DETROIT - Only the Jets could turn a bye week, ample preparation time and a switch from a road game to a neutral site into a negative. But that's exactly what bad teams do.
They squander opportunities, commit penalties at the most inopportune times and find ways to lose to teams that went days without being able to practice.
On Monday night, the Jets just didn't show up.
Their 38-3 loss to the Bills at Ford Field was embarrassing enough. But it was how they lost that was so troubling.
Their Motor City meltdown featured every conceivable mistake a team could make: a 27-yard punt by Ryan Quigley, a blocked punt that the Bills recovered in the end zone and a penalty for 12 men on the field.
And then there was another quarterback change.
Four weeks after Michael Vick was asked to take over the reins following Geno Smith's three interceptions in the first quarter against the Bills, the Jets (2-9) were forced to turn to Smith after an underperforming Vick said he was kicked in the calf late in the third quarter. He completed only 7 of 19 passes for 76 yards and an interception.
Making matters worse, the Jets lost defensive star Muhammad Wilkerson (toe) and rookie tight end Jace Amaro (head).
In the Bills' other nine games this season, they averaged 17.4 points. In their routs of the Jets, they averaged 40.5.
The neutral site was supposed to play right into the Jets' hands and so, too, was the indoor surface. Speed demons Vick and Percy Harvin were supposed to light it up against a Bills team that spent much of the past week shoveling out from under 7 feet of snow.
But who needs practice anyway?
After going toe to toe with Mother Nature last week, the Bills (6-5) had no trouble getting past these wayward Jets, who mustered only one field goal (a 27-yarder by Nick Folk in the first quarter) and 218 total yards of offense.
It was Buffalo that was supposed to be out of sorts, thanks to the lake-effect storm that blanketed western New York. With players trapped in their homes and a driving ban in place for days, the Bills were forced to cancel practice last Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, they dispatched snowmobiles to transport players to the airport so the team could fly to Detroit.
But it was the Bills who proved they're "a zillion ways'' better than the Jets, to modify Rex Ryan's recent quote about how much his team had improved. An announced crowd of 56,044, made up primarily of Bills supporters, witnessed the Jets' self-destruction.
Scott Chandler referenced the blizzard after his 19-yard reception gave the Bills a 14-3 lead. Chandler celebrated by pretending he was shoveling snow.
When Vick wasn't running for his life, he was being tossed like a rag doll by defensive linemen. Harvin was not a factor, the Jets' special-teams play was a joke and Smith (10-for-12, 89 yards) did little to spark their dormant offense.
In the Bills' 43-23 rout of the Jets last month, rookie Sammy Watkins recorded a career-high 157 yards. This time it was the Robert Woods show. The Bills receiver caught nine passes for 118 yards, including a 37-yarder, and a touchdown.
While the Jets looked as if they were sleepwalking from the start, the Bills appeared refreshed and ready for football. Buffalo took an early 7-0 lead thanks to the 27-yard punt by Quigley and a well-thrown ball by Kyle Orton (24-for-32, 230 yards, two TDs, no interceptions). Woods exposed linebacker David Harris in coverage and caught a 7-yard pass, ending the Bills' recent red-zone woes. It was their first touchdown in 133 offensive plays.
Thanks to a 41-yard punt return by Jeremy Kerley and a 13-yard run by an unlikely source -- fullback John Conner -- the Jets seemed poised to strike on their next possession. But Marty Mornhinweg's offense failed to score a TD on first-and-goal from the 4-yard line. After Vick was sacked for a loss of 6 yards and ran up the middle for a yard, he almost was picked off in the end zone on a pass intended for Amaro.
Despite three chances to punch it in, the Jets settled for a 27-yard field goal to pull within 7-3. And that was all the offense they could muster.