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Week 14 Game Recap: New York Jets 27, Buffalo Bills 23


What you need to know

New York Jets

For much of the game, the Jets looked close to what they have all season long Ė ultra-conservative and unwilling to take many risks. That changed a bit in the fourth quarter, and may have had something to do with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold being more comfortable after almost a month off. Even though he played a solid fourth, though, the Jets offense is still a fantasy football wasteland and in the fantasy playoffs, you canít trust them in any way shape or form. Robby Anderson had the best game of the Jets fantasy players, and you canít expect him to do it again, given how inconsistent the team is, so be very careful using him against Houston this weekend.

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills lost to the New York Jets on Sunday while struggling in the passing game. Josh Allen ran well, getting multiple chunk gains, but struggled throwing the ball, including two interceptions. LeSean McCoy suffered a hamstring injury in the first half and did not return as Chris Ivory took the lead role in the running game. Zay Jones struggled with two drops in the passing game, while Robert Foster had his third game above 90 receiving yards in the past four games.

New York Jets

QB Sam Darnold, 51 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 24 - 170 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 10 - 0
In his first action since Week 9, the rookie looked better as the game went on, his day culminating in a very nice nine play, 61 drive to put his team ahead for good near the end of the fourth quarter. Doing that in the cold, on the road was the most impressive part of the drive, but itís worth noting that it was the rare time when head coach Todd Bowles took a chance and went on fourth down to win, versus just playing to tie. That gave Darnold the opportunity to win a game, even if the play to do it was a handoff to Elijah McGuire. Darnold was 3-of-5 passing on that drive, including a dime to Robby Anderson down the sideline to put the Jets on the Billsí front doorstep. On that play, Anderson was pretty well covered by the corner, but managed to give himself enough room along the sideline for Darnold to throw. The quarterback fired off a perfect pass, over his receiverís outside shoulder where the corner couldnít make a play, and Anderson did a nice job of getting both feet in for a 37-yard gain. Another impressive effort resulting in an Anderson catch was on an earlier drive to tie the game at 20. On the play, a 3rd-and-5 in the fourth quarter, the Jets were on the Bills 7- yard line. Darnold dropped back to pass but found nobody open and was flushed out of the pocket by defensive tackle Kyle Williams. Darnold moved to his right, evaded a diving Williams, and then with several Buffalo defenders nipping at his heels, cut left and ran upfield. During this, Darnold did an excellent job of keeping his eyes downfield and scanning for an outlet. He eventually found one in Anderson along the middle of the end zone and delivered a perfect pass for the score. Darnold looked a tad rusty to start the game, but came alive in the fourth quarter and overall showed some of the skills which had Jets fans excited early in the season, despite the usual conservative playcalling for much of the game. Whatís more, he did it against what has been considered one of the best pass defenses in the NFL this season.

RB Elijah McGuire, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 60 - 1, Rec: 3 - 23 - 0 (4 targets)
With Isaiah Crowell forced out of the game with a foot injury, McGuire got the bulk of carries. It was an uneven effort, with McGuire showing some skill, but overall struggling to have success on a carry to carry basis. Without a doubt folks will point to McGuireís game winning touchdown as the high point of his game, and of course it was critical. McGuire did show some tremendous patience as he waited for the hole to open up and then nice burst to zoom through it. The more impressive effort for the day, however, was a 34-yard run near the close of the third quarter. The jets had just converted a first down, but were on their own 26-yard line. McGuire took the handoff from quarterback Sam Darnold, and found a nice seam in the A gap, breaking through the one-hole and moving through the line of scrimmage untouched. He then showed some nice speed as he got to the second level, stiff-armed a defender at the 45 yard line, and then danced along the sideline for several extra yards. While the consistency wasnít quite there, and the sometimes slipshod efforts of the offensive line made his job harder, McGuire showed some upside against the Bills on Sunday.

RB Trenton Cannon, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 3 - 1, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets)
Cannon didnít do much with the carries he got, usually taking a loss and going down with initial contact. He did have a nice 4-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, but in that case mostly succeeded because of solid blocking up front.

RB Isaiah Crowell, 5 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 2 - 0 (1 targets)
Crowell was forced out of the game early with a foot injury, and it is unknown if it will result in more missed time for him going forward.

WR Robby Anderson, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 76 - 1 (7 targets)
In what was his best game in a long time, Anderson had several big plays. The two most critical came late in the game. The most critical extended a drive and put the Jets on the Buffalo 5-yard line and within striking distance of winning the game, which they did with an Elijah McGuire touchdown moments later. On that play to set up the touchdown, Anderson ran a vertical route down the sideline and while he was pretty well covered by the corner, Anderson did an excellent job of moving the coverage inside and leaving a wide margin of open space along the sideline for quarterback Sam Darnold to throw. The quarterback fired off a perfect pass, over his Andersonís outside shoulder where the corner couldnít make a play, and Anderson showed good footwork in getting both feet in-bounds for a 37-yard gain. Anderson also did a very nice job finding open space on his touchdown reception, as Darnold was forced from the pocket and scrambling around the field. Anderson was able to break away from coverage for a moment in the end zone, where Darnold delivered a pass for the score.

WR Quincy Enunwa, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (4 targets)
Enunwa got hurt in the first half, and while he came back after halftime, looked a bit gimpy and between the injury and some good coverage, only managed a couple of catches when he returned.

