffalo, the place where he started his career as an undrafted rookie out of the University of Florida in 2010, since the Bills decided not to tender him a one-year deal back in February.

Nelson was in the process of rehabbing an ACL injury, which he sustained in Week 1 of the 2012 season against the Jets, when he got the news that he would not be returning to Buffalo.

“I found out through Twitter, like a lot of other things in life,” he said.

The Bills didn’t notify him or his agent before the wide receiver got the news while at a Chicago Blackhawks game.

“Because of the way it kind of ended, it’s still a little difficult for me to swallow,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m glad to be here. I consider it a true blessing to be here and I’m glad the way it worked out.”

Nelson has been a pleasant surprise for the Jets this season since signing as a patchwork free agent on Oct. 2, catching 13 passes for 179 yards in three games.

In that time, he’s managed to play himself into an important role on the Jets offense, becoming one of Geno Smith’s most consistent targets, considering the glut of injuries and the suspension of Kellen Winslow.

“The fact that he’s able to pick up an offense in the short amount of time that he did, that’s very impressive. It speaks volumes about the teachers that you have in there … those guys do a great job, but it tells you about him. It tells you about the person,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “He put it upon himself to really learn it and I think that’s really, really impressive. I know he gained all the respect in the world from all his teammates.”

So, with the backing of his new teammates, Nelson will prepare to face his old ones on Sunday and he’s not holding back.

“This isn’t just another game for me,” he said. “It’s going to be personal and I think you’ll see that on Sunday.”

Jets routed by Titans, 38-13

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Nashville, TN – With the defense playing about as well as anyone could have hoped through three games, the powers at be knew the Jets would go only as far as their rookie quarterback could take them.

After a four turnover, 10 penalty, 38-13, beat down at the hands of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Geno Smith certainly did more to harm his team than help it.

“We just got our butts kicked,” said Rex Ryan, visibly disgusted with the way his team performed in Nashville.

Geno Smith struggled mightily against the Titans on Sunday, accounting for four turnovers, including four fumbles.

After having his best game as a pro in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills, Smith appeared to take a step backward against the Titans, committing four turnovers, including two fumbles, while passing for 289 yards and one touchdown.

Smith struggled early and often, getting picked off by Alterraun Verner on a pass intended for Stephen Hill on the second play of the game. Hill sustained a head injury on the play and would not return.

Things officially unraveled for Smith in the four quarter when he appeared to change hands with the ball, behind his back, while getting sacked, fumbling in the end zone and having it picked up for a Titans touchdown.

Of the 38 points the Titans scored, 28 of them came directly as a result of a Jets’ turnover.

“I’m extremely disappointed in the way I took care of the ball today. I was piss poor,” said Smith.

After the game, Ryan assured reporters that Geno Smith will be at the helm moving forward, taking offense to the criticism being heaped on his young starter.

“How often can we make that excuse?” said Ryan about blaming the struggling rookie. “I think we’re unfairly criticizing one man. The Tennessee Titans beat everyone. They didn’t just line up against Geno Smith.”

The sloppy play did indeed extend well beyond Smith, as the Jets were penalized 10 more times on Sunday. That, after a week of push-ups and a record 20 penalties against the Bills.

“It shocks me. I never expected the game to turn out like this. I’m shocked. I don’t know what else to say,” said Ryan. “Come hell or high water, it’s going to get fixed.”

The defense was again stellar against the run, limiting another big-time running back to under 100 yards, as Chris Johnson finished with 21 yards on 15 carries.

Titans quarterback Jake Locker left the game in the third quarter after getting hit by Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples, suffering what appeared to be a serious hip injury. Locker was carted off the field and did not return after throwing a career high three touchdowns.

The Jets will be in the Georgia Dome next week for a Monday Night Football match-up against the Atlanta Falcons.

“It’s a butt whooping. We took it,” said Willie Colon. “We have to own it.”

Preview: Jets (1-1) vs. Buffalo Bills (1-1)

Friday, September 20th, 2013

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – After a solid preseason debut, Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel got a congratulatory text message from a childhood friend and fellow rookie – Geno Smith.

Santonio Holmes' message to the other Jets receivers.."Catch the ball!" (JetsInsider.com Photo)

The two young starters met at football camp in high school and stayed in touch throughout college and during the draft process, where they were the top two quarterbacks taken.

On Sunday, they will be competitors and division rivals, as the Bills (1-1) travel to MetLife Stadium to take on the Jets (1-1) in a pivotal early season matchup.

“We’ll both be competing against each other,” said Manuel. “I want to win just as bad as he does.”

The two times the Jets and Buffalo Bills faced off last season were something of a Jekyll and Hyde story for the guys in green.

In bookending games against Buffalo, Week 1 and Week 17, Mark Sanchez threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns in a 48-28 win, but after 14 games that included the buttfumble and a brief benching, he closed the season with a two fumble, one interception performance in a 28-9 loss.

