After not being able to win back-to-back games since September it only took the Jets four days to start a new winning streak with a 19-13 win against the Buffalo Bills in Toronto, Canada on Thursday night. The Jets and Bills were the latest showcase of the NFL's ever-growing presence outside of American soil as they try to market themselves to our neighbors to the north.
In their last matchup in week six, both teams played like they had little to no desire to actually clinch the win with botched FG's, nine turnovers, and possibly the longest first half all season. However when both teams took the field in front of the "home" crowd, there was a certain level of excitement that was not seen on October 18th.
The Bills would get on the board on their first possession with Rian Lindell kicking a 49-yard FG after the Jets allowed a 38-yard gain on third and two. Both would exchange three and out's before the Jets mustered a eight play drive which resulted in a Jay Feely 38-yard field goal to knot up the game at three.
The Jets would try to catch the Bills off guard on their following possession by going deep on first down. QB Mark Sanchez found a wide open Braylon Edwards streaking down the right sideline only to watch him let the ball bounce off his facemask, erasing what would have been an easy six.
The Jets were forced to punt. On the following drive however, Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick put the ball on the turf for an easy Jet recovery.
Gang Green would start their drive on Buffalo's 36 and would need just three plays for Feely to make his second FG of the game, a 49-yarder to put his team up six to three.
Marshawn Lynch would orchestrate his teams rebuttal, rushing for 40 yards on two plays before bringing home the score on a 15 yard run to put the Bills up 10-6 early in the second quarter.
The see-saw battle would continue as Gang Green regained the lead on the following drive with another Feely FG—this one for 31-yards. The kick would bring them within one point.
Edwards would be utilized again on the following drive, connecting with Sanchez for a 13-yard TD to make up for his earlier drop to put the Jets up 16-10. The play would be reviewed by the booth to ensure the ball crossed the goal line—it was clearly a touchdown once replays were shown.
The Jets would carry the lead into half-time for the second game in a row, and just like Sunday vs Carolina would have another injury to Sanchez once play resumed. On their second drive of the half, Sanchez handed off to David Clowney before limping off the field with a knee injury.
Despite having the team bring in New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi to teach Sanchez how to slide properly, it appears the knee was injured two plays prior to his exit when he failed to slide correctly while scrambling.
It was his right knee that would force Kellen Clemens into his second straight relief effort. Sanchez would finish 7-15 with 104 yards and one TD and no turnovers. Neither team would muster any kind of offense in the third quarter as the score remained 16-10 heading into the final frame.
Feely added his fourth FG of the day early in the quarter, this one for 37 yards, to extend the lead to 19-10. Both teams would exchange punts on their next two possessions and Clemens was sacked on each drive. The backup handed the ball off for most of the second half and finished the game 1-2 for 14 yards.
Buffalo would settle for a Lindell 32 yarder to come within six, but the Jets defense wouldn't let it get any closer and Darelle Revis completed another stellar game with a closing minute pick to seal the win. The Jets finished two and four against the division and now are back to .500 at 6-6. Their next game will be at a 1-10 and possibly one and 1-11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers team as they hope to make a bid for a unlikely wild-card spot.
Unlike their last meeting the, Jets managed to turn the ball over just twice and actually held onto their half-time lead against the Bills. Not to mention they finally have some much needed momentum going as they look to close out the season on a positive note.
Mark Sanchez's inability to properly slide could cause a lot of problems for the rookie QB who can't take a hint from a World Series winning manager in Joe Girardi. It appears Sanchez will be fine by the time the Jets play at Tampa but his careless sliding can earn Kellen Clemens much more playing time than he deserves.
I don't know how long it will take for Braylon Edwards to forget that awful wide open pass he attempted to catch with his face, and despite him coming up big with the lone touchdown, he could have had two if he actually caught the ball with his hands.
Mr. Darrelle Revis come on down. For the second week in a row Revis earned this award for his outstanding play, this time against Terrell "I used to be good" Owens—who he limited to 31 yards on three catches. Revis also picked up his second interception in as many games, making him more than worthy.