Bills Concerns Mount After Getting Off To 0-2 Start

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — One week the Buffalo Bills offense is sputtering. The next it’s their defense.

That leaves coach Rex Ryan having plenty of concerns he needs to address two weeks into his second season in Buffalo.

“Well, first off, obviously never expected this,” Ryan said, opening his news conference following a 37-31 loss to the New York Jets on Thursday night. “The Jets were a much better team than we were today, especially their offense against our defense. It looked like a mismatch.”

Ryan’s prized defense — the one he vowed would be much improved over last year — was porous.

The Bills surrendered 493 yards offense, 28 first downs, allowed New York to convert eight of 13 third-down chances and forced just two punts — the second with 10 seconds left. The only bright side was safety Nickell Robey-Coleman returning Jalin Marshall’s fumble 36 yards for a touchdown to briefly put the Bills ahead 24-20.

The Jets responded to score 17 consecutive points, capped by Matt Forte’s third touchdown on a 12-yard run.

Buffalo is 0-2 for the first time since 2010.

And the loss to the Jets comes a week after the Bills’ offense managed just 160 yards in a 13-7 loss at Baltimore.

The offense was much improved, with Tyrod Taylor going 18 of 30 for 297 yards and three touchdowns.

What’s troubling is the Bills’ schedule doesn’t get much easier. Buffalo hosts Arizona on Sept. 25, followed by a game at New England, where the Bills are 1-14 since 2001.

“Well right now it looks daunting against anybody,” Ryan said. “We’ve got to get better, so we’ve got to look at the tape and realize it starts with us.”

Starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore had a particularly tough day as part of a defensive backfield that allowed Eric Decker to make six catches for 126 yards and Brandon Marshall six for 101.

“It wasn’t one of my best days,” Gilmore said. “But I’m not the person to put my head down. I know I have to step up and make those plays, so I’ll do that.”

The Jets (1-1) snapped a five-game skid against Buffalo, which included a 22-17 season-ending loss in January that eliminated New York from the playoffs.

New York also avoided its first 0-2 since 2007.

FORTE ON THE RUN

Forte had 30 carries for 100 yards and matched a career-high and franchise record by becoming the 13th running back to score three touchdowns rushing. In two games, offseason free-agent addition has combined for 52 carries for 196 yards and added seven catches for 68 yards.

“I don’t care,” Forte said when told he’s on pace for 450 touches. “As long as we keep winning, I don’t care if I have 1,000 touches.”

CATCHING ON

Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall re-established themselves as one of the NFL’s top receiving tandems. Decker led New York with six catches for 126 yards and a touchdown, while Marshall had six catches for 101 yards. Marshall avoided a scare when he briefly left the game in the second quarter with what appeared to be a serious left knee injury.

He missed only four plays spanning two series after having his knee examined.

“I thought it was over. I thought I was going to be fishing in my backyard in Florida,” said Marshall , whose left knee twisted awkwardly beneath him when cornerback Stephon Gilmore pulled him down by his facemask.

GOING DEEP

With an 84-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin and a 71-yard TD pass to Greg Salas , Taylor became Buffalo’s fifth quarterback to throw two touchdowns of 70-yards or longer in the same game. JP Losman was the last to do that in 2006.

Goodwin’s touchdown was the longest by a Buffalo player in a home game.

WATKINS WATCH

Bills receiver Sammy Watkins started despite experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired left foot this past week. He had two catches for 20 yards.

FITZ-MAGIC

Jets Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick went 24 of 34 for 374 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. He bounced back after combining for four TDs and five interceptions — including three in the season finale — in two games against Buffalo, his former team, last year.

___

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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