Buffalo Bills 17, New York Jets 20: Quick recap and notes

Buffalo Bills 17, New York Jets 20: Quick recap and notes

The New York Jets he greeted Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium and gave them a bit of a slog before sending them home with a 20-17 loss on Sunday afternoon. Josh Allen played like he was back in his rookie season, while Jets quarterback Zach Wilson looked poised and poised in striking contrast. The Jets crushed the Bills into submission with their rushing attack (34 carries for 174 yards) and their stout defense, following a formula that has now led them to a 6-3 record on the season. For the Bills, it was a wake-up call that every team relishes the opportunity to knock them to the ground, every week.

Things turned in Buffalo’s favor when the Jets’ kicker fumbled on the first down. His fumble barely made it to midfield, where the Bills recovered it. In an instant, the Bills were knocking on the door of the end zone, as Josh Allen connected with Stefon Diggs for 42 yards deep behind New York’s zone defense. But then Allen made the first of several bizarre throws of the day — rolling to his right, eluding a pass rusher and then throwing the ball right into the arms of safety Jordan Whitehead.

The first half played out like a game plan that the Jets planned to win. While the Bills managed 250 yards of offense, they only managed two touchdowns, both of which were set up by running back Josh Allen. In the air, Allen really struggled. His only reliable connection was with Stefon Diggs, who caught five of his six targets in the first half for 93 yards. Throwing to everyone else, Allen couldn’t get on the same page—he was 6-of-12 for 38 yards and his interception.

Although the Bills led 14-3 in the second quarter, the Jets went on a remarkable 6-minute, 13-play, 75-yard drive. With 32 seconds left, the Bills, to their credit, were able to advance to the edge of field goal range, but Tyler Bass hooked his attempt 55 yards wide and Buffalo headed into the locker room with a four-point lead.

The Jets came out of halftime redoubled in their belief that they are tough enough to hang with this Bills team. They pulled off a 14-play drive in the third quarter that took them from the 20-yard line to the Buffalo 18-yard line. In the process, they converted 4th and 1, 3rd and 9, and 3rd and 2. Finally, a Bills player stepped up – and who else but Von Miller? He screamed into the backfield, sacked Wilson, and AJ Epenesa recovered the ball to kill the offense.

But then Bad Josh showed up again. Just two plays later, he threw another baffling interception to Sauce Gardner — it appeared as if Allen had misread the defense, expecting Davis to break inside. The Jets went right back to their grind-it-out offense, taking advantage of the short field to score that touchdown they missed the first time around. Suddenly it was 17-14 Jets.

Taking possession and trying to regain momentum after the interception, the Bills slowly moved down the field on a mix of runs and quick passes to the quarterback. Once they found themselves in field goal territory, a wide-zone play attempt only gained a yard for running back James Cook. Allen was forced to drop his next pass, then attempted a deep throw to running back Nyheim Hines, who was wide of the mark. The Bills settled for another field goal, this time Tyler Bass was successful on a 51-yarder that tied the game at 17.

Buffalo had a chance to retake the lead when they forced a punt, but after Allen was sacked for the second time on that drive, he missed two deep throws to Diggs (one of which should have been intercepted), and the Bills went back to the Jets.

With the game still tied midway through the fourth quarter, the Jets finally applied the irreversible pressure they had been building all day. Although they started at the four-yard line, they ripped through the spikes and gained nine, seven, 16 and 17 yards against the depleted Bills. A tackle penalty brought them almost within scoring range with a full five minutes to go. The Jets went into clock-killing mode, and the Bills still couldn’t stop them. Their next four plays, all runs, gained 24 yards, then Zach Wilson perfectly placed a pass to wide receiver Denzel Mims on a slant route that gained 12 on 3rd-and-5. To Buffalo’s defense’s credit, they did exactly what they should have , after giving up a field goal span: three plays, 17 seconds had passed and the Jets were forced to settle for a field goal and a 20-17 lead. But despite the poor result, it’s clear who won the battle between the Jets and the Bills today.

And then came the Bills offense, hapless once again. Allen hit Diggs for 26 yards with a toe kick that was nullified by a holding penalty. An 18-yard pass to Gabe Davis nearly made up for the height difference for penalties. But on the next play, Bryce Huff sacked Allen, who pushed the ball all the way back at the 14-yard line. Diggs’ attempt was thrown a few yards short, skipping into the dirt, and that set up the final bomb for Davis, who (literally and figuratively) dropped the ball and broke up the comeback attempt.

The Bills fall to 6-2 on the season and, unfortunately, to 0-2 in the AFC East. All the extra breathing room from their earlier AFC wins has been exhaled. They need to get healthy and bow out for the long remainder of the regular season, if they do Super Bowl the goals are to remain intact.

Account violation report

  • Taron Johnson slowly got up after being cut by Michael Carter in the second quarter, but returned to action after a brief hold on the sideline.
  • Greg Rousseau suffered an ankle injury at the end of the first half. He was sidelined with a helmet, but the Bills called him questionable to return. His absence meant more snaps for Boogie Basham and Shaq Lawson.
  • Kaiir Elam injured his own ankle in the third quarter. Like Rousseau, Elam is marked as questionable for return. The Bills had Christian Benford in his place in the lineup. Late in the fourth quarter, Elam returned to the field.
  • Part of the reason Elam returned to action with four minutes remaining was because Dane Jackson was injured on the play. With the help of the trainer, he went to the sideline without any apparent discomfort.
  • Josh Allen took a hard hit as he threw the ball near the end of the game, and his next throw skipped into the dirt past his receiver. At the end of the day, he could have dropped a Hail Mary, but he grabbed his elbow and made a face before he did.

Quick shots

  • Buffalo Bills at halftime: 14 points scored, 251 yards gained. Buffalo Bills after halftime: 3 points scored, 66 yards gained.
  • Josh Allen’s 36-yard run was his longest since 2019 and the second-longest of his career. In his junior year, Allen broke free for a 45-yard scamper against Jacksonville Jaguars.
  • By finishing today without a TD pass, Allen snapped a 10 game (playoff included) hitting streak dating back to a Jan. 2 win over Atlanta Falcons.
  • The Jets defense was as terrible as advertised – Allen took five sacks, fumbled the ball twice and threw two interceptions. He played unevenly all afternoon, and a lot of that performance has to be attributed to the players – like Sauce Gardner and Quinnen Williams – on that team.
  • With Matt Milano inactive, rookie Terrell Bernard started the first game of his career. He finished with seven hits, two solo.
  • If the Bills’ offense had been able to score, Von Miller could have made a case for the game’s MVP. His strip sack killed a long Jets drive just as Bill was about to finish.
  • Tough day for Tyler Bass, who not only missed a field goal (with no wind in the stadium), but also had the kickoff out of bounds.
  • Bills newest signing Nyheim Hines didn’t make much of an impact in this game. He returned one punt for 18 yards, had two good catches, and tried (and failed) to make a diving catch on a deep throw down the sideline to his only target.

Looking for week 10

The Bills head home for a 1:00 pm eastern game with Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota squeaked by the Washington Commanders, 20-17, and they will head into this game with a 7-1 record. They are easily in first place in the NFC North.

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