Darrelle Revis can delay Jets descent against Bills’ Sammy Watkins

Darrelle Revis is not the player he once was. Father Time has that effect on any athlete. But former Jet and current Bills coach Rex Ryan believes it's important to recognize where Revis came from, and not just focus on where he is headed. "If he has, we know he's coming from the mountaintop," Ryan said on a conference call Tuesday when asked if Revis' play has slipped in recent years. "I think he's a hell of a football player still. And like I said, if he's coming down, he's coming down from the very, very top." Revis' Jets and Ryan's Bills will face off Thursday night in a divisional game that holds significance in many ways, shapes and forms. Both teams enter the game 0-1. But perhaps more importantly, it was the Bills who defeated the Jets in Week 17 last season to keep Gang Green out of the postseason. Revis played a major role in that loss. Bills No. 1 wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who is battling foot soreness this week, caught a career-high 11 passes for 136 yards, a large portion of which came with Revis in coverage. "I don't know about a career day," Revis responded to a question about Watkins' performance last season. "But he did OK." Is Revis eager for another shot at Watkins? "I'm not looking for another chance to do anything but win games," he said. "That's all." Revis did, however, acknowledge the Week 17 loss and the effect it had on him. Revis said he thought about the defeat "a lot" during the offseason. "We have a bad taste in our mouth from last year, and I'm sure that will carry over into this game," Revis said. "We got knocked out of the playoffs. So that's definitely going to sting a little bit." On Thursday, Revis will also be looking to rid himself of another bad taste, the one left after Bengals wideout A.J. Green exploded for 180 yards on 12 catches and a touchdown in a 23-22 Week 1 win over the Jets on Sunday. The touchdown went for 54 yards and came Continue Reading

WATCH: Sammy Watkins does very odd ball drill at Bills practice

Sammy Watkins seems to be working on his hands during a recent practice — but a video of the strange drill shows the Buffalo Bills wide receiver needs to work on his grip. The 20-second clip, which was shared on Twitter, shows Watkins sitting on a field and trying to catch balls tossed from behind his head. But the star receiver hilariously fails with every attempt. It wasn’t immediately clear the purpose of the drill, but for the team’s sake, hopefully it translates into some catches on Sunday against the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals. Continue Reading

Darrelle Revis struggles covering Sammy Watkins in Jets’ Week 17 loss to Bills

ORCHARD PARK — Darrelle Revis went MIA for most of Sunday’s season-crushing loss to the Bills ... and he stayed that way after the game. The Jets’ $70 million man was schooled by a youngster, second-year wideout Sammy Watkins, throughout most of Sunday’s contest. Watkins, who was mostly marked by No. 24, finished with 11 receptions for 136 yards. JETS INSTANT ANALYSIS: REX RYAN GETS HIS REVENGE After the game, with the Jets’ season over, Revis refused to speak about his disappointing performance. Revis played soft coverage against Watkins, clearly wary of giving up a bomb. “I think Revis knows, this kid’s got elite speed,” Rex Ryan said. “There is no question about it and Revis wasn’t gonna get beat on top. So I think we thought we had a chance to throw the ball underneath a few times and we did.” MYERS: JETS BLOW CHANCE AT MAKING PLAYOFFS … AGAIN As the game wore on, it became clear that the Jets needed to give their star cornerback help, but they never really did. Todd Bowles refused to place much blame on Revis. “No, a lot of those were zone,” Bowles said of Watkins’ catches. “You can’t read a game plan from man-to-man every play. We had some thrown things called and some people underneath. You can’t blame that all on Darrelle.” MEHTA: RYAN FITZPATRICK DESERVED BETTER ENDING Watkins was deferential to Revis after dominating him. “I know he’s going to be a future Hall of Famer,” Watkins said. “The coaches did a great job of putting me in the right situations with the right coverage.” Revis did make one big play — a fumble recovery on a ball knocked loose by Damon Harrison. But against Watkins, he clearly was beaten. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK. "LIKE" US HERE. Continue Reading

