In one of the early games on Sunday, Jets coach Todd Bowles chose to punt trailing in the fourth quarter and found himself trailing by too much to recover from by the time his team got the ball back.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher went the other way against the Bills later in the afternoon, but he joined Bowles on the losing side of Week Five all the same. Fisher called for a fake punt on fourth-and-five from his own 23-yard-line with 3:47 left to play in the game, but wide receiver Bradley Marquez was stuffed for a short gain.
LeSean McCoy ran 24 yards to the foot of the end zone on the next play and Tyrod Taylor hit Marquise Goodwin for a six-yard touchdown a couple of snaps later to give the Bills breathing room in a 30-19 victory. The touchdown ended a frustrating half for the Bills offense, which moved well before halftime but produced nothing but punts come the second half.
The Bills still led, though, because cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman made the biggest defensive play of the game. Robey-Coleman jumped an out route and cruised into the end zone in the stadium he called home while at USC. That broke a 16-16 tie and buoyed the Bills’ chances while their offense scuffled.
Fisher’s aggressiveness with the fake punt wasn’t matched on the previous Rams drive. He opted to kick a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the four-yard-line and the decision appeared to work out when the defense forced another quick punt. Case Keenum, who finished 21-of-31 for 271 yards and another late Robey-Coleman interception, was incomplete to tight end Lance Kendricks on third down, however, and the Rams didn’t want to give their offense another chance to get the yards.
Credit the Bills defense with creating that situation, generally keeping Todd Gurley under wraps on his way to 72 yards on 23 carries and carrying the team in the second half. Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and defensive tackle Adolphus Washington both made an impact up front over the course of the afternoon for Buffalo, which has now won three straight games for the first time since 2011.
They have the 49ers and Dolphins in the next two weeks, so that winning streak could go on for a while. McCoy ended up with 150 yards on 18 carries, although 111 came before halftime when the Bills were clicking offensively in a way they’d like to capture for a full 60 minutes in those upcoming games.
The Rams will head to Detroit next weekend and they may have to play without cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who was carted off with an ankle injury late on Sunday. Their chances of winning will be much better if they can get Gurley on track rather than hoping a fake punt pays off in the final minutes.