"If we can't run the ball and can't stop the run we're going to have problems", Jets coach Todd Bowles said in summary. Will LeSean McCoy be able to carry the brunt of the load - or even want to with the direction this team appears heading? - if the passing game isn't up to snuff? According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Bills have added $2.5 million in incentives to McCoy's contract, which does not expire until after the 2019 season.
"Just got to keep pushing man, keep pushing, get more wins", McCoy said. "If it means he's got to play every snap, that's what we'll do".
NY responded by driving to the first of Chandler Catanzaro's two field goals, this one a 48-yarder, and after Buffalo's Steven Hauschka missed a 46-yarder, Catanzaro made a 52-yarder to cut Buffalo's lead to 7-6 heading into the intermission. Taylor threw a 1-yard TD to Clay out of an empty-backfield, five-receiver set.
He had 51 receptions last season, but with offensive coordinator Rick Dennison's plans, McCoy could be closer to 70 catches by season's end.
If Ryan has no interest watching two of his former teams open the season Sunday, when the New York Jets travel to play Buffalo, that's fine by Williams. On the ground, the Jets struggled and only combined for 40 yards.
Either way, the Jets running game must get better - 22 yards on seven carries for Forte and 16 yards on six carries for Powell isn't good enough. In receiving, Logan Thomas led with 30 yards in four catches. This will be a baptism under fire for White, but this seems like a good matchup to start his career, especially given New York's problematic quarterback situation. "Our run defense was outstanding".
Despite high expectations, the Jets are coming off a very disappointing 5-11 season in 2016, which left them in the basement of the division.
The Bills forced the Jets to respect LeSean McCoy's ability to get outside on zone-blocking stretch plays. It all comes back to repetition. We knew that the offense was going to have difficulty. His 48- and 52-yard second-quarter field goals kept the Jets in the game, with the 52-yarder the longest ever by a Jet at Buffalo.
Neither team is expected to be a serious contender this season, but a win could jumpstart a surprise season.
"It's a cool moment in the locker room when you come in before the game and these guys are in their books and studying", McCown said. The team has moved on from nearly all of former general manager Doug Whaley's draft selections and signings.