C.J. Mosley Injury Paves Way for Buffalo Bills Win

Before an injury to C.J. Mosley, Sunday’s contest between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets appeared to be a repeat of 2018 for the Bills. Until it wasn’t.

Injury to C.J. Mosley Paves Way for Buffalo Bills Win

Throughout the entire first half, the Bills defense played lights out, but the offense had nothing in return. Bills second-year signal-caller Josh Allen committed four first-half turnovers — but thanks to the Buffalo defense, New York was held to just six points.

To detail the significance of holding the Jets to just six points off of four turnovers, each NFL turnover is worth an average of four points. To highlight the great play of the Buffalo defense in the first half, those six points by the Jets were scored by their defense. The only points of the half were from a 17-yard interception return touchdown by C.J. Mosley.

Heading into the locker room down 6-0 — remarkable for the four turnovers committed –Buffalo was very much in the game. Buffalo’s offense just needed to wake up a little bit and perhaps undergo a change to the gameplan and/or playcalling.

Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and the Bills opened up their 2019 season with an offensive gameplan the NFL isn’t used to from them. Out of their first 17 offensive plays, 13 of them were passes. Daboll dialed up a lot of shotgun sets with short routes from the inside receivers with running backs coming out of the backfield. This would change shortly after coming out of the locker rooms.

Bills Begin to Mount the Comeback

Buffalo’s defense opened the second half with a three-and-out. The ensuing Jets’ punt, however, pinned the Bills on their own three-yard line. The drive would end with the Jets tackling Frank Gore in the end zone for a safety. New York would now have an eight-point lead, thanks to their defense. It wouldn’t be until after the Jets got the ball back after the Bills’ safety punt that they would score an offensive touchdown.

Jets’ second-year quarterback Sam Darnold capped off a long drive by finding Le’Veon Bell in the end zone for a passing touchdown. New York would then go for two, a play in which Bell would make a spectacular catch over Siran Neal in the back of said end zone, to put the Jets up 16-0.

After giving up 10 points in a matter of minutes to start the second half, the Bills began operating with a sense of urgency. That urgency, however, was the opposite of what it usually means. Typically, when a team has a sense of urgency, they’re passing the ball to pick up chunk yardage. Buffalo, down 16-0, had a different approach.

The Bills shifted their offensive gameplan from pass-heavy to run-first. This started off slow, but not for long. A groin injury to Jets’ star linebacker C.J. Mosley opened things up for the Bills. A Stephen Hauschka field goal would finally put Buffalo on the board after a long drive. Down 13, the Bills defense promptly got yet another quick stop.

C.J. Mosley Injury Helps Bills Complete Comeback

With Mosley injured and no longer in the lineup, the Bills offense became a well-oiled machine. Running lanes started opening up, receivers appeared to be more open, and the plays were more effective overall. Buffalo’s running game would march right down the field. The drive was capped off with a Josh Allen touchdown run. With the fourth quarter looming, Buffalo found themselves down six once again.

Toward the end of the game, both teams had multiple drives that went nowhere. After a while, however, the Mosley-less Jets’ defense would cave in, allowing Josh Allen to hook up with John Brown on a deep touchdown pass. The long touchdown reception would put the Bills up 17-16 with just over a minute to play. Sam Darnold and the Jets would be unable to orchestrate a game-winning drive.

Had Mosley avoided injury, it appears evident that the Jets would have won this game. The Bills were fortunate enough to be able to find offensive production without Mosley disrupting their entire plan. Moving forward, though, the Bills need to find a way to not be dependent on the opponent’s best player getting hurt to be able to move the ball efficiently.

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