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As I alluded to in the introduction, Rex Ryan's approach to this game from the very start seemed to be to dare Ryan Fitzpatrick to beat them downfield. Early in the game, the announcers mentioned how Fitzpatrick was one of the league leaders last year in throwing the ball downfield. What they didn't mention was the fact that he was among the worst in the league at having success when he did so.
While it was surprising to see them have so much success - especially on the heels of a game where they didn't really even try to throw downfield - there were so many occasions last year when they almost connected but were unlucky. "They failed but they were so close" is the kind of analysis pessimistic Jets fans hate to hear, but this downfield success has been coming and adds a dimension to the offense that will make Chan Gailey's life a lot easier.
As good as the numbers for Fitzpatrick were (370 yards), let's not forget that he also had a long bomb to Eric Decker chalked off due to a holding penalty. At the time, I had a sneaking suspicion that this could still be a positive play for the Jets because it might open up some things underneath and that proved to be the case to some extent.
You have to commend the offense for not going into a shell when they had the lead too. They continued to throw down the field, which seemed to be the best way of moving the chains against a Bills defense that was stifling the run early and having a lot of success in rallying to receivers on short passes. On the whole, I was a big fan of the gameplan, as the Jets established Quincy Enunwa early, then were able to have more success looking for Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall later on. Finally, this did wear down the defense enough that the running game started to find some traction late.
When the announcers implied that the Bills defense was overmatched because the Jets had "so many weapons" it was jarring to hear based on the team we've become accustomed to over the last several years. They were right though. Imagine how unstoppable this team would be if they had a tight end too.
While the Jets chalked up 20 first half points, they looked extremely sloppy in doing so before Fitzpatrick finally found a great rhythm later on. The first drive, which stalled around the 10-yard line, might be the worst successful drive I've ever seen in terms of execution but somehow kept getting extended by a great individual play here or a defensive penalty there. Had I written a BGA at half time, I don't know whether I would have gone down the "we're not going to have as much success in the second half if we continue to execute like this" or the "if we can put up 20 executing like this, it's a good sign" route.