Jets’ Darrelle Revis says matchup with Sammy Watkins was back and forth

Darrelle Revis didn’t seem to think his showdown with Sammy Watkins in Sunday's loss was quite as lopsided as most people did. Watkins had 11 receptions for 136 yards, mostly against Revis, thanks to soft coverage by the Pro Bowl cornerback. “It’s a battle back and forth,” Revis said. “He’s a great player. They had a great game plan for him, he made plays. It was back and forth, I batted a couple balls down.” When asked about the cushion that Revis gave Watkins, the cornerback said, “I mean, he’s a deep threat guy.” MEHTA: JETS PUZZLE GETS TRICKY AFTER THEIR FEW CORE PIECES On Sunday after the game, Bowles defended Revis, saying that the team played a lot of zone. And on Monday, the Jets’ coach said he was pleased with the season he got from his $70 million cornerback. “He’s a good corner. That doesn’t mean good corners don’t get beat and don’t have bad games,” Bowles said. “But I still the think the same that I always did. He’s a good player. He’s tough, he’s smart, he works hard and he’s athletic and we’re glad to have him.” Asked if he still views Revis as an elite cornerback, Bowles said, “Yes I do.” FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK. "LIKE" US HERE. WHAT IF Kenbrell Thompkins came awfully close to catching what could have been a miracle touchdown in the final seconds of Sunday’s season-ending loss to the Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a deep ball to an open Thompkins, but the ball was knocked loose at the last moment by Mario Butler. If the defender hadn’t knocked the ball out, Thompkins thought, it was going to be a touchdown. “Yeah, I would have scored,” Thompkins said. “100%.” ... Muhammad Wilkerson’s broken bone is his right fibula. The Pro Bowl defensive end has not had surgery yet, Bowles said, and the Continue Reading

GIFT OF GRABS: With Odell Beckham Jr., Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans, rookie receivers are taking off in the NFL, but why?

Odell Beckham Jr. may have lit up the Twittersphere, guaranteed himself a spot among ESPN’s top 10 plays of the year and started the conversation going about the best catches of all time. But his blind, one-handed, flying and molested TD snare against the Cowboys last Sunday night was only an exclamation point on a bigger phenomenon. It’s the year of the rookie wide receiver in the NFL, and as much as Beckham has stood out, he’s got plenty of company. A dozen or more rookies are making impacts, and while the list includes first-round picks such as Beckham, the Bucs’ Mike Evans, the Panthers’ Kelvin Benjamin, the Bills’ Sammy Watkins and the Saints’ now-injured Brandin Cooks, second- rounder Allen Robinson of the Jaguars, third-rounder John Brown in Arizona and even an undrafted free agent such as the Browns’ Taylor Gabriel are getting into the act. Of the 12 WRs selected in the first two rounds of the 2014 draft, only one, Cody Latimer, who has been a healthy scratch most of the year for the Broncos, hasn’t reached double digits in catches. At this pace, it will be the best receiving class in history. Draft experts agreed this was going to be a rich, deep vein, but they’ve even gone beyond expectations. “There is no question about it. This has been a very special group and we knew that,” says Gil Brandt, who has seen young receivers hit and miss since he was GM of the Cowboys in the ’60s. “There are guys that went in the second round playing like first-rounders. LSU had three wide receivers drafted. Ten years ago, all they used to do was run the ball 95 times a game. These players are far ahead of the learning curve we witnessed some years ago.” Just consider the 2002 season, hardly the leather helmet era. The NFC and NFL rookie leader with 74 receptions was a tight end, the Giants’ Jeremy Shockey. The AFC’s rookie leader in receptions was Continue Reading

Kyle Orton hits Sammy Watkins for last-second TD to lift Bills past Vikings

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Kyle Orton beat the clock again. Orton completed a 2-yard pass to Sammy Watkins in the left front-corner of the end zone with 1 second remaining in leading the Buffalo Bills to a 17-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The touchdown capped a 15-play, 80-yard drive that Orton extended by converting a fourth-and-20 with a 24-yard pass to tight end Scott Chandler over the middle. Three plays later, Orton hit Watkins on a crossing pattern for an 18-yard gain on third-and-12. And Orton set up the decisive score by threading a 28-yard pass to Chris Hogan at 2 along the left sideline. Shaking off an interception and a lost fumble, Orton went 31 of 43 for 283 yards and two touchdowns — both to Watkins, who finished with nine catches for 122 yards. The 10-year journeyman improved to 2-1 since replacing second-year starter EJ Manuel. Orton won his first start three weeks ago by helping set up Dan Carpenter’s 58-yard field goal as time ran out in a 17-14 win at Detroit. Buffalo (4-3) snapped a two-game home losing streak, improved to 3-0 this season against NFC North opponents and withstood injuries to running backs Fred Jackson (groin) and C.J. Spiller (left shoulder) in the first half. The Vikings defense sagged in a game it forced four turnovers (an interception and three fumbles) and had six sacks, including a career-best four by Everson Griffen. Minnesota’s offense, however, lacked finish in rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s third career start. Bridgewater went 15 of 26 for 157 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions as Minnesota (2-5) lost its third in a row. Cordarrelle Patterson had 4-yard touchdown catch, and rookie running back Jerick McKinnon had 103 yards rushing. The Vikings settled for three field goals by Blair Walsh on four drives inside the Bills 40. That included Walsh’s third of the Continue Reading

