The winless streak in Western New York finally came to an end this afternoon as the Bills Defense put 4 quarters of fearless D along with a masterful performance by Rookie Trent Edwards and a late game interception the Bills hung on to a 17-14 win. The first half was played to a draw along both sides of the ball. The Bills and Jets each had 9 first downs in the first half each; with the Bills out gaining the Jets by 4 yards and 2 turnovers. The second turnover towards the end of the first half a touchback with 2 minutes remaining allowed the Jets to come within in 1 second of taking a 3-0 halftime lead. However Jets kicker Mike Nugent hit the right upright as both teams headed into the locker room scoreless.
Rookie QB Trent Edwards was given time to throw all afternoon as he hit Lee Evans and the rest of the Bills receiving core at will. The strategy today was to open up the offense and get the ball downfield.
However the Bills didn’t abandon the running game as Marshawn Lynch ran it up the middle for 11 yards midway through the 3rd quarter to give the Rich Stadium crowd something to cheer about and a 7-0 lead. The Jets however silenced the crowd as Chad Pennington marched the Jets down the field on a 7 play 78-yard drive which had Chad going 7 for 7 and 72 yards. Chad moved up in the annals of Jets football into fourth place on the all time Jets passing yardage list surpassing Vinny Testaverde.
The Bills play calling kept the Jets on their heels by spreading the ball to multiple receivers while they ran the ball with rookie Marshawn Lynch. On their next drive the Bills on a pivotal 3rd down and 5 on the Jets 27 had a place tipped which led to a Rian Lindell field goal with 10:49 in the 4th quarter to give Buffalo a 10-7 lead. Chad Pennington at one point completed 15 straight passes as he kept the Jets in the ballgame before 3rd stringer Jabari Greer intercepted pass #16 setting up the Bills next score.
The Bills went to the ground and on second and long Johnathan Vilma was flagged for a facemask call on a 2nd and long sweep by Lynch. The Bills kept it on the ground and on 3rd down and goal from the one Marshawn Lynch was stopped by a determined Jets defense.
It seemed as if Buffalo was going to kick a field goal and Coach Jauron called a timeout and realized that Edwards not JP Losman was his quarterback in the red zone. The Bills faked the run and Trent Edwards hit a wide open Michael Gaines for his first touchdown of the season and the Bills 3rd score in the red zone in 2 weeks under Trent Edwards. The extra point gave the
Buffalo a 17-7 lead.
The Bills went into a prevent defense and Chad Pennington took advantage as the Jets drove down to the field and Leon Washington sprinted up the middle for an 8 yard touchdown run to cut the Jets deficit to 17-14 with 3:07 to go. The Bills went 3 and out giving the Jets 1:43 on the clock to work with. Penningtons #1 target on the day was Jerrico Cotchery 8 catches for 106 yards. On 4th and 3 Pennington hit Chris Baker for a 1st down at midfield.
With no timeouts and 6 seconds left Terrence McGee sent everyone home happy as he picked off a Chad Pennington pass down the sideline as the Jets were rying to get in field goal range to tie the game.
Trent Edwards capped off a superb afternoon passing for 234 yards on 22 of 28 including 1 TD and 1 INT. The Bills finally got the monkey off their back by keeping their defense of the field as much as they could as they scored both times they were in the red zone.
Chad Pennington coming back to the starting line up had a great game if not for the 2 interception he threw in defeat, 32-39 for 290 yards 1TD/2 INT’S.
The Jets next play the Giants in “The Battle of New Jersey” at 1pm Sunday. The Bills stay at home and play a red hot Dallas Cowboys team on Monday Night Football.