Percy Harvin underwhelmed and Geno Smith was benched early as the Jets dropped to 1-7 in a 43-23 loss to the Bills. It was their seventh straight loss.
Smith threw three interceptions in the first quarter and was benched in favor of Michael Vick, who proved to be a bit more of a steadying hand under center. Vick helped the Jets move the ball from time to time, though he was far from perfect. The veteran finished with two fumbles and two interceptions.
Bills quarterback Kyle Orton threw two first-half touchdowns to spur the Bills, who scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to pull away.
We look at three things that went wrong in the Jets’ loss to the Bills.
1. The interceptions
Geno Smith started the game 2-for-8 for five yards, which isn’t surprising for a quarterback who has one of the lower completion percentages in the league. But the three interceptions is astoundingly bad even by Smith’s less-than-lofty standards. Smith has cost the Jets games this year, something routinely ignored with the issues in the secondary and the supposed lack of weapons on the offense. The decision to bench him in favor of Michael Vick before he could get a fifth series with the team is something that should carry over into the next game. Vick is flawed, but he is rusty and could make the Jets competitive from here on out.
2. Sammy comes up big
The building block of the Bills offense, first-round pick Sammy Watkins came into Week 8 leading the Bills in receptions (35), receiving yards (433) and touchdowns (four). Watkins, shadowed by Darrin Walls, didn’t get a ton of balls thrown his way but he made the most of his limited opportunities. Kyle Orton hit Watkins over the top for an 84-yard pass, a play saved from being a touchdown only by the speedy pursuit of Saalim Hakim. He finished with three receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown, and his presence on the field stretched things down the field for Orton to spray the ball around.
3. The defense ain’t the problem
Given a short field to play with, the performance of the defense on Sunday might actually be one of the best of the year. They bent plenty of times but didn’t break as much as they could have or should have. There’s a lot of finger pointing that can take place when a team loses seven straight games, but the defense shouldn’t be receiving much blame. Two of the Bills’ scoring drives both had negative yardage. The defense again was let down by an offense that was bad for much of the game.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.