WR Rishard Matthews, 3 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets)
Matthews was only on the field for three snaps, but was targeted on one of them for a 6-yard gain.

WR Jermaine Kearse, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (2 targets)
Kearse seemed to have a hard time breaking free of coverage and he was on the field for just half the Jets offensive plays. He seems to be a pretty insignificant afterthought in the offense right now.

TE Jordan Leggett, 19 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (2 targets)
Leggett continues to only really be on the field for a fraction of the offensive plays, and then mostly as a blocker.

TE Chris Herndon, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (2 targets)
The return of quarterback Sam Darnold didnít goose the rookie tight endís numbers, and with Robby Anderson able to produce big plays, the quarterback didnít need to try and force the ball to Herndon, although it was curious that the athletic tight end was not targeted on the final scoring drive considering what a mismatch he has been for defenses.


Buffalo Bills

QB Josh Allen, 76 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 36 - 206 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 9 - 101 - 1 (1 targets)
Josh Allen struggled as a passer in critical situations against the New York Jets. Allen threw two interceptions, and both were bad decisions. On the first, Allen was scrambling to his right and threw across his body into traffic for an easy interception. The second was on the final drive, where Allen targeted Zay Jones down the field. The coverage on the play was man under, and the cornerback sagged underneath Jones reading Allen the entire time for an easy interception. Allenís fantasy success came on the ground, with 31-yard and 21-yard scramble on top of a red zone roll out for a 6-yard touchdown rush. Allen has success against defenses playing man defense because the middle of the field is open for his scrambles and Allen is quick to capitalize. Allen had success with throws to the perimeter to Robert Foster and Isaiah McKenzie, especially on throws that required him to throw with velocity. However, Allen struggled on precision and touch throws in the short area of the field. Allenís game could have been bigger with a deep throw to McKenzie but he drew a defensive pass interference on the play. Allen also lost a fumble while running. Allen will look to rebound against the Lions next week in Buffalo.

RB Chris Ivory, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 42 - 0 (1 targets)
Chris Ivory took over the Buffalo backfield after LeSean McCoy left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. Ivory looked quicker than in recent weeks, especially early in the game, but struggled with little offensive line success as the game wore on. LeSean McCoy did get the benefit of a red zone carry from the 6 instead of Ivory, but Ivory got no opportunities in the red zone after McCoy left the game. Ivory was also used in the passing game once but was underthrown by Josh Allen. Ivory profiles as a capable three down back if McCoy misses time, but a low upside play with Josh Allen getting extensive rushing opportunities in the red zone and the offensive line struggling to consistent create running lanes. He will play the Lions next weekend and McCoyís injury status is critical to monitor during the week.

RB Marcus Murphy, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 10 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets)
Marcus Murphy worked to spell Chris Ivory after LeSean McCoy left with an injury. Murphy is an unexceptional athlete but a dependable rusher and receiver. He will likely backup Chris Ivory if McCoy misses time but will struggle for fantasy relevance behind an offensive line that struggles to create running room.

RB LeSean McCoy, 9 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 1 - 0 (1 targets)
LeSean McCoy left the game early with a hamstring injury and never returned. In his short time in the game, McCoy dropped a screen pass and had a red zone carry from the 6-yard line that was stopped for no gain. McCoy will look to recover during the week to allow him to play at home next week against the Lions.

WR Isaiah McKenzie, 59 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 22 - 1, Rec: 4 - 47 - 0 (7 targets)
Isaiah McKenzie had another strong outing against the Jets in a loss. McKenzie was used on two end arounds, including a red zone carry where he got to the edge and scored a touchdown. He also drew a deep defensive pass interference. McKenzie saw targets limited to the screen game and short passing game in earlier weeks but saw expanded usage this week. He was used on a variety of routes, including routes in the middle of the field and out routes, on top of screen passes. McKenzie benefitted from release of Kelvin Benjamin and fits well with the speed-based approach Buffalo is building to surround Josh Allen. McKenzie will face the Lions next week at home.

WR Robert Foster, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 104 - 0 (8 targets)
Robert Foster bounced back after a quiet week last week. Foster has had three out of the past four games with 94 yards or more. Fosterís prior workload was largely deep balls, but Sunday was an expansion of his usage, as the Jets played safeties deep to prevent the deep passes. Foster worked the perimeter of the field, with out routes, comeback routes, and a back shoulder catch that turned into a big play. The Jets worked a lot of two deep safeties to prevent Josh Allen from making deep throws, which could be a tactic future opponents adopt, so Fosterís continued development as a perimeter receiver is important to watch, especially with more opportunities after Kelvin Benjamin was waived.

WR Zay Jones, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (9 targets)
Zay Jones had a rough day in the first game since Kelvin Benjamin was waived. Jones was targeted early on quick out routes but dropped a crossing route and a curl later in the game. He was also targeted in the end zone, but tightly covered and the ball was broken up by good coverage. Jones also had the opportunity on the Buffalo version of the Philly Special, throwing a high point ball to Josh Allen in the end zone that Allen could not haul in. Jones will look to bounce back next week against the Lions.

TE Charles Clay, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets)
Charles Clay had a quiet game against the New York Jets, managing only a short reception for 6 yards. Clay also had a drop on an open crossing route that could have been a big gain. He was also targeted deep down the seam on a ball that was overthrown but drew an illegal contact penalty on the play. Clay will look to bounce back next week against Detroit.