After the Buffalo Bills started 0-2 – and looked woeful in a 37-31 loss to the Jets – Rex Ryan’s hot seat got really hot really fast. But then he beat the Cardinals, 33-18, and handed the Patriots their first home shutout loss since 1993 to get back to .500.
As bad as things looked a couple of weeks ago, Ryan has to be loving life right about now.
“He likes to shout and yell and be funny and have fun, but we need that to go onto the field,” Hall of Famer Jim Kelly said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I love Rex to death. I think he’s a good coach. But you’re only as good as the people around you. I know that they decided to part ways with Greg Roman. We’ll find out if that pans out as the season goes along, but after the Jets game, really, we didn’t know where we were going. Injuries, things happening not quite the way we wanted to. We thought we were going to have a solid defense and Ryan Fitzpatrick lights us up. But you know what? As I’ve said before – and Tiki knows this – it’s 2-2 right now. It can easily have been 0-4; we easily could have been 4-0. So we have a good football team. We have a good nucleus. But we got to stay on the field and we got to quit (getting) stupid penalties. Now anytime a big play happens, you’re like, ‘Okay, where’s the yellow flag?’ Some calls are a little shaky. So I wonder once in awhile if these officials are not being on the up and up.”
The Jets gashed the Bills in Week 2, but to be fair, that was a short week. In fact, Buffalo has allowed just 8.3 points per game on normal rest.
The offense, meanwhile, has been a little up and down, but Tyrod Taylor has put up solid numbers. The 27-year-old has completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 773 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s also rushed 21 times for 140 yards (6.7 yards per carry) and a touchdown.
“So far, I like what I see,” Kelly said. “Sammy Watkins, his main target, is done for I don’t know how long, but it does help to have a guy like McCoy in the backfield to help out. You got to have that run-pass ratio. I had Thurman Thomas; he has LeSean McCoy, so that definitely helps. He’s got a great long ball. This is really only his second year. I keep my patience, but so far I like what I see.”
The Bills, who play the Rams (3-1) in Los Angeles this Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET, remain a game behind the Patriots (3-1) in the AFC East standings. Tom Brady also returns to action this week, as New England will face the Browns (0-4) in Cleveland.
Kelly doesn’t anticipate much rust for the 39-year-old.
“I expect what everybody probably expects: greatness,” Kelly said. “That’s just the way he has been all his career. It kind of surprised me last week when I saw (Jacoby) Brissett holding on to the football a long time. Tom doesn’t do that. Tom gets rid of it. He’s three steps, boom, he gets rid of the football, gets it out. He doesn’t take a lot of hits. Yeah, his body will start feeling it. There’s no doubt the older you get, the more you start feeling it. I think the key, though, is the more you feel it, it’s going to linger on. I think as time goes on, who knows? This four-game rest that he had, the Patriots now 3-1, I think that might help him down the road because his body didn’t have to go through all that.”
The Bills will see Brady and the Patriots later this month. They host New England in a rematch Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. ET.