by Mario "Game" Granata
After the Buffalo Bills lost to the Miami Dolphins there was a cold front that formed over Western, New York and I am not referring to the severe storm that buried much of the area: it was the dim hopes of a playoff spot that had eluded the Bills for 14 seasons. Couple that with the fact that the Bills weren’t going to be playing the hot Jets, coming off of a bye week, at home. However, the skies opened, and the Bills were able to put together one of the most complete games in all phases to secure another blowout win against the Jets.
Kyle Orton – Do you think that the NFL would allow the Bills to play all of the rest of their home games at Ford Field? It has been very favorable for Orton who has just over a 70% completion percentage and a 2-0 record in Detroit. Orton, from the onset, looked sharp, spreading the ball to receivers, tight ends, and backs, leading to a 28-32, 230, and 2 TD stat line. In this game Orton showed the trust that he had in his receiving core, and what they were able to do…make plays. Robert Woods was remarkable in his ‘breakout’ performance, making catches that, if Odell Beckham didn’t have his Sunday night, would be the most impressive of the Week 12 games. The defenses that Orton will face in the upcoming weeks aren’t going to be as stingy as he has faced, so hopefully this type of performance will repeat itself.
Four Man Cold Front – Now, every great defensive front has to have a notable nickname, and I am not saying that the title I have given them should stick, but there should be one to describe what Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Mario Williams, and Jerry Hughes have been able to do this season. Leading the NFL in sacks, the Bills were faced, for the first time this season, a truly elusive quarterback in Michael Vick. Well, 7 sacks later, they showed their dominance, and were able to keep him in the pocket, and eventually knocking him out of the game. The Bills were able to force the Jets into 8 punts, and allowed a season low 3 points to the Jets. If Terry Pegula’s first order of business isn’t locking up Jerry Hughes, I don’t know what is.
Overlooked Phase – If there is an aspect of any NFL game that is overlooked it is the special teams. Boobie Dixon turned the tables of the entire landscape of the game when he was able to block a punt and have it recovered by Manny Lawson and deflating the Jets. Dixon then put his own exclamation mark on the game with a 30-yard touchdown run. Hopefully the offensive game plan going into this week’s matchup against the 29th ranked run defense of the Browns features Dixon, Bryce Brown and Fred Jackson. The Buffalo Bills were helped a bit by the eagerness of Percy Harvin to return kicks 8-yards deep in the end zone forcing the Jets to start many of their drives inside their own 20. Perhaps the Super Bowl hangover is still in his mind.
All in all, the Buffalo Bills, albeit against an inferior team, looked dominant and played a complete game in all phases. They were able to have not one, but two 90+ yard drives that finished with touchdowns, and of course Dan Carpenter ‘chipped’ in with a 53-yard kick…which is just routine for him at this point. Although the Bills are 6-5, and a long shot to make the playoffs, if they are able to play the complete game as they did against the Jets, they will make some noise in a very tough December run. And the scariest part of about the Bills…they are still developing chemistry.