Reed started Sunday’s game at Buffalo after only two practices with the Jets, and played all but two of the Bills’ meaningful offensive plays. But Reed’s presence didn’t prevent the Bills from attacking the Jets' secondary -- which had allowed eight passes of 45 yards or more in the first nine weeks -- through the air in their 37-14 victory.
Bills quarterback EJ Manuel threw touchdown passes of 34 and 43 yards while Reed was on the field, and completed a 40-yard bomb on one of the few snaps Reed was relieved by Jaiquawn Jarrett. Manuel completed another 40-yard pass to receiver T.J. Graham while Reed stood on the sideline.
Reed blitzed on the Bills’ second-quarter touchdown, leaving the Jets without a deep safety on the play. Reed got to Manuel just as he was releasing the pass that got caught up in the wind and fell 6 yards short of the end zone. But the trajectory of the ball allowed Graham to break off his route and gain separation from Jets rookie cornerback Dee Milliner, who was pivoting at the goal line as Graham ran by him for the score.
On Marquise Goodwin’s 43-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, Reed took a step in the opposite direction before Manuel threw his pass down the right sideline, and Reed could not run over in time to help cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
“It was a quick snap and he pretty much just threw it up and let it fly,” Reed said. “I think the wind calmed down on that particular play because the ball was carrying all day and on that play it didn’t carry.”
Reed, who was released by the Houston Texans on Tuesday, said his familiarity with Rex Ryan’s defense allowed him to step into the Jets’ lineup with limited preparation. Playing alongside former Baltimore Ravens teammate Dawan Landry also helped, Reed said. Landry was still giving Reed pointers in the locker room after the game.
“Dawan Landry and those guys helped me out a bit because we communicate so well on defense,” Reed said. “We’ve just got to communicate better, and that’s going to happen.”
Landry said the Jets did not have to modify the game plan to accommodate Reed, and Ryan said he did not believe the Jets rushed Reed into full-time duty.
“Ed is a phenomenal player. You expect him to come out and play Ed Reed-style football,” Landry said. “He’s one of the smartest players to ever play this game and he picked up right where he left off.”
Added Ryan: “I don’t think Ed Reed was a problem. They never threw it over Ed’s side on the deep ball, so I don’t believe that was the case.”
Cromartie said the Bills took fewer shots down the field Sunday than they did when the two teams met in Week 3.
Reed was away from the action on most running plays, but did break through to bring Graham down for a 3-yard loss on a reverse.
After the game, Reed was asked why he didn’t sign with a team that has a more stable quarterback situation than the Jets, who benched rookie quarterback Geno Smith after he committed four turnovers.
“That decision is already made,” Reed said. “I’m here. I’m comfortable with the decision I made. I’m comfortable with the scheme, and that’s all the difference in the world.”