Jets topple Bills in wild divisional clash

New York Jets running back James Robinson (23) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the second half.
New York Jets running back James Robinson (23) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the second half.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

The Jets Twitter hashtag may be “Take Flight” but it was the New York ground game that marched them down the field in the final quarter of the game and led to the winning scoring drive. 

The Jets’ defense forced the Bills to go three and out after a deep pass was called back because of an offensive holding that restarted the drive. Sauce Gardner broke up the intended throw to Gabe Davis in Buffalo’s last-ditch effort in the game. 

“I was just looking at Gabe, looking at his eyes,” Gardner said. “I didn’t see no signs of the ball being thrown short. I couldn’t believe it. I just kept seeing his eyes do that. I’m like ‘oh man he lost that ball for sure.’ I just had to stay calm and don’t panic. He was trying to push off a little bit, but I just stayed poised and made a play.” 

The win was the Jets’ sixth of the season and handed the Bills just their second loss all year. New York drove 86 yards in the final 7:53 of the game to break a 17-17 tie. It was the combined efforts of James Robinson and Michael Carter on the ground that took the ball downfield.

Zach Wilson hit Denzel Mims with a crucial third down catch to keep the drive alive in Buffalo territory and Greg Zuerlein hit a 28-yard field goal that served as the winning score.

“Any time we can get a win in the division is huge,” Garrett Wilson said. “But I’d be lying if I didn’t say Buffalo had something for them. We wanted to come up and prove something this week and we did that. It was a big win, huge win for us.” 

The Jets QB finished the game completing 18 of 25 passes for 152 yards in the air and no interceptions. Carter and James had a combined 124 yards on the ground and Garrett Wilson had 92 receiving yards on eight catches.

It was a wild sequence that kicked off the second half of the game after the Jets had marched down the field. First, the CBS SkyCam malfunctioned with the Jets in scoring territory forcing a nearly 10-minute delay and killing New York’s momentum.

“(That would) only happen to the Jets,” New York coach Robert Saleh joked when asked about the bizarre delay. 

Wilson eventually coughed up the ball on 3rd & 6 on Buffalo’s 18-yard line, but just as quickly as the Bills got the ball back they gave it right back. Allen threw an interception to Sauce Gardner, who brought the ball back to the Buffalo 19. 

Wilson needed four plays to make up for the earlier error and give the Jets their first lead of the game with a seven-yard pass to James Robinson to make it 17-14.  The lead was short-lived as the Bills tied the game back up in the opening minutes of the fourth with a 51-yard field goal by Tyler Bass. 

Josh Allen had another rough performance, finishing the game with two interceptions to his name. The Bills QB did have 205 yards in the air.

The Bills struck the opening salvo in the game’s first quarter with a 14-play, 67-yard drive that culminated with Allen running the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. The Jets failed to stop the Bills twice on third down, with Allen finding Devin Singletary for the first down and then later running seven yards to keep the drive alive. 

The Jets were able to put a little dent in Buffalo’s lead with a field goal from 53 yards out with 31 seconds left in the first quarter. 

After the Bills and Jets were forced to punt on their respective drives, the Bills put some more space between themselves and New York. The visitors from Western New York, marched back down the field led by Allen on a 93-yard drive, which included a 17-yard pass to Stefon Diggs that brought them across midfield. 

Allen punched the ball into the end zone on a 36-yard on 3rd & 2 to put the Bills ahead 14-3 with 6:30 left in the first half. 

However, the Jets answered back again to send the game into halftime with the Jets trailing just 14-10. The nearly six-minute drive was highlighted by a 24-yard connection through the air from Zach Wilson to Wilson to put them in Buffalo territory. 

Wilson threw for another 30 yards before Michael Carter ran the ball into the end zone. 

For more coverage of the Jets, head to amNY.com.

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