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Week 1 Game Recap: Buffalo Bills 17, New York Jets 16

What you need to know

Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen was high variance against the New York Jets, turning the ball over four times, but leading the Bills back from a 16 point deficit with a rushing and passing touchdown in the fourth quarter. Frank Gore was the starting running back but was outplayed by a more explosive Devin Singletary. The passing game revolved around John Brown and Cole Beasley who combined for over half of Buffalo’s attempts, with Brown, in particular, showing a good rapport with Allen.

New York Jets

This offense was not what was promised, but we should have seen it coming given the mediocre nature of Adam Gase’s tenure in Miami. Perhaps he gets creative next week – we sure saw more creativity in the preseason – but it’s hard to buy into until it happens. One thing he is doing is using LeVeon Bell, and if that keeps up Bell will do well when he’s not facing a tough defensive front like Buffalo’s. We are curious as to whether or not Sam Darnold will hone in on Jamison Crowder like he did this week, or if the Jets will try to stretch the field more with Robby Anderson. Those are two guys worth watching – especially in PPR leagues where Crowder feasted this week — but the jury remains out as more than a lower end starter until we know what to trust.

Buffalo Bills

QB Josh Allen, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 37 - 254 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 10 - 38 - 1
Josh Allen struggled early against the New York Jets, before leading a fourth-quarter comeback win on the road in week one. Allen lost a fumble on a bad sack on the first drive of the game, then threw a pick-6 on a ball intended for Cole Beasley that deflected off his hands for an unlucky interception. Allen also threw another deflected interception and lost a second fumble but was able to overcome the errors in the second half. He capped off a scoring drive with a roll out for a red zone touchdown and taking the lead on a perimeter throw to John Brown where Brown worked back inside on the play for a contested-catch touchdown. Allen had a good rapport with Brown and Beasley during the game and was allowed to play up-tempo and in a pass-heavy game script from the start, where the first running back carry was on the fourth drive. He will return to the Meadowlands next week to face the New York Giants, who were shredded by Dak Prescott on Sunday.

RB Frank Gore, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 20 - 0
Frank Gore was the leading ball carrier for the Buffalo Bills in a win against the New York Jets. Gore got the first running back carries of the game, but on the fourth drive of the game as Buffalo began the game playing with tempo in a spread pass-heavy game plan. Gore got the first work of significance was on the fifth drive of the game, with back to back carries to start drive but failed to get much success in the running game. He played ahead of rookie Devin Singletary, but Singletary was the far more explosive player. Outside of a nine-yard carry, Gore was of limited impact and was stopped in his own end zone for a safety. Gore will face the Giants next week but is at risk of getting passed on the depth chart by Singletary.

RB Devin Singletary, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 70 - 0, Rec: 5 - 28 - 0 (6 targets)
Devin Singletary struggled early against the New York Jets, dropping two passes, including one that was negated by an offensive penalty. Singletary worked behind Frank Gore, who led the running backs in carries, but Singletary was the far superior performer after he settled into the game. Singletary broke big gains on each of his four carries, including two that set up a Josh Allen rushing touchdown and his explosiveness sparked the Buffalo offense in the comeback attempt. He faces the Giants next week and his workload is a critical story to monitor in the coming weeks.

WR John Brown, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 123 - 1 (10 targets)
John Brown was the leading wide receiver in his first game for the Buffalo Bills against the New York Jets in week one. Brown was terrific, consistently separating in coverage, especially running crossing and over routes. Brown drew two targets near the end zone that were both broken up by strong defensive plays but found the end zone on the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The play highlighted the relationship between Josh Allen and Brown, as Allen threw the ball into a contested coverage to Brown, letting him work back inside to catch the ball and break a tackle for a touchdown. Brown’s skill set looked like an ideal match for Allen’s strengths and that came to fruition in week one. Brown will look to continue his strong play in week two against the New York Giants defense that was carved up by Dak Prescott in week two

WR Cole Beasley, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 40 - 0 (9 targets)
Cole Beasley operated as a safety blanket for Josh Allen in a week one win against the New York Jets. Beasley worked his typical slot and underneath role, creating space and easy throws for Allen that he rarely saw last season. Beasley’s performance did hold back Allen as he contributed to a Dallas pick-6 on a low throw that he should have caught. Instead of catching the pass, Beasley deflected it into the air, and it was easily intercepted by the Jets and returned for a touchdown. He also dropped an excellent touch throw along the sideline. Beasley will face the New York Giants defense next week.

New York Jets

QB Sam Darnold, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 41 - 175 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0
For all the talk of a dynamic offense and an improved Sam Darnold, Jets fans were treated with none of that in Week 1. Some of that was the very poor play of the offensive line, which left Darnold scrambling too often while under duress. It’s worth noting that while the Bills defense was well-reagarded overall last season, they rarely got to the quarterback. So Darnold being hit nine times and sacked four times could be quite the indictment of this offensive line. That said, there were times Darnold just flat out missed throws. Twice it occurred late in the game when the Jets were trailing by one point with just under three minutes to go and both of those times were on deep routes by Robby Anderson where he was open. The first time, Darnold was extremely lucky the defender didn’t hang onto the ball, as it was thrown very short on a 3rd and 1 attempt. The second time, just two plays later, was overthrown by a wide margin. There were flashes to get excited about, such as when he scrambled on a two-point conversion attempt before completing a pass to LeVeon Bell. Still, the bad outweighed the good for Darnold this weekend, and hopefully both the line and gameplan will improve soon.

RB LeVeon Bell, 72 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 60 - 0, Rec: 6 - 32 - 1 (9 targets)
The big free agency signing on the offensive side of the ball, Bell was a bright spot on the offense against the Bills, despite a shaky offensive line. While his overall yards per carry was just 3.5, that was when the Bills defensive front was working to tee-off on Bell and stacked the box. In the first half he had way more success, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Not coincidentally, that was when the offense was having more success through the air as well. He was also a frequent target in the passing game, and showed off not only his ability after the catch on short screens, but great hands, specifically on his shoe-string catch for a touchdown in the third quarter to give the jets a 16-0 lead.

RB Ty Montgomery, 5 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 4 - 0
For all the talk of getting Ty Montgomery involved, that didn’t happen. Not only was Montgomery barely utilized, he was only on the field for five snaps of offense. Both his runs came in the late third/early fourth quarter and he was not targeted at all in the passing game.

WR Jamison Crowder, 65 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0, Rec: 14 - 99 - 0 (17 targets)
Along with LeVeon Bell, Jamison Crowder was the only real bright spot for the Jets offense. Crowder was by far the most targeted member of the team as well as the one with the most catches. Unfortunately he has the dubious honor now of being the first player in history to have 14 catches but under 100 yards. Crowder had a knack for getting open out of the slot, and even when he didn’t, he did a fine job snagging the ball even while being blanketed by coverage.

WR Robby Anderson, 69 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 23 - 0 (7 targets)
Along with LeVeon Bell, Jamison Crowder was the only real bright spot for the Jets offense. Crowder was by far the most targeted member of the team as well as the one with the most catches. Unfortunately he has the dubious honor now of being the first player in history to have 14 catches but under 100 yards. Crowder had a knack for getting open out of the slot, and even when he didn’t, he did a fine job snagging the ball even while being blanketed by coverage.

WR Josh Bellamy, 6 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 15 - 0 (1 targets)
Bellamy’s one catch came in the first quarter and the journeyman receiver showed some decent speed after the catch. He will remain more of a special teams player.

WR Quincy Enunwa, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - -4 - 0 (3 targets)
Enunwa was hurt in the first quarter, but gutted it out until well into the fourth quarter. He was clearly hampered by the injury though to what extent isn’t clear. He struggled to get open, and quarterback Sam Darnold looked elsewhere most of the time. Enunwa also was called for offensive pass interference, wiping out a Ryan Griffin touchdown.

TE Ryan Griffin, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 10 - 0 (4 targets)
Ryan Griffin saw some action, though much of it was blocking. That said, he had a touchdown called back due to a Quincy Enunwa offensive pass interference penalty.