Ding dong, the Rex hex is dead.
Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets had their way with Rex Ryan’s defense last night, ending a long run in which the Bills coach befuddled the QB like the world’s biggest (and loudest) Rubik’s Cube.
The much-needed 37-31 W put a stop to Buffalo’s five-game winning streak vs. Gang Green, and gave the Amish Rifle (Do we still call him that now that he’s tamed the beard?) his second victory in 10 tries against Rex-led defenses.
It wasn’t always pretty -- the Jets handled the ball like a grenade on their first possession, Darrelle Revis got lit up like the Bills’ fire-engine red monochrome unis and Buffalo came back strong in the third quarter. But it was ‘UGE: a road win against a hated rival before a brutal four-game stretch vs. some of the NFL’s best franchises.
I can’t remember ever hearing of Marquise Goodwin, and I’m not sure if Revis had either, but the best Jet of all time surely has the receiver’s surname burned into his brain after seeing it blaze past him on the back of a jersey.
It’s no secret that Revis has slowed some after passing 30, but through the first two games of the 2016 campaign, the CB is playing like he’s three times that age. The Bengals' A.J. Green had a field day vs. the future Hall of Famer at MetLife last Sunday, and Goodwin obliterated him in Buffalo on an 84-yard TD in the first quarter. In Revis’ defense (no, that’s not an oxymoron), though, Usain Bolt couldn’t cover Goodwin one on one.
Mercifully, Goodwin only caught one more pass, as Tyrod Taylor was errant on a few throws and the receiver’s feet are way better than his hands. There’s a reason Goodwin moves at the speed of light yet has just 22 catches in his four-year career.
None of the Jets’ key receivers are burners, but they’re all very big -- and very good. And probably never better than they were in Buffalo on Thursday night. Fitz targeted the trio of Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa 23 times, connecting on 18 of those for an eye-popping 319 yards. There’s no “up for grabs” with these guys, because they snag every 50/50 ball thrown their way.
Meanwhile, RB Matt Forte chipped in with 100 rushing yards -- and three TDs. Like Revis, Forte has passed the big 3-0, but he doesn’t look any worse for the wear. And any thought that offensive coordinator Chan Gailey would like Forte’s work load after more than 2,000 carries with the Bears went out the window, as the back had 30 rushing attempts vs. the Bills.
The visitors needed everything they could get from the WRs and Forte, because, after a dismal showing in Week 1, the Bills’ O really moved the ball Thursday night. The Jets’ D could barely lay a hand on the fleet-footed Taylor. They’ll need to step up in the coming weeks. But they were good enough to get out of Buffalo with the win -- a very big one.