The Jets hung with the Bills for most of a blustery Sunday evening in Buffalo on Sunday, but a total lack of offense doomed them to a 27-10 loss.
The victory gave the Bills(11-6) the AFC East crown, making it their second straight division crown and the first time they clinched the division at home since 1995.
For the Jets, a 4-13 season that showed some signs of progress ended with a resounding thud. They were held to just 53 yards of total offense against a stifling Bills defense, their fewest in a game in franchise history.
Zach Wilson was held to seven completions out of 20 attempts for 87 yards and a touchdown while getting sacked eight times.
It was the Jets defense and horrendous kicking from Bills punter Matt Haack that kept Gang Green in it through three quarters — they trailed by only three heading into the fourth quarter.
However, a lack of offensive execution paired with two scores from Bills running back Devin Singletary — who posted 112 all-purpose yards — highlighted a day in which Josh Allen (24-of-45, 239 yards, two touchdowns) did just enough to secure a division title.
Behind a 39-yard burst from Singletary straight up the middle of the Jets’ defense, the Bills took the lead on their opening drive after a clinic of strength and coordination from its most successful battery.
On a 3rd-&-Goal from the 10-yard-line, Allen rolled to his right while under pressure and while getting sacked and falling, managed to laser a pinpoint throw down the sideline to Stefon Diggs, who managed to tap both feet in bounds to give the hosts the lead.
After review, it’s a touchdown for @stefondiggs 🙌
— NFL (@NFL) January 9, 2022
Buffalo followed it up with a field goal with 2:31 to go in the first to cap off a 12-play, 70-yard drive that came inches within another touchdown, but a 23-yard connection from Allen to Diggs was overturned after the receiver was unable to get a second foot inbounds down the left sideline near the pylon.
The Jets’ miserable start continued when Braden Mann’s punt at the end of the first quarter was blocked and recovered by the Bills at the New York 35-yard-line. However, the Bills could do nothing with it after failing to convert a 4th-&-5 to turn it over on downs.
All that misery from a Gang Green start that featured just 24 total yards of offense through the first 25 minutes of play transferred to Haack, who opened the door for the Jets to gain some momentum.
With 5:22 to go in the half, offsetting unnecessary roughness penalties gave the punter a shot at redemption after shanking a 28-yard punt. But his second attempt was even worse, traveling just 21 yards to give the Jets possession at the Buffalo 45-yard-line
It led to the Jets getting on the board when Wilson hooked up with Keelan Cole on a short slant that the receiver took 40 yards to the house to get New York within three.
Zach Wilson throws a STRIKE and Keelan Cole does the rest. #TakeFlight
— NFL (@NFL) January 9, 2022
On Buffalo’s very next possession, from their 33-yard-line, Haack shanked another one, sending a 23-yard punt to the Jets’ 44-yard-line with 3:03 to go. The Jets, however, couldn’t do anything with it, punting it away with 1:52 to go before the break.
The Bills quickly drove down 81 yards to nab a field goal as the second quarter expired to take a six-point lead into the break.
Buffalo’s defense proceeded to put the clamps down on the Jets in the second half. Including their final drive of the second quarter, the Jets gained three total yards in three possessions.
Granted, the Jets performed just as admirably, forcing the Bills to punt on each of their first three possessions of the third quarter — which only increased the chances of another Haack mishap.
It happened with 5:26 remaining in the frame when he dropped a snap at his own 9-yard-line and was forced to scramble before delivering a seven-yard punt while under durress.
Getting possession on the 22-yard-line still didn’t help the Jets, who were moved back nine yards after Wilson stepped out of bounds while scrambling. It made it tougher for Eddy Pineiro, but the kicker nailed a 49-yard field goal to cut their deficit to just three with 3:55 left in the third.
Still, the Jets didn’t get a first down from late in the second quarter to a minute into the fourth quarter, which didn’t pose much of a threat for a Bills team that extended its lead to 10 with 8:21 to go in the game.
Sparked by a 32-yard run by Allen, Singletary deked his way into the end zone from one yard out to give the Bills a 20-10 lead.
They put it away after another Jets three-and-out — Singletary picking up his second score of thee day with a five-yard receiving touchdown with 3:53 to go.