Bills, McGahee Too Much For Jets
The Jets (2-4) were looking for two consecutive wins for the first time this season. Instead, they fell to Buffalo (3-3) 27-17 at Rich Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Willis McGahee rushed for a career high 143 yards and one touchdown while Kelly Holcomb went 18-of-26 for 172 yards and two TDs in helping Buffalo score a season-high 27 points over New York. It was Gang Green's fifth consecutive road loss, dating back to last season.
The game started poorly for the Jets. On the first play from scrimmage, they allowed Terrence McGee to return the opening kickoff 43 yards to the Buffalo 40. After a five-yard penalty, McGahee carried the ball three times for 31 yards, all the way to the Jets' 29. It helped setup Buffalo's opening score. On a third-and-goal, Holcomb found Jonathan Smith for an eight-yard TD giving the Bills an early 7-0 lead 5:22 in.
Early on, New York's offense couldn't get much going. After Vinny Testaverde was sacked twice in a row by Ryan Denney to stall Gang Green's second drive, Buffalo got the ball back with 1:07 left in the first. Immediately, McGahee went back to work, pounding the Jets D for 32 yards on two carries all the way to the Jets' 35 to end the quarter.
With the Bills continuing to attack the Jets on the ground, they extended their lead to two scores when Holcomb hit a wide open Eric Moulds for a 15-yard TD making it 14-0 with 10:44 left in the half.
After two three-and-outs by both offenses, the Jets finally showed some signs of life when they got the ball back with 7:41 left. It took them just four plays to put their first points on the board. Setup by a Curtis Martin 49-yard scamper, New York got on the board when rookie kicker Mike Nugent drilled a 44-yard field goal making it 14-3 with 6:33 remaining.
With the Bills driving again, Ty Law came up with a big play, intercepting Holcomb inside their own 10, giving his team the ball back with over three minutes to go in the half.
That's when Martin and the Jets offense got back into the game. After two Martin runs for nine yards sandwiched around a Buffalo five-yard penalty, Testaverde completed passes of 29 and 28 yards to Justin McCareins to put the Jets at the Buffalo 20. Aided by a Bills' pass interference that put the ball on the goal line, Martin ran in from one yard out to cut it to 14-10 with 39 seconds to go in the half. For the day, Martin had a season best 148 yards on only 18 carries with the TD.
But another McGee big return and an undisciplined Jets 15-yard penalty led to a Rian Lindell 50-yard field goal to make it 17-10 with no time remaining in the half.
On the first possession of the second half, the Jets looked to be in position to tie the game. But After another Martin 41-yard run to the Buffalo 20, Testaverde was picked off by Troy Vincent, who returned it nine yards to the Bