Buffalo Bills: Run game alive and well in win over New York Jets

By Jonah Bronstein, The Sports Xchange
LeSean McCoy and the Buffalo Bills ran to a victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
LeSean McCoy and the Buffalo Bills ran to a victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Rex Ryan isn't around anymore, but the Buffalo Bills are still able to "ground and pound."

The Bills led the NFL in rushing in each of Ryan's two seasons as head coach, averaging 158 yards per game. They exceeded that total in Sunday's 21-12 victory over the visiting New York Jets, the Bills' first game under new coach Sean McDermott.


LeSean McCoy led the way with 110 of the Bills' 190 rushing yards, running behind the same starting linemen who blocked for him last season. It was the 11th time McCoy surpassed 100 yards in 28 games with the Bills.

"I thought the offensive line did some good things and then LeSean had a really good day," McDermott said. "He was explosive. I thought he was energetic with what he was doing in between plays and gave us a big spark."


McCoy, who reportedly had $2.5 million in performance incentives added to his $6 million base salary this week, also gained 49 yards on five receptions and became the sixth active player to surpass 12,000 career yards from scrimmage.

"Just got to keep pushing man, keep pushing, get more wins," McCoy said. "With wins, numbers come with it. And that's the mindset, man. Just trying to lead this team in the right direction."

Backup running back Mike Tolbert rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.

"I feel it has been working out pretty good so far," said Tolbert, who signed with the Bills as a free agent after five seasons in Carolina, where McDermott was the defensive coordinator. "I mean, it's early. Shady is shady. He's the guy. I'm there just to give him a little pat on the back."

Tyrod Taylor carried eight times for 38 yards and in the process became Buffalo's all-time leader in quarterback rushing (1,186 yards), supplanting Joe Ferguson. This was Taylor's 30th game with the Bills. Ferguson started 163 games from 1973-84.

The 250-pound Tolbert scored just one rushing touchdown over his last 40 games with the Panthers. His 1-yard scoring plunge in the fourth quarter on Sunday gave the Bills a rushing touchdown in 13 consecutive games dating back to last season, tying a team record set in 1980 and extending the longest active streak in the NFL.


While Tolbert barreled into the end zone, McCoy was hunched over on the sideline with a wrist injury sustained on the previous play.

"It hurt for a little bit," McCoy said. "I couldn't feel it. I couldn't squeeze. It was numb."

McCoy was able to return on the Bills' next drive, and he is not worried about taking on a heavy workload this season.

"I don't take a lot of real shots," McCoy said. "You're not going to see too many 'oooh' hits with me. I mean, I'm going to get tackled, I'm going to rehab and do all the things to prepare myself physically, but I'm fine with that. My tackles are more wrapped up. ...

"I've been playing this way for so long, I've always been undersized, but I've always been one of the better guys on the field, whoever is on the field with me. I'm used to it, I embrace it, and that's just something I'm used to doing. So small little nicks and bruises here, that's football. But overall, I want the challenge."

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