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, 4:25 p.m. EST (TV – CBS, Radio – ESPN NY, 98.7 FM)

WHERE: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

INJURY REPORT (as of Thursday):

Jets: Kendrick Ellis (back) limited, Willie Colon (knee) full practice, Oday Aboushi (knee) limited, Quinton Coples (ankle) limited, Antonio Cromartie (hip) full practice, Clyde Gates (knee) full practice, Stephen Hill (knee) full practice, Santonio Holmes (foot) did not practice, Austin Howard (ribs) full practice, Jeremy Kerley (concussion) full practice, Garrett McIntyre (knee) full practice, Bilal Powell (illness) full practice, Sheldon Richardson (shoulder) limited, Geno Smith (ankle) full practice,Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle) full practice, Kellen Winslow (knee) limited

Bills: Doug Legursky (knee) limited, Jairus Byrd (foot) limited, Ron Brooks (foot) did not practice, Stephon Gilmore (wrist) did not practice, Marquise Goodwin (hand) did not practice, Dustin Hopkins (right groin) did not practice

WHAT TO WHAT FOR:

Fantasy stoppers: In consecutive weeks, the Jets defense shut down two notable fantasy running backs in Doug Martin (65 yards) and Steven Ridley (40 yards). Next up: CJ Spiller. In two games this season, Spiller has averaged 4.4 yards a carry, including a 104 yard performance against an improved Carolina front seven. The Jets defense, however, has allowed an average of 59.5 rushing yards per game and is ranked third in the league by Football Outsiders based on Value Over Average. Football Outsiders also ranked the defensive line as fourth best and second-year defensive tackle Damon Harrison has the second best run stop percentage in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Let’s see if the Jets can make fantasy owners unhappy for a third week in a row.

Rex vs. the Rook: On Wednesday, Ryan confirmed that the Jets were very impressed with EJ Manuel before the draft in April but don’t expect him to go easy on the rookie once the game starts. “Maybe a little bit,” Ryan said, playing coy when asked if he was excited to face a rookie. “I’d much rather face a rookie quarterback than Tom Brady.” After facing Brady a week ago, look for Rex to really try and create problems for the inexperienced Manuel.

Old ties: If you happen to glance at the Bills sideline on Sunday you might see a familiar face in former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. He left for Buffalo in the off season and has undoubtedly been giving Bills players tips wherever he can, not to mention the fact that he essentially runs the same defense as Ryan. “It’s out of the same book,” Ryan said on Wednesday, referring to similarities between Pettine’s defense and his own. Ryan also took some playful shots at his friend and former colleague: “Obviously, I’ll look better than Pettite,” he said. “In fact, I might weigh less than him now. I’m just throwing it out there.”

X-Factor:

Catch the ball: The performance of the Jets pass catchers might as well be the x-factor for the rest of the season. The defense will always be competitive, the offensive line and running game look to be improved and, as a rookie, Smith will have his ups and downs. But the team won’t win very many games if the receivers can’t hold on to the ball. Against the Patriots, they dropped six passes, including a touchdown. When asked if he had any pointers for the Jets wide receivers, Santonio Holmes said, “Yeah, catch the ball.”

Prediction: The defense will do enough to contain Spiller and Manuel and the return of Jeremy Kerley (concussion) will help Geno and the Jets offense to edge out a win against the Bills, 23-17.

Jets were interested in EJ Manuel before draft

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

The Jets chose Geno Smith as the quarterback of the future – but they almost went with EJ Manuel.

Florham Park, NJ – Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel could’ve been a New York Jet.

In fact, he expected to be.

“Definitely,” Manuel said, when asked if he thought the Jets might draft him.

“I did think they were one of the teams that were very interested in me. I guess they just wanted to wait and go with a quarterback with their second round pick instead of their first two.”

That’s exactly what happened, as the Jets passed on Manuel with the ninth and 13th overall selections, allowing the Bills to nab him with the 16th pick. The Jets and new general manager John Idzik then snatched current starting quarterback Geno Smith with the seventh pick in the second round.

But that doesn’t mean the Jets weren’t interested in Manuel as well, bringing him in on one of their 30 out-of-town player visits before the draft.

“I had quite a bit [of contact with the Jets]. I met with coach [Rex] Ryan and a lot of their staff. I went up to the facility for a visit and I liked it a lot up there,” said Manuel. “I thought [the coaches] liked me a lot, and it just so happens that they didn’t choose me.”

In reality, the Jets didn’t pass on Manuel as much as the Bills pounced on him earlier than anyone expected.

Heading into last April’s NFL draft, the 6 foot 4, 237 pound senior out of Florida State was considered a second-round talent at best, that is, until the Bills shocked much of the football world taking him in the top half of the first round.

After two games, that move seems to have paid off for the Bills.

Ryan and the Jets will get their first hack at trying and stop Manuel and a young Bills offense on Sunday. An offense that took the New England Patriots down to the wire, mounted a comeback win over Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers and is ranked 10th in the league in Value Over Average by Football Outsiders.

On Wednesday, head coach Rex Ryan compared Manuel’s size and ability to Newton, a former No. 1 overall pick.

“I remember looking at Cam Newton once and thinking, ‘who is going to tackle him?’” said Ryan. “You kind of look at EJ Manuel the same way.”

It’s far too early, however, for the Jets to second-guess themselves for passing up on Manuel in the first. Especially when Smith has shown flashes of competency with much less talent around him —  and came almost a full round cheaper.

Nevertheless, the division rival Jets and Bills, and the futures of their rookie quarterbacks, seem to be linked for the foreseeable future.

“We definitely did our due diligence on [Manuel],” Ryan confirmed on Wednesday. “He was an outstanding young man, very impressive, no doubt … you can see why Buffalo is excited about him. He certainly was a guy we were looking at.”