Listless Jets manage to keep season alive with win over Bills

Dustin Keller scored a touchdown for the Jets.

An ugly and somewhat listless Jets team somehow came out on top with a 28-24 win over Buffalo, ending a two-game losing streak and righting their record to 6-5. A look at three things that went right and three things wrong for the Jets in the Week 12 win:
 
What went right …

1. The Bell Cow

Given the shaky play of their quarterback and the inept status of the passing game the past two games, it made sense for the Jets to go with the ground game early, even with LaDainian Tomlinson ruled out for a second-straight game due to injury. Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight more than carried the load with Greene pacing all rushers in the game with 78 yards on 13 carries. After a rough start to the season, Greene has now settled down to become the feature back the Jets envisioned earlier this season when Ryan called him the team’s “bell cow.”

2. Jets Respond

After the defense got physically manhandled on the Bills first quarter scoring drive that gave the visitors a 7-0 lead, the offense responded in a major way. The Jets went 78 yards in 10 plays, including a 23-yard Santonio Holmes run on third down to sustain the drive. After a rocky start to the game, Sanchez was 4-of-6 for 20 yards on the drive including a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dustin Keller. It was a measured and steadied response from the Jets who typically panic after going down early.

3. Johnson Crashes and Burns

The Bills turned a Sanchez interception into six points with just 2:09 left in the second quarter, on a Stevie Johnson five-yard grab in the heart of the end zone giving Buffalo what would become a 14-7 lead. But after the touchdown, Johnson mocked shooting himself in the leg, imitating Plaxico Burress’s nightclub incident three years ago. Then he extended his arms like a jet, faux flying and then crashing in the end zone. A 15-yard penalty was tacked onto the kickoff for unsportsmanlike conduct and then when Ryan Lindell badly shanked a squib kick, the Jets took over possession on the Bills 36-yard line. Four plays later, Plaxico Burress had a 14-yard touchdown grab to make it an even game. A costly and tacky penalty from Johnson led directly to Jets points.
 
What went wrong …

1. Slow Start

In their first two offensive series, the Jets were anemic in moving the ball and no one looked more flat than Sanchez, who failed to complete a pass in the opening two drives in what was an 0-of-4 start for the quarterback. Sanchez was under scrutiny after it came out this week that backup quarterback Mark Brunell received a small number of first team snaps in practice. Ryan said that his starter got “hot under the collar” and competitive. Too bad that “hot under the collar” translated to a cold start. In three of their first four possessions, Sanchez failed to complete a pass and on the fifth, he threw an interception.

2. Another Long Drive

After conceding a 95-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter of their recent loss at Denver, the Jets defense was soft again. On their second defensive series, the Jets allowed Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick time and space in the pocket to mastermind a 90-yard drive. A Brodney Pool face mask penalty on the second play of the Bills’ drive gave them an early jumpstart, and from there, the ball was moved down the field almost at will. The 13-play, 90-yard drive ended emphatically when Fitzpatrick found wide receiver David Nelson for an eight-yard touchdown.

3. Oh No Cro

The Jets were up 21-14 deep into the third quarter when the defense forced Buffalo into a three-and-out. Rather than send out the usually reliable Jim Leonhard for punt return duty, explosive kickoff returner Antonio Cromartie was trotted out. Rather than be a jolt, Cromartie muffed the punt, letting the Bills recover on their own 33-yard line. On the next play, Cromartie tipped a Fitzpatrick pass that he had a beat on, allowing Brad Smith to catch a 36-yard touchdown. It was an awful 10 seconds of play from Cromartie, who also badly missed a tackle on a David Nelson third-down catch early in the fourth quarter.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.

Local

MAP: New York City street closures, September 19,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on September 19, 20 and 21. There will be many streets and…

Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Television

'Outlander' Season 1, Episode 7: 'The Wedding'

Claire and Jamie are man and wife!!! Like, ALL THE WAY, if you know what we mean. (Twice.)

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…