Rex Ryan’s Bills beat Jets in coach’s return to MetLife Stadium

The Jets handed their old coach a gift on Rex-mas. Gang Green spotted Rex Ryan a 19-point lead, committed four turnovers and called for a (failed) pass to Kellen Davis on the biggest play of the game en route to a 22-17 loss to the Bills on Thursday night. Ryan returned to MetLife Stadium as a conquering hero — at least for those upstate — knocking off the team he coached for the past six seasons. The Bills and Jets wore blinding, monochromatic red and green uniforms, respectively, that made the field look like a giant Christmas party. Buffalo had all the fun — especially Ryan, as you might have guessed. “I can tell the truth, this thing is kind of like being dumped by some girl you have the hots for,” Ryan said. “Every guy in this room has been dumped by a girl. You move on, and every now and then, they call you back. “And they can’t have you back.” MEHTA: FITZPATRICK RUNS OUT OF MAGIC AGAINST BILLS Despite a strong comeback attempt by the Jets, who looked like they were going to turn the game around late in the fourth quarter, Gang Green couldn’t come through when it mattered most. When Buffalo botched a punt and put the Jets in the red zone, they looked primed to take the lead in the final minutes but couldn’t get into the end zone. “It’s just a very frustrating game. Especially when they hand us the gift with the dropping the punt,” Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. “We had a million chances today in the second half.” The play that will surely draw scrutiny came on Chan Gailey’s fourth-and-4 call from the 7-yard line with 3:02 left in the game. The Jets decided to go for it, and called for pass on a flag route to the rarely used Davis. But the ball sailed over his head after what coach Todd Bowles described as a “mix-up” on the route. MYERS: RYAN COMPLETELY OUTCOACHES BOWLES IN Continue Reading

Rex Ryan gets tattoo of wife in Mark Sanchez NY Jets jersey changed to Bills colors

Rex Ryan’s loyalty to the Bills now runs at least skin deep. The coach used to rock the world’s most famous Jets tattoo on his right arm: an image of his wife, Michelle, wearing nothing but a Mark Sanchez jersey. But as of Friday that well-known ink job has been transformed and Michelle Ryan is now wearing a Bills uniform, tattoo artist Ben Verhoek confirmed to the Daily News. But Ryan has learned a lesson — this time around, his wife isn’t wearing EJ Manuel’s number. The coach had the tattoo altered at a tattoo parlor called Old Town Ink in Scottsdale, Ariz., while he was in town for the Super Bowl. Ryan called to ask about availability on Thursday and was told the tattoo would have to be checked out in person to see if the green was too dark to tattoo over. The coach and his wife went to the shop on Friday, where Verhoek painted blue over the green for the shop’s minimum charge: $80. It actually seems that Sanchez had lost his place in Ryan’s heart before the Jets did. Because Verhoek revealed that the sleeve that had previously had Sanchez’s No. 6 on it had already been filled in with black. It makes sense, given that Sanchez wasn’t even on the Jets last year, but it also robs everyone of the image of Michelle Ryan wearing Bills punter Colton Schmidt’s jersey if the coach had kept the No. 6. Verhoek said he isn’t a big football fan, and though he recognized Ryan’s face, he couldn’t quite place him at first. Then, finally, it hit him. “Oh s---, you’re Rex Ryan?” he said. Of course, Ryan provided quite the giveaway: “He was in a full Buffalo Bills jumpsuit,” Verhoek added. The tattoo may have been Ryan’s last remaining vestige of his time with the Jets in his possession. The coach had previously said on a video on the Bills website that he had gotten rid of all of his Jets clothing. Continue Reading

Bills kicker Dan Carpenter, holder Colton Schmidt complain about laser pointer distraction from stands

DETROIT — Bills kicker Dan Carpenter responded to an alleged laser pointer shining from the stands in Detroit with laser-point accuracy. After banking a 50-yard attempt off the left upright in the third quarter, Carpenter split the goal posts from 58 yards with four seconds left for a 17-14 come-from-behind victory over the Lions on Sunday. And this time, there wasn’t a laser shining in holder Colton Schmidt’s face, as apparently happened on the earlier miss. The Bills (3-2) filed a complaint with NFL security officials after both Schmidt and quarterback Kyle Orton said that someone in the stands was shining a laser pointer at them. Without going into detail, coach Doug Marrone said the issue was resolved before the game ended. In fact, Marrone said, the laser was less of a distraction than it was a motivator. “We felt that Dan could do it,” Marrone said. “At that point, with the adrenaline and everything, he was fired up.” NFL spokesman Michael Signora said the league was waiting for its security representative in Detroit to file a game report. The Lions (3-2) were undone by placekicking. Alex Henery missed all three field goal attempts, including a 50-yarder that sailed wide left with 21 seconds remaining. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Detroit police catch fan who shined laser pointer at Lions game

Detroit's mystery laser caper has been solved. Police busted the Lions fan who allegedly pointed a laser at Buffalo Bills players during Sunday's 17-14 win over the Lions and charged him with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, ESPN reported. Mark Beslach was identified as the Ford Field tormentor who targeted Bills QB Kyle Orton and placeholder Colton Schmidt with the blinding light. Cops got wind of Beslach and tracked him down online after he boasted about the incident on Twitter. "You see a green light on any of the bills players just laugh cause it's me," he tweeted. "Got Kyle Orton complained to the ref when I got him with the laser.” Beslach's Twitter account was shut down shortly after. Police caught up with him anyway, and now Beslach will have to appear in court and faces a possible fine. His laser pointer was also confiscated. Beslach didn't just run afoul of the law for his actions. According to FoxSport’s Mike Garafolo, the unruly fan has been banned for life from Ford Field. MOBILE USERS: CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

NFL investigating Buffalo Bills laser pointer complaint; fans point to Twitter acc’t in effort to ID culprit

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The NFL is attempting to shed light on who allegedly shined a laser pointer at Buffalo Bills players at Detroit’s Ford Field last weekend. League spokesman Michael Signora said Tuesday the NFL is investigating the Bills’ complaint and attempting to identify the person responsible. Quarterback Kyle Orton and holder Colton Schmidt said they had a laser directed at them during Buffalo’s 17-14 win over the Lions on Sunday. The league will share the results of its investigation with police, Signora said. All four North American major professional sports leagues bar the use of laser pointers at their facilities. Fans caught using them can be ejected, are subject to being arrested and face the possibility of being banned from entering the facility for any future event. Some Bills fans and others posting about the incident on social networks believe they identified the person responsible after sharing screen shots of tweets bragging about what happened. The Twitter account has been deactivated. “Got Kyle Orton complained to the ref when I got him with the laser,” one deleted tweet from the account (at)MarkoBeslach said, according to a cached version of the Twitter page hosted by Google. It was not immediately clear whether the person who posted the tweet was involved in any way or used a real name. Public records searches did not immediately turn up records under the name Marko Beslach. On Monday, fans began a campaign on Facebook to have the person linked to the account banned from attending NFL games. The campaign attracted nearly 2,000 likes as of Tuesday morning. Schmidt said he had the laser pointed at him while holding on a 50-yard field goal attempt that Dan Carpenter banked off left upright in the third quarter. Carpenter responded to secure the win by hitting a 58-yard attempt with 4 seconds remaining. The Bills followed NFL protocol during the game by reporting the use of a Continue Reading

Ranking NFL special teams: Punter Johnny Hekker, Rams don’t get enough credit

NFL rosters are essentially set until training camps open later this month. In the meantime, USA TODAY Sports has analyzed each team's depth chart and is ranking units throughout the league. Today's positional group: Special teams1. Los Angeles Rams: It's time Johnny Hekker got his due — and for a team that so badly needs his services. His 51 punts inside the 20 easily led the NFL, yet Hekker only committed one touchback — sublime precision. His 46 net yards per punt were nearly 2 better than any of his peers. And Hekker's background as a quarterback makes him dangerous on fakes whether he's punting or holding for K Greg Zuerlein. The Rams also deployed the league's top coverage teams and limited punt returners to a league-low 4.3 yards per chance. Zuerlein rebounded from a poor 2015 but needs more opportunities from the offense. Tavon Austin and Pharoh Cooper are highly capable return men.2. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyreek Hill was the NFL's pre-eminent punt returner as a rookie, no one eclipsing his two TDs or 15.2-yard average. But his new role as the featured receiver could limit his opportunities, and the Chiefs no longer plan to use him on kickoffs. Dustin Colquitt's 38 punts inside the 20 paced the AFC, and he rarely allows chunky returns. Cairo Santos' 88.6% FG rate ranked fifth in the league. MORE COVERAGE:3. Oakland Raiders: Entering his 18th year, Sebastian Janikowski looks to extend his career record for FGs from 50-plus yards (55). P Marquette King has a huge leg but does tend to outkick his coverage. Cordarrelle Patterson adds an explosive element after leading the league with 31.7 yards per kickoff last year.4. Atlanta Falcons: They're understandably overshadowed. Yet it's always been that way for K Matt Bryant, one of the best in the business for 15 seasons. In addition to solid punting — though he's rarely needed — Matt Bosher capably handles kickoffs, leading the NFC with 65 touchbacks last year. Newly signed Continue Reading

Halfway to ending 17-year playoff drought? Not sure, but Bills better than expected

ORCHARD PARK – The mere mention of the word “tanking” makes Sean McDermott cringe because if we’ve learned anything about the new Buffalo Bills coach, it’s that there’s no way he’d ever allow it to happen on his watch.You want to talk about a deal breaker? My guess is if the Pegulas ever asked McDermott to be patient during a tank similar to what their top Sabres lieutenants endured a few years ago, he would have told them to find another coach.The former national wrestling champion has no concept of not giving your all, of not doing everything humanly possible to win, be it football, hockey, or Call of Duty.Tanking? How could anyone have thought such a thing?“It’s probably just more of what’s been said about these guys outside of this building, what was said in preseason, where we’re tanking,” McDermott said recently. “All along we’ve said we’re building a team. We’re not tanking. I think guys, they embrace that. They embrace that underdog mentality, they embrace that underdog role. A lot of guys in this room have been told, myself included, that we’re not good enough.”They sure weren’t good enough Thursday night during a disappointing 34-21 loss to the Jets which dropped their record to 5-3 which, as we are all acutely aware, looks much different than 6-2. The Bills have been 5-3 several times during their 17-year playoff drought, but they haven’t been 6-2 or better since 1993.► LeSean McCoy:  Questioned Bills intensity vs. Jets► Maiorana:  Loss to Jets one for the trash can► Roth:  Bills haven't earned anything yetAs much of a downer as that loss was in New York, 5-3 is way better than the “tanking” prognostications that were being tossed around back in August when general manager Brandon Beane traded Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby on the same day. Sure, it’s tough to deny that the Bills Continue Reading

Bills roll past Raiders 34-14 as defense has another big performance

ORCHARD PARK – We have reached the point in this 2017 season where we have to start believing these Buffalo Bills are for real. Seriously, we do.Sunday afternoon at rainy New Era Field was going to be a major proving ground for the Bills as they came face-to-face with the Oakland Raiders, a team some NFL experts believed would be a Super Bowl contender this season.Well, the underachieving Raiders are flying down to Miami to spend a week working out in preparation for their game against the Dolphins with a 3-5 record thanks to a 34-14 flogging at the hands of the surprising 5-2 Bills.Oakland took the opening kickoff and marched 81 yards for a touchdown, then spent the rest of the day being dominated by a Buffalo team that has announced loud and clear that it’s going to be relevant in the AFC playoff race, certainly for the foreseeable future.Buffalo forced four more turnovers, one a 40-yard fumble return touchdown by linebacker Matt Milano late in the first half that gave the Bills the lead for good.  Two came in rapid fashion in the third quarter and set up six points as the Bills began to take control of the game. The last, by Trae Elston, essentially ended the game with 1:33 left.As mentioned, the day did not start well for the Bills. They won the coin toss, deferred to the second half like they always do, and the Raiders promptly marched 81 yards in 13 plays to Jamize Olawale’s 1-yard touchdown plunge.Oakland converted a third-and-6 on a nice completion from Carr to Amari Cooper, and then went for it on fourth-and-1 at the Bills 45, Olawale getting two yards despite fumbling and recovering his own mistake. Ex-Bills tight end Lee Smith even contributed, catching a 22-yard pass down the middle to the 1. The Oakland offense wasn’t heard from again until the fourth quarter when the Bills slipped into the dreaded prevent mode once they had opened a 20-point lead.The Bills’ first two possessions ended in punts, but the Continue Reading