Buffalo Bills rookie WR Sammy Watkins catches eye of NY Jets coach Rex Ryan

Rex Ryan thought highly of Sammy Watkins even before he was on the Bills, as the star wide receiver was a teammate of Ryan’s son Seth at Clemson. But if there were any questions in Ryan’s mind about the receiver’s ability at the pro level, they were answered when the Jets lost to Buffalo in October. “Yeah, after getting scorched by him my feeling has not changed at all,” Ryan said. Watkins caught three passes for 157 yards and a touchdown in the 43-23 Bills win. He would have had a second touchdown had he not celebrated early and been caught and tackled by Saalim Hakim. “I think it just kind of confirms what everybody in our building thought, that this guy was an outstanding player, and a guy (like) that doesn’t come down the pipe very often,” Ryan said. WEATHER OR NOT On Wednesday it was Mario Williams’ turn to help, and he came to the assistance of a former Bill. Williams helped Hall of Famer Jim Kelly dig out what appeared to be the former quarterback’s driveway in an Instagram video posted Wednesday. And let’s not forget kicker Dan Carpenter. Roy Noble, 88, told The Buffalo News that he and his 87-year-old wife Lorraine were pleasantly surprised to find Carpenter, who lives next door, shoveling a path through five-foot drifts to ensure that the couple was OK. Bills players spent much of the storm sharing their snowstorm experiences on social media. Running back Fred Jackson produced an amusing video of himself playfully tossing his children into a large snow drift. Receiver Marquise Goodwin posted a photo of himself standing in the snow wearing only sweatpants under the caption: “This snow doesn’t scare me.” INJURY UPDATE Saunders was a fourth-round pick by the Jets in this year’s draft. − with AP ON A MOBILE DEVICE? SEE THE JETS VIDEO Join the Continue Reading

VIDEO: Bills WR Sammy Watkins blows TD with premature celebration

Geno Smith did plenty to embarrass himself on Sunday with three interceptions in the first quarter, but Sammy Watkins might have outdone him with the biggest blunder of the first half. With the Bills facing a 3rd-and-seven from their own 11-yard line, Buffalo quarterback Kyle Orton found Watkins with a deep pass over the middle. Watkins broke free from the Jets defense and appeared to have himself an 89-yard touchdown. Unfortunately he started celebrating a bit early and was taken down at the five-yard line by Jets DB Saalim Hakim, who never gave up on the play. Watkins spiked the ball on the ground in disgust, but was eventually bailed out after Bills fullback Frank Summers pounded the ball in for a two-yard score that put Buffalo ahead, 21-7. MOBILE USERS: CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Rex Ryan gets on conference call with Bills’ Sammy Watkins, jokingly asks him not to play vs. NY Jets

Jets coach Rex Ryan provided some humor on Wednesday, hopping onto a media conference call with Buffalo Bills rookie reciver Sammy Watkins, jokingly asking him not to play on Wednesday. "Sammy, I got a question," Ryan intervened toward the end. "How did you help Seth Ryan out? How'd he do out there? And if you could really help him, you wouldn't play this game. This sounds like Rex Ryan, I know it does, but this is a reporter." Ryan's son Seth was a teammate of Watkins' while at Clemson. You can hear Ryan jump on the call at about the 5:00 mark of the audio clip. USING A MOBILE DEVICE? HEAR REX RYAN TALK TO WATKINS HERE Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Buffalo Bills decline fifth-year option on Sammy Watkins

In a move that does not come as a total surprise, the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday declined to pick up the fifth-year option on wide receiver Sammy Watkins’ original rookie contract.Watkins would have been guaranteed $13.2 million for 2018 had the Bills exercised the fifth-year option, but given his history of injury, and the fact that he’s still rehabbing from his second foot surgery in less than a year, the Bills aren’t willing to commit that money — all of which would count against the 2018 salary cap.“Sammy and I have had good conversations about this decision,” coach Sean McDermott said in a statement released by the team. “There is no question that Sammy is a very good football player and has worked very hard during his rehab this offseason. We look forward to seeing a healthy Sammy Watkins on the field in 2017.”As for beyond, we’ll see. More: Roth: With Whaley gone, McDermott's power officially confirmed More: Buffalo Bills fire general manager Doug Whaley, to no one's surprise More: Maiorana: It's on the Pegulas to fix the mess that is the Bills More: Good weekend for Buffalo Bills at NFL Draft? On the surface, yes The fifth-year salaries are typically guaranteed for injury and is effective until the first day of the 2018 league year, at which point the option money on the contract becomes fully guaranteed. So, the Bills could have picked up the option, and rescinded it before the start of the 2018 league calendar, but they opted against it, an indication that McDermott — who was not in Buffalo when Watkins was drafted — isn’t completely sold on the receiver’s long-term viability.This year, Watkins is scheduled to count $6.34 million against the cap.All NFL rookie draft picks sign four-year contracts, but first-round picks have the fifth-year team option attached to their deal. The top 10 picks receive salaries that are equal to the 2017 average Continue Reading