This afternoon there was a scheduled “White Out” at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Unfortunately, there was also a power outage with the Buffalo Bills offense.
Once again, Rex Ryan and the New York Jets proved to be too big of a mismatch for the Bills, as the Jets handled the Bills 27-11 and handed Buffalo their first home loss of the season. Buffalo was looking to firmly establish themselves atop the AFC East and the AFC playoff picture and put some distance between themselves and the Jets. Instead, it was the Jets flexing their muscles and dealing the Bills a severe dose of reality.
Buffalo’s high octane offensive attack looked clueless for the majority of the afternoon, with the exception of a garbage time touchdown and two-point conversion when the game was essentially out of reach. Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to look lost against the Jets. He completed 15-of-31 passes for 191 yards with two costly interceptions and a late-game touchdown to David Nelson. Buffalo managed just three first downs and three turnovers in their first eight possessions of the game. Fred Jackson finished the day with 100 total yards, including 82 yards on the ground but had a costly fumble early in the second half that changed the complexion of the game in favor of the Jets.
It was a sloppy first half for both teams, yet dominated by the Jets. New York had more passing yards, rushing yards, first downs and held possession for over 20 minutes. But Sanchez lost two turnovers (an interception and a fumble) and the Jets were only able to come away with three points and led at the half 3-0. Buffalo managed only three first downs in the first half and 73 total yards. Fitzpatrick completed just four passes for 24 yards and two interceptions in the first half.
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez overcame two first half turnovers to throw for 230 yards and a second-half touchdown to Santonio Holmes that put the Jets firmly ahead and put the game out of reach, 20-3 near the end of the third quarter. Shonn Greene led the Jets with 76 yards rushing and the Jets rushed for 126 yards as a team. John Conner’s 1-yard touchdown plunge nearly midway through the fourth quarter capped off the scoring for the day for the Jets.
New York got back to both smashmouth football in the running game and smashmouth defense, forcing turnovers, confusing Fitzpatrick and keeping Jackson in check. The Jets imposed their will from the onset of the game with a 17-play drive that ate over 10 minutes of game time. The Jets had three drives on the afternoon of at least 10 plays. New York took away much of Buffalo’s underneath and screen options and forced Fitzpatrick to attack them deep down the field.
New York handed Buffalo their first loss of the season and their first loss inside the divison while picking up their first road win of the season. The Jets have beaten the Bills four straight times and have won six of the past seven meetings since 2008. New York joins the Bills at 5-3 and the Jets are now 2-1 against the AFC East.
Buffalo begins the first of three consecutive road games beginning next week when the Bills travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys.
More to come later.