Man in the middle
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams already has surpassed his career high in sacks.
Williams got his sixth QB takedown of the season with 5:56 left in the quarter and it saved the Bills points on a scoring threat by the Jets. Williams came free on a blitz. The Bills rushed two defensive backs on the play. Geno Smith was sacked for a 3-yard loss on third and 5. Nick Folk then missed a 48-yard field-goal try.
Williams’ previous high was 5.5 sacks in 2010. The Bills entered the game seventh in the NFL in sacks per pass attempt faced. The Jets entered 30th in sacks allowed, which is no surprise for a team starting a rookie QB.
Streak buster: Folk was 23 of 23 on field-goal tries before his miss from 48.
Key plays: Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson started fast, stuffing C.J. Spiller early and batting down a third-down EJ Manuel pass. … The Bills’ defense was in attack mode early, blitzing Smith three times in the first three series.
Big name watch: Gov. Cuomo was watching from the press box. Jim Kelly and his nephew, Clemson QB Chad Kelly, watched from the sidelines. Andre Reed and Thurman Thomas were in the house.
The eyes have it
Bills safety Jairus Byrd read the eyes of Geno Smith and picked off a pass over the middle for tight end Jeff Cumberland with 2:26 left in the half. The turnover kept the momentum all on Buffalo’s side, leading to a field goal that put the Bills ahead, 20-0.
It was a rough half for Smith, the 39th overall pick in the draft out of West Virginia. He completed just 3 of 9 passes for 44 yards, with one interception and a fumble.
“I had my eye on him for a second,” Smith said of Byrd. “As soon as you take your eye off them they can cut a route. They study film and understand the game so well that you can never be 100 your guy is going to be there and be open.”
Big sack: Kyle Williams came free on a stunt and batted the ball out of Smith’s hands, forcing a fumble that Manny Lawson recovered at the Jets’ 4 with 3:53 left in the half.
Key plays: Two plays after the Smith fumble, Frank Summers rolled in from the 3 to put Buffalo ahead, 17-0. The Bills took a 10-0 lead when T.J. Graham caught a 34-yard TD pass from EJ Manuel with 4:13 left in the half.
Speed to burn
New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie is a technique-sound veteran who made the Pro Bowl last season.
He felt the burn of covering Bills rookie Marquise Goodwin in the third quarter, losing Goodwin deep route down the right sideline on a 43-yard touchdown pass from EJ Manuel. The TD gave the Bills a 27-7 lead.
It was a straight go route, and it was Goodwin’s third TD catch of the season.
“I was so ticked at myself,” Cromartie said. “Honestly, I looked back at the ball too long. I felt like I drifted away from him when I was already on top of the route. That kind of slowed me down. He got up on top, and he just made a play on the ball. That’s something for me.”
Key plays: Da’Norris Searcy intercepted a Geno Smith pass and returned it 32 yards for a Bills TD. The Jets got a 1-yard TD run from Chris Ivory.
Second-guess: The Jets rushed six men at the quarterback on the Goodwin TD and the TD pass to T.J. Graham in the second quarter. We know pressure is the Jets’ style. But when you have a run defense that’s as great as New York’s, why gamble so much? Make the Bills prove they can efficiently march 12 plays to the end zone.
Bills TKO Smith
Call it a technical knockout of Jets quarterback Geno Smith. New York coach Rex Ryan pulled his starting quarterback in favor of Matt Simms with 12:55 to go and Buffalo ahead, 34-7.
“I don’t think it’s fair to just place it on him,” Ryan said. “With our protections, you could have had Joe Namath back there, and I don’t think it would have mattered today. Obviously when you turn the ball over four times, that’s a poor performance by our offense.”
Said Smith: “It’s just one of those things that kind of comes with the territory. I hate to use the word growing pains but that’s exactly what it is for me.”
Ying-yang: The Jets are the first team in history to alternate wins and losses every game over the first 10 games of a season.
Key plays: Simms threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland with 9:36 left to cap a 62-yard drive. … The Bills added a 43-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter with 4:02 left.
No second-guess: Ryan had to answer questions about taking his team to Dave & Buster’s restaurant in Amherst on Saturday evening. It’s ridiculous to think that had any bearing on the game.