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Second-quarter analysis: Offensive woes start in red zone

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills came into today’s game having scored touchdowns on four of their first five trips into the red zone this season.

That success evaporated in the second quarter. The Bills had consecutive drives reach the Jets’ 19- and 5-yard lines, respectively, and couldn’t finish off either drive with a touchdown, settling for Dan Carpenter field goals of 37 and 23 yards.

On the first red-zone possession, Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel overthrew rookie wideout Robert Woods on the right side of the end zone on a third-down play.

On the next drive, Manuel couldn’t find an open receiver on third and goal, electing to run, but gaining only a yard.

Nice pick: Bills safety Jim Leonhard gave his team a good drive start with an interception of Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Leonhard returned the ball to the New York 36-yard line, then another 15 yards was tacked on with a personal foul against Jets guard Vladimir Ducasse. The Bills’ offense, however, managed only a field goal with the favorable field position.

Guard depth tested: Right guard Kraig Urbik was injured on a third-and-1 play near the end of the second quarter. On the play, running back Fred Jackson was stopped for a 1-yard loss. The Bills went for it on fourth and 2 with Sam Young in the game at guard, and were stopped by the Jets. Urbik is questionable to return because of a knee injury.

Hill happy to see Bills: Jets receiver Stephen Hill has four career touchdowns. Three of them have come in two games against Buffalo. Hill burned Bills cornerback Justin Rogers for a 51-yard touchdown down the right sideline, hauling in perfect pass from Smith.


Dan Carpenter | EJ Manuel | Jim Leonhard | Justin Rogers | Kraig Urbik | Robert Woods
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |