Jets take beating, offense stifled in 20-12 loss to Bills

Bills Jets Josh Allen Week 14 22
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, front, lunges with the ball under pressure from New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner (1) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Jets managed to keep the Bills to just seven points in the first half, but the Buffalo offense came alive in the second half as New York fell 20-12 in a loss that dealt another blow to their playoff hopes. 

The Jets dropped their second consecutive game and third in the last four weeks. New York had gone into the Week 14 matchup as the seventh seed, but dropped to 7-6 on the year and could find themselves with the same record as the New England Patriots, depending on their Monday night matchup with Arizona. 

The Bills moved to 10-3 this season as they held their grasp on the AFC East lead. 

Sunday’s tilt between the Jets and Bills had a much different feel than their first meeting of the season that took place in New Jersey and saw the Jets stun Buffalo 20-17. The foul weather definitely had an impact on both teams as rain gave way to snow as the day went on. 

“I think every game we’ve played in we’ve been right in the game,” D.J. Reed said. “So I think for us it’s about playing together and playing complimentary football. I feel like once we play complementary football, when offense is clicking, when the defense is clicking, when special teams is clicking, I really think we’re a very, very hard team o beat. We just have to get back to the fundamentals.”

The Bills broke a 7-7 third-quarter tie when they took advantage of a pass interference call on the Jets that put Buffalo on the New York 17-yard line. Two plays later Josh Allen scampered five yards for the touchdown to put the Bills up 14-7 with 7:20 left in the third quarter. 

The Jets tried to respond on their next drive, but after Mike White got knocked out of the game for the second time and Joe Flacco had to come in, New York fumbled the ball and gave it right back to the Bills. 

Tyler Bass kicked two field goals to extend the Bills’ lead during the second half. His first came on a 38-yard kick that made it 17-7 with 2:07 left in the third and then he knocked a 49-yarder in the opening minutes of the fourth to extend the Buffalo lead to 20-7. 

The Jets did manage to pick up two more points when they blocked a punt for a safety and then added a field goal with 1:18 left in the game.

White finished the day completing 27 of his 43 passes for 268 yards. He was also sacked three times and had to leave the game twice because of injuries suffered by those hits. 

The Jets QB briefly went to the team locker room in the second half following a brutal hit from Matt Milano. White eventually returned at the beginning of the fourth. 

Joe Flacco completed one of his three pass attempts and fumbled the ball once. Zonovan Knight had 17 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown. 

Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore each had a team-leading five receptions in the loss for the Jets. Wilson had 78 receiving yards while Moore recorded 60.

A defensive blunder by the Jets allowed the Bills to extend their drive in the final two minutes of the first half and find the end zone to take a 7-0 lead into halftime. First Buffalo got C.J. Mosley to jump offsides on 4th & 1 with 1:17 left, which allowed Josh Allen to work the ball quickly into Jets territory and ended with the Bills QB hitting tight end Dawson Knox with a 24-yard touchdown pass with 26 seconds left in the half. 

“Good pre-snap play design. They probably weren’t even gonna snap it, but it was good pre-snap play design,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. 

The Jets erased the deficit on their first drive of the second half when White took New York 72 yards down the field on 14 plays. New York converted on two third downs and the drive culminated with Knight running 13 yards for the Jets’ only touchdown of the game. 

Despite the bruising loss, Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh expressed confidence that Gang Green wasn’t done with the Bills just yet, and hinted that a playoff rematch might be in the offing.

“We’re gonna see these guys again soon,” he said. “I just think we are. I think our team is good enough. Obviously, it’s week to week. But we got a good football team.”

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