NFL Team Report - Buffalo Bills - INSIDE SLANT
For a team that is already painfully thin at just about every position, the Buffalo Bills suffered more than a notch in the "L" column against the New York Jets in Week 3.
Coach Doug Marrone on Monday went through the litany of ailments that befell the Bills, and the worst of it was that defensive end Alex Carrington, who was really coming on at the end of 2012 and had earned is way into this year's starting lineup, is done for the season.
"Alex Carrington unfortunately had a torn quad tendon, which I think will put him out for the year; he'll have surgery today," Marrone said of Carrington, who was officially placed on injured reserve a few hours later. "I feel bad. I'm not going to lie to you and sit here and say next man up.
"You have feelings and that's what's difficult. Here's someone who has been very productive for the past three games and someone who is a very good football player. Here's a player who has put in a lot of time, that's been very consistent, a good leader for us and done everything we've asked him to do, and unfortunately he has an injury."
Corbin Bryant, who joined the team in the offseason after coming into the league in 2011 as an undrafted free agent, is Carrington's backup, but the Bills could also choose to use veteran defensive tackle Alan Branch in that role.
The next most serious injury appears to be a hamstring pull for cornerback Leodis McKelvin, which occurred on Buffalo's first defensive series of the game. Marrone was uncertain about the extent of the damage, and he would not give a guess on whether McKelvin can play Sunday against Baltimore.
"We'll see how that is when he comes back and starts working on the field," said Marrone.
If he can't play, the already-depleted secondary takes a further hit, and the Bills may be forced to start strong safety Aaron Williams at corner, where he played during his first years in the NFL with poor results, prompting his move to safety in the offseason.
Running back C.J. Spiller also hurt a quad in the second quarter, tried to play early in the third quarter, and wasn't able to continue.
"It's sore, but it shouldn't be anything that will keep me out this week," said Spiller. "I should be feeling better day-by-day. Just taking it slow, just a little sore right now."
Defensive end Mario Williams and defensive tackle Marcel Dareus both suffered ankle injuries in the second half, but Marrone didn't think either was serious enough to keep them out of the game against the Ravens.
The Bills are already playing without cornerback Stephon Gilmore, free safety Jairus Byrd, cornerback Ron Brooks, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, guard Doug Legursky and place-kicker Dustin Hopkins. Byrd, Legursky and Hopkins have a chance to get back this week, while Gilmore, Goodwin and Brooks are out at least another three weeks.
"Hopefully we can get some of the guys back that were banged up," said center Eric Wood. "You've just got to move forward, the 'next man up' mentality. Give the opportunity to someone else if some of these guys aren't going to play."
NFL Team Report - Buffalo Bills - NOTES, QUOTES
Sunday's loss to the Jets was a day the Bills defense would like to forget. Buffalo allowed rookie quarterback Geno Smith to guide the Jets to 513 yards of total offense. For just the sixth time in team history an opponent had a 300-yard passer (Smith), two 100-yard receivers (Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes) and a 100-yard rusher (Bilal Powell).
-- Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of EJ Manuel's flop in New York was his inaccuracy. He was under duress most of the day as the Jets dominated the Bills' offensive line with their array of pressure packages, but even when Manuel had time to throw, he misfired far too frequently.
Coach Doug Marrone refused to push the panic button, saying, "I have really high expectations for him, and we're all continuing to get better. Did we miss some things out there? Could we have done a better job? Absolutely. It's not just the quarterback and I think we all understand that."
Manuel was 19 of 42 for 243 yards and one touchdown. He did not have a turnover, but he was skittish in the pocket (he was sacked eight times) and was unable to beat the blitz. Almost every time he got a pass off against a blitz, it was well off target.
-- The Bills think they have a dangerous punt and kickoff return game, but three weeks into the season, it's impossible to tell. Opposing kickers have knocked 15 of 17 kickoffs through the end zone for touchbacks. The only two kickoff returns the Bills have had, the ball was fielded in the end zone both times; T.J. Graham returned one 19 yards, and Marcus Easley had an 18-yarder.
On punt returns, the Bills have forced 18 punts, but have had only three opportunities to make returns and have gained just 23 yards, 19 coming on one return by Leodis McKelvin - one of the best in the league - in Week 2 against Carolina.
NFL Team Report - Buffalo Bills - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
-- RB C.J. Spiller left the game in the third quarter with a quad injury and did not return.
-- DT Marcel Dareus hurt his ankle in the third quarter and did not return.
-- CB Leodis McKelvin left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return.
-- DE Alex Carrington suffered a torn quad injury late in the game and was carted off. He was placed on injured reserve.
-- DE Mario Williams limped off the field in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.
-- RG Kraig Urbik went out in the second quarter with a knee injury, but was able to come back.
-- FS Jairus Byrd was listed as questionable, but he once again sat out, missing his third straight game.
-- OG Doug Legursky was also questionable after a week of limited practice, but he sat out a third game with a knee injury.
-- CB Stephon Gilmore remains out with a surgically repaired wrist.
-- CB Ron Brooks is still sidelined by a broken foot.
-- K Dustin Hopkins was inactive for the third week in a row due to a pulled groin.
-- WR Marquise Goodwin sat out his second game with a broken hand.
-- RB C.J. Spiller had one of the worst games of his career as he carried 10 times for nine yards and caught one pass for one yard before leaving with a knee injury.
-- QB EJ Manuel had a tough day as he completed only 19 of 42 passes for 243 yards and was sacked eight times. He had one touchdown, and did not turn the ball over.
-- LB Kiko Alonso became the first Bills linebacker since Paul Posluszny in 2009 to record interceptions in back-to-back games.
-- TE Scott Chandler had his most productive game as he caught five passes for 79 yards including a 33-yard TD on a seam route.
-- RB Fred Jackson broke a 59-yard run on a 3rd-and-1, but gained only 13 yards on his other six carries. He also caught four passes for 37 yards.
-- CB Justin Rogers was burned for a pair of long TDs by Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes.
-- LB Manny Lawson was in on a team-high 14 tackles.
-- DE Mario Williams, one week after his 4.5-sack game, was held to no sacks and two tackles.
REPORT CARD VS. JETS
PASSING OFFENSE: D -- The Bills' offensive line was terribly outplayed by the Jets' big bodies up front. EJ Manuel was sacked eight times after being sacked just once in the first two games. When Manuel did have time, he threw the ball inaccurately as he completed just 19 of 42 passes for 243 yards. Another problem was that the Bills receivers didn't win many one-on-one battles with the Jets defensive backs. Stevie Johnson caught six passes for 86 yards, but also had a couple key drops of balls he should have caught. Robert Woods and T.J. Graham were virtually invisible with a combined three catches for 40 yards on 15 targets. Manuel looked like a rookie, and played like a rookie. It was quite a step back after the Week 2 high.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- C.J. Spiller continues to drive his fantasy owners crazy. For the second time in three games, he played as poorly as he could possibly play. Before leaving early in the third quarter with a knee injury he had 11 yards from scrimmage on 10 touches. The Bills had a decent yardage total (120 yards), but nearly half of that came on a 59-yard breakaway by Fred Jackson on an early third-and-one play. Predictable play calls in the run game hurt the Bills, too. There was no imagination, and it was if they were banging their heads against the wall trying to get the same few plays to work.
PASS DEFENSE: F -- Already playing without their two best DBs, Stephon Gilmore and Jairus Byrd, they lost CB Leodis McKelvin in the first quarter, severely hampering them in the back end. With overmatched players like Justin Rogers, Johnny Adams, Nickell Robey and Brandon Burton on the field, the Bills were horrendous and gave up 331 yards to Geno Smith, an average of more than 20 yards per completion. Four plays went for at least 40 yards including TDs to Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes, both against Rogers who is a starter (while Gilmore is out). The pass rush was non-existent as it got no sacks of Smith, who had been sacked nine times in his first two games.
RUSH DEFENSE: D -- When the Jets weren't gouging the Bills through the air, they were carving them up on the ground as Bilal Powell rushed for 149 yards, thus becoming the latest in an embarrassingly long line of no-name RBs who have tortured the Bills in recent years. Powell hammered the Bills inside, and occasionally was able to bounce outside for big gains. Buffalo's secondary woes meant it couldn't cheat safeties up to the line. Mario Williams was a no-show as he had two tackles. LB Manny Lawson had a big game with 14 tackles.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- PK Dan Carpenter did his job, kicking four field goals which helped keep the Bills in the game. Once again, the Bills had no return game because opposing kickers boom the ball out of the end zone every time. Shawn Powell had a nice game with a 39.9 net and three punts inside the 20. The Jets had six punt and kickoff returns combined and they netted only 71 yards, so the coverage teams were solid.
COACHING: F -- Just a really bad day at the office for offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who seemed to have no clue how to attack the Jets. If not for all of New York's penalties on defense, this game would have been lopsided. Hackett didn't put his players in good enough positions to get anything done, and when he did, his players let him down. Things weren't a whole lot better for defensive coordinator Mike Pettine as his defense yielded 513 yards and looked completely incapable of making plays. As for head coach Doug Marrone, he needs to have his team better prepared to play on the road.