Mercifully, the Jets’ (6-10) season ended Sunday. The latest installment of the Gang Green meltdown came in a 28-9 loss at Buffalo. The Bills’ (6-10) last win over the Jets came in October 2009 in a game in which then-rookie Mark Sanchez threw five interceptions.
The Bills weren’t a good team this year, but the Jets showed their master plan was fatally flawed. At one point in the second quarter New York had a 9-7 lead.
What we learned …
1. Under center
One week ago, Mark Sanchez was holding a clipboard on the sidelines, a disgraced quarterback charting plays. This week, due to a Greg McElroy concussion, Sanchez was on the field, a disgraced quarterback failing to make plays. After the Jets’ opening possession resulted in a 12-play, 47-yard drive and a 3-0 lead, Sanchez showed his true colors on the next drive with a pick-six thrown into triple coverage. Then in the third quarter, Sanchez was stripped in the pocket on a play where he should have seen and felt the pressure. Sanchez was a ho-hum 17-of-35 for 205 yards with an interception against a rather average Bills pass defense. He proved yet again on Sunday that he is not the Jets’ answer at quarterback.
2. Spiller runs free
The Jets defense had plenty of leaks this week, and Bills running back C.J. Spiller took advantage of them. In Week 1, Spiller burned the Jets for a career-high 169 yards rushing and a touchdown. Sunday was no different, as Spiller put up 131 all-purpose yards. Of that total, 66 yards came in the second quarter off a dump pass from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick that ended up being a touchdown. Spiller topped 1,000 yards on the ground in a season for the first time in his career. His speed and shiftiness is exactly what the Jets don’t have in their backfield.
3. Eye toward next year
Even in the loss, there are some positives to take into next year for the Jets, especially the emergence of some solid role players on offense. Running back Shonn Greene had a good day, with 74 yards on 19 carries, as did backup Bilal Powell, who totaled 68 all-purpose yards. Greene, a free agent, should come back based off his last handful of games. Kick returner Joe McKnight, despite an ankle injury suffered in the second quarter, had four returns for 75 yards. With Dustin Keller out with an ankle injury, Konrad Reuland and Jeff Cumberland showed flashes as well against the Bills, including Cumberland’s three receptions for 36 yards. There are some pieces there for the Jets. Now they need to add some real firepower.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.