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Wayne Post
  • Buffalo Bills: Goodwin seizes opportunity as Bills down the Jets

  • The rookie wide receiver leads Buffalo with six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown as Buffalo blows out New York 37-14 on Sunday.
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  • With Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods sidelined many Bills fans feared the passing game would be non-existent against a talented New York Jet defense. For Marquise Goodwin, Sunday may have been just what he needed to kick start his lackluster rookie season.
    Goodwin seized the opportunity leading the Bills with six receptions and 81 yards and a touchdown in Buffalo's 37-14 dismantling of their AFC East rival on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
    The high-scoring, fast-paced offense long-suffering Bills fans had hoped for since training camp was on display on Sunday. Even in a game when Buffalo didn't get much out of their ground game, the passing game was up to the challenge as rookie quarterback EJ Manuel finished 20-of-28 for 245 yards and two touchdowns.
    "Being a receiver, everybody hopes to have a breakout game and be able to help their team get a win," Goodwin said. "It comes down to stepping up when your name is called. We have a few guys injured but they are working to get back. You have to step up and make plays with guys out."
    Goodwin came to the Bills best known for his world-class athleticism. The former University of Texas standout competed in the long jump at the 2012 Olympics.
    Goodwin's first season in Buffalo was far from spectacular as he entered Sunday with 10 receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Many Bills fans were concerned he was just another Roscoe Parrish; a talented athlete who was never properly utilized.
    "We needed this badly," Goodwin said. "We fought through the week, we prepared hard for this game. It felt like practice out there, just with a lot of people in the stands."
    With Buffalo's run game struggling (68 yards on 38 carries) Goodwin accepted the role as the focal point of the offense.
    The Jets struggled throughout the first half but scored on their first possession of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 20-7. Rookies EJ Manuel and Marquise Goodwin showed the poise of veterans on the next series.
    Manuel connected with Goodwin for a 43-yard touchdown pass where the rookie receiver easily got behind veteran cornerback Antonio Cromartie. The play essentially secured Buffalo's fourth win of the season.
    Goodwin even had the Bills longest rush of the game (17 yards) on an end-around in the fourth quarter.
    "(Goodwin) is a guy who you want to get the ball," Manuel said. "Not just on the deep ball, but on the routes over the middle. He is like (TJ Graham) who are versatile receivers who have a lot of speed. They stepped up huge for us."
    Since Johnson became the team's top receiver in 2010, the team has yet to find that compliment to him. Is Goodwin ready to be the reliable second option Bills fans have been hoping for?
    Page 2 of 2 - If Sunday's win is any indication, the young receiving core took a tremendous step forward. TJ Graham scored on a 34-yard touchdown in the second quarter and Chris Hogan added three receptions for 29 yards.
    "I have always liked our receiver group and I think you can see the potential in that group with (Manuel) coming along," said Doug Marrone, Buffalo head coach. "We have excellent guys with excellent speed, and we saw that today."
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