No other way to put it: Sheer embarrassment for the Bills in 34-21 loss to Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – That was pathetic. And yet, is anyone truly surprised by what went down at MetLife Stadium Thursday night?They are the Bills. They are the Bills. They are the Bills. And these Bills lost 34-21 to the not-exactly-immortal New York Jets in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the score might indicate.As the kids would text, SMH. (That stands for shaking my head, for those who still use landlines and not up on the lingo).Sadly with this franchise, nothing ever really changes, and Sean McDermott’s team, one we dared to dream might be different than so many previous Bills’ teams, is left to ponder over the next 10 days an inexplicably horrendous performance.It was all set up for the Bills. Win against what most believed was an inferior opponent, and they’d be 6-2 and tied for first place in the AFC East with the dastardly New England Patriots. But once again, in a game where the Bills needed to make a positive, chest-pounding statement, they didn’t. The exact opposite occurred, in fact, as they got their chests caved in by a motivated Jets team that is sick of hearing how bad it is. The Bills were outplayed every which way, and the Patriots were surely sitting at home, like a nation of football fans, laughing in Buffalo’s general direction.How do we best sum up this one? The offense was awful, the defense was awful, and the special teams were, well, no one really cares about the special teams.You could tell in the first couple of minutes this wasn’t going to be a good night for the guys in the all whites. The initial offensive series went 12-yard sack of Tyrod Taylor, illegal shift penalty on Jordan Matthews which was declined, a blown-up run for no gain by LeSean McCoy, and a punt. Four minutes later, the Jets were ahead 7-0, and it never really improved from then on.Buffalo’s offensive line was manhandled by the Jets’ talented front which did have Muhammad Wilkerson, even though Continue Reading

LeSean McCoy says Bills ‘just didn’t bring it’ in one-sided loss to Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Consider this perhaps the first bump in the road for Sean McDermott. The energetic first-year Bills coach was not pleased with what he saw Thursday night in Buffalo’s more-one-sided-than-it-looked 34-21 loss to the Jets.In their first seven games, it was hard to argue that the Bills weren’t typically the more engaged team, even in the losses to Carolina to Cincinnati. McDermott’s players — many of whom are, as he likes to say, “the guys nobody wants” — put forth great effort and generally played smart and sound football in winning five of those games.This was not the case at the Meadowlands as the Bills were thoroughly outplayed on the national TV stage, and running back LeSean McCoy went so far as to say the Bills just weren’t into it.“Our intensity wasn’t high,” McCoy said. “I felt like we were lackadaisical. Small mistakes that we haven’t made in the past we made today. It started in the beginning of the game ... tonight we just didn’t bring it.” ► Maiorana: Bills loss one for the trash can ► Report card:  Bills report card ► Roth: Bills haven't earned anything yet McDermott surely won’t like reading that quote because he prides himself on The Process, and part of The Process is bringing it on every play of every game.McCoy went on, saying, “I think adversity hit us and we didn’t respond well, particularly myself. I didn’t play well at all. I took it as a challenge knowing guys were coming in here trying to stop me, stop the run, and I didn’t respond well at all. It’s something we have to work at.”Upon Further Review, here are some other thoughts I had about the loss.1. This is going to be a test, but here goes. I’ll start with Zay Jones. He finally looked like the player the Bills thought they were drafting — a possession receiver with good hands. Nothing Continue Reading