The Bills lost the chance to play in Buffalo this week due to the devastating snowstorm in Western New York, but they won a game convincingly in Detroit. Here’s what we learned in Buffalo’s 38-3 stomping of the New York Jets:
1. The Bills have a very difficult path to the playoffs because of their schedule, but this is a vastly improved team under Doug Marrone. They are 6-5 this season primarily because of their strong defensive line, which showed up Monday with seven sacks of Michael Vick before knocking the Jets starter out of the game.
2. Mario Williams hasn’t received much attention this year, but he’s up to 11.5 sacks on the season after a dominant performance. Jerry Hughes added two more to get to 9.5, and he made three tackles for loss in the running game. Throw in Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams, and this is the best defensive line in the league.
3. Vick helped the Bills‘ defense out plenty. He didn’t know where pressure was coming from, and made poor decisions when to run. When he threw the ball, he was usually off target. He finished 7-of-19 for only 76 yards and an interception before getting the hook in one of the ugliest outings of the season by any quarterback.
He could have been picked off three more times easily. Vick came up limping before he got the hook, but was also seen walking on the sideline after he was taken out. This was a mercy benching, and Rex Ryan indicated after the game that Vick wasn’t pulled due to injury. Ryan wouldn’t announce a starter for next week, but we’d expect to see Geno Smith start for the Jets next week.
4. For all of the defensive dominance, we’ll remember this as “The Robert Woods game.” The second-year Bills receiver made at least five incredible catches, showing off great hands with a number of diving grabs. He even caught one ball David Tyree-style against his helmet. He finished with a career-high nine catches for 118 yards and a score. Woods makes a fine No. 2 option behind Sammy Watkins.
5. The Jets‘ season has had a number of low moments. This might have been the worst because the team convinced themselves that somehow starting Vick solved what ailed them. In reality, this is a broken offense with two lackluster quarterback options. It’s also the worst defense of the Rex Ryan era. Kyle Orton faced very little pass rush.
6. This might wind up being the last start of Vick’s career. It was a sad way to go out.
7. The Bills are 6-5 and host the Browns next week. Even if Buffalo wins that game, they will have to pull off some serious upsets to make the playoffs with Denver, New England, and Green Bay still on the schedule. The Jets, meanwhile, aren’t out of the race for the No. 1 overall pick.