Buffalo Bills Score an Improbable Victory Over the New York Jets
With a playoff spot at stake for the New York Jets and nothing on the line for the Buffalo Bills except a .500 record, the Bills led from start to finish in an improbable 22-17 win at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. The Bills won it with ball control, keeping Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets offense off the field for long stretches of the game. The Bills led time of possession 39:13 to 20:47, nearly 2 to 1.
Sammy Watkins was a big part of the story for the Bills with 11 catches for 136 yards, many of them for key first downs. Tyrod Taylor and Karlos Williams scored first quarter touchdowns to give the Bills a lead the Jets cut to within two in the third quarter.
The defense came up with three fourth quarter interceptions to end potential Jets go-ahead scoring drives. Leodis McKelvin, Manny Lawson and AJ Tarpley all picking off Fitzpatrick to end the Jets hopes for a playoff spot.
What did it mean to Rex Ryan to beat his former team? Ryan said it wasn't just beating the team that fired him. He said he has a lot of friends on the Jets and he'd like to see them go to the playoffs, but not at his expense. Ryan said this game was proof of what his Bills team is capable of if more things had gone their way this season.
In what was likely his last game in a Bills uniform Mario Williams actually showed up on the game statistics. A week after failing to register a tackle, an assist or a sack in the game against the Cowboys, Williams made two tackles and came up with a sack. Afterward Williams said he would be open to returning to the Bills if some adjustments were made to the way the defense is designed. In other words, don't expect him back.
After finishing nine straight seasons with a sub .500 record the Bills finished at 8-8 this season after finishing 9-7 last year. But their hunt for a playoff spot after 16 straight years will have to wait until next season.