Rex Ryan has preached it over and over about being more physical and playing ‘Jets Football’.
Sunday in Orchard Park, they finally did for what seemed to be the first time in 2011.
Building on a slight halftime lead, the Jets put up a big second half, complete with a couple big knockouts on the Bills, as the Jets beat Buffalo 27-11 in an AFC East clash at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Mark Sanchez threw for 230 yards and a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes. He finished 20-of-28 with an interception for the Jets (5-3), who have won three in a row in advance of their final regular-season meeting with the Patriots next Sunday night.
LaDainian Tomlinson and John Conner added rushing scores, while Plaxico Burress posted 79 yards on five receptions.
Ryan Fitzpatrick went 15-of-31 for 191 yards, one score and two picks for the Bills (5-3), who have lost two of three. Fred Jackson gained 82 yards on 18 carries but committed a costly fumble early in the third quarter as Buffalo failed to capitalize on the momentum of last week’s shutout victory against Washington.
It was 6-0 for the visitors on their second possession of the second half after Nick Folk made a 50-yard attempt. On the next play, Taylor had the ball ripped out by Sione Pouha and Jim Leonhard recovered at the Bills’ 19-yard line. Tomlinson made it 13-0 on his touchdown leap one play after Burress bulled his way to the one for a 19-yard catch.
Buffalo’s ensuing drive was aided by Stevie Johnson’s 52-yard catch-and-run to the Jets’ 23. It ended on a 24-yarder by Rian Lindell after Fitzpatrick fired incomplete in Jackson’s direction on 3rd-and-4 from the six.
New York took a 20-3 edge on its ensuing possession after Sanchez hit Holmes for an eight-yard score. The Jets defense later held Jackson to no gain on 4th-and-1 from the 16, and the offense followed by bleeding nearly eight minutes off the clock to take a 27-3 edge on a one-yard plunge from Conner.
Fitzpatrick found David Nelson for a seven-yard score with 3:14 to go then ran in for the conversion to make it 27-11. But the Bills were called for offsides on the onside kick, and New York picked up a crucial first down while running off the remaining time.
A low-scoring first half was defined by turnovers on both sides.
The Jets put together a drive of almost 10 minutes in the first quarter but came up empty after Jairus Byrd picked off Sanchez in the end zone.
New York dodged a bullet with three minutes left in the half, as a pick by Buffalo’s George Wilson was reversed upon replay — revealing that the ball hit the turf. Folk came on and connected from 49 yards out for a 3-0 Jets lead with 2:55 on the clock.
A series of miscues defined the final minute of the second quarter. Folk missed a 50-yarder wide right, then Fitzpatrick was picked off by David Harris two plays after. On the next down, Sanchez fumbled and Marcell Dareus recovered at the Jets’ 46.
The Bills failed to move the ball and it remained 3-0 at the break.