Last night’s Bills-Jets game ended in a 37-31 win for New York, an outcome that carries with it a sense that the Bills weren’t blown off the field. Truth be told, they were.
But for a pair of fluky long touchdown passes and a right-place, right-time fumble recovery that became another score, the Bills would have lost by 20 or more points. Even with the one-score final score, Rex Ryan’s defense played like anything but a Rex Ryan defense. And Rex Ryan knows it.
“I mean, we thought we could cover them,” Ryan told reporters after the game. “For one, we thought we’d have a chance. We knew obviously they have a great group of receivers; [Eric] Decker and Brandon Marshall obviously. But the other guys — I thought [Quincy Enunwa] played his butt off against us, [Robby Anderson], whoever, [Jalin Marshall], everybody showed up. And so you got to give them credit because they certainly did a great job and we couldn’t do anything to disrupt them rhythm-wise. I was afraid to pressure because we weren’t holding up in man coverage, which we played the whole game in. We tried to stuff [Brandon Marshall], we tried quarters, we tried deuce; we did everything. But you know what? To their credit, it never mattered what we played because they were the better team today outcome, the idea.”
The Jets were the far better team. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had 374 yards passing. Decker and Marshall had triple digits in receiving, and Quincy Enunwa had 92. Matt Forte added 100 yards rushing. Rex and Rob Ryan surely are expected to do better than that.
“We have to get a lot better. I mean I thought we played well defensively the first game. We played, I mean, horribly today. And I think it’s the same thing — we played poor on offense the first week, we played pretty good today, so it’s like we got to be consistent but I think the big thing — I give the opponent credit. They’re the ones who deserve it. They made plays, they were throwing jump balls and then went out and caught them.”
It gets no easier for the 0-2 Bills next week or the next, with the Cardinals and Patriots on the docket. And if it gets no better, the question won’t be whether Rex Ryan gets fired after the season. It will be whether he gets fired during it.