Jets 31 Bills 27
by Brian Clark
Quarterback – C
Brett Favre – 17/30 207 yards, 1 TD,2 INT
He didn’t do too bad, but he really needs to hold back from the Brett Favre fun balls. For people to say “the deep ball is equivalent to a punt in that situation”, I say that is true, as long as he is tackled there and doesn’t return it back to the line of scrimmage. It appeared that he got bumped as he threw it, but either way Cotchery was on the outside, and the throw was to the inside. He didn’t make to many other poor throws, it just seemed they were a little off from the receivers. He has been known to step up in big games, and he needs to over the next two weeks to push us into the playoffs.
Running Backs – A-
Thomas Jones – 20 carries, 78 yards, 1 TD
Leon Washington 1 carry, 47 yards, 1 TD
Thomas Jones ran hard again, and continues around a 4 yard per run average throughout the year. Great accomplishment with the touchdown as he sets the Jets record for touchdowns in a season for the Jets. Leon only touched the ball once, and took it to the house. Great run and really helped us out at the end of the 1st half. This group has been one of the biggest surprises this year.
Wide Receivers – B
Laverneus Coles – 5 receptions,82 yards
Jerricho Cotchery – 4 receptions, 34 yards, 1TD
Coles had a good game especially after the catch. He’s had a few balls bounce off his hands, one leading to the interception, but overall he hasn’t played bad this year. Cotchery ran hard with the ball, once getting a 1st down on a WR screen, and then on the touchdown catch and run, breaking a tackle and finding the end zone. It was great seeing Clowney getting his first catch of the year, and the stadium cheered a little bit louder, recognizing that he is finally impacting the team during the regular season after his great preseason.
Tight Ends – C-
Dustin Keller – 3 receptions, 35 yards
Keller had a relatively quiet day considering the past few games. His 3 catches were all on drives that did not greatly impact scoring drives. Favre looked his way on multiple occasions, but just like his connection with other receives, Favre and Keller just didn’t gel. Baker had 1 catch for 19 yards, but did not impact the team either.
Offensive Line – A-
This group played well again, and did a decent job in both pass protection and running the ball. They gave up no sacks against a decent Bills pass defense and opened up holes for Jones to run through. On Leon’s TD run, Faneca did a great job pulling to pick off the defensive tackle, and opening up that initial hole for him to run through. The group only had 2 penalties which is pretty decent as well. They’ve played consistently over the 2nd half of the year.
Defensive Line – C-
They got tore up by the Bills offensive line this week, as both Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson. Lynch average 6 yards per throughout the game, and it took a miracle of horrible play calling by the Bills that caused a turnover and a defensive touchdown. Ellis had a great game, with 11 tackles, a fumble recovery and the rumbling touchdown to clinch it. He was the only bright spot out of the group. Jenkins got pushed around the field for the first time all year, and looked like Robertson of last year.
Linebackers – B+
Although the Bills didn’t have Losman going pass happy to the RB’s and TE’s this group did a decent job shutting that part of the offense down. Pace finally impacted the pass rush, with 2 sacks, and Losman was put under pressure a few times. Harris had 11 tackles, Eric Barton had 9 including 8 solo tackles. There were arm tackles from this group, which led to some of the extra yaerds out of the running backs, which was disappointing, but it wasn’t that bad.
Secondary – A-
It is easily known that J.P. Losman’s favorite target is Lee Evans. You would think that the Jets would cover him with Revis, our best corner, but the entire game, they had Law line across from him and that was a great coaching move. Evans only had 4 catches for 22 yards, and was limited in his YAC. Revis did a great job against Reed, and his INT in the final two minutes essentially sealed the game. Abram Elam had a strong game, and his sack and fumble may be the play of the year when you look back on the season. He has a knack for the big play, and has been the reason for a few Jets defensive touchdowns this year. Rhodes got the pick at the end of the game, and had a decent game otherwise. Hank Poteat did a good job concentrating on the ball and pulling it in. Overall this group led to 4 turnovers, 3 in the final 2 minutes, and turned the game around and secured it for this team.
Special Teams – C
Feely knocked his one attempt through, and kicked it deep on the kickoffs, a few of them into the endzone, but the kickoff coverage was weaker than normal against a traditionally strong special teams team in Buffalo. As for the punting game Hodges averaged 50 .5 per which is great, but the one return that Parrish got his hands on he took it back for 56 yards. It also took a ghost holding call to take back a Leodis McKelvin touchdown. Leon did a decent job in the return game, but the field position and special teams battle was clearly won by the Bills.
Coaching – C-
Just to throw some stats out there. The Jets offense had 0 4th quarter first downs, yet had 10 points. Time of possession Bills 35:29, Jets 24:31.
They did a great job early as they took control early with two great drives for touchdowns. That is indicative of great coaching at the beginning of the game, which is pretty much standard from this staff, they prepare the team great for the 1st quarter. They won the 1st quarter, lost the 2nd quarter (when the Bills responded and got a few bounces their way), tied the 3rd, lost the beginning of the 4th and won the final 3 minutes. Mangini preaches about closing out the game. They did that. Did they play 60 minutes…no, they played 15, the first 12, and the last 3. It took a great run by Leon to get a TD at the end of the 1st half. Defensively the should have had 8 in the box, and force Losman to win the game. Offensively they should have pounded the ball, especially after Thomas Jones had continual solid runs. The Jets only had 3 penalties which shows discipline, but the coaching job was eh at best. I agree with the play call at the end of the game. I say lets put the foot on the throat. It’s 4th and 2. You have the AFC’s leading rusher, and he has been averaging 4 yards per game. If you kick a field you have to worry about it being blocked, and taken back, missed, and give the Bills 7 more yards, or made and then threaten to have McKelvin either return it back for a TD or for good field position. Let’s say he makes it and we are up by 7. If the Bills go down the field and gets a touchdown, what would stop them for going for 2? Lynch has tore us up inside, they are already out of the playoffs, and they are on the road. If not and they kick it, our offense hadn’t had a first down since 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Who says that they will turn it around. Worst case scenario you don’t make it and you give JP LOSMAN 1 minute plus to go down the field and get a touchdown with no timeouts on the road. I’m sorry, we all know what the likelihood of that is to be. Smart move by the coaches, and I can’t argue with that call, but they were outcoached for a majority of the game. We were lucky to get out of there with a win, but a win is a win at this point, and it is on to Seattle.
Studs of the Game: Sean Ellis, Calvin Pace, Thomas Jones (Congrats on setting the Jets all time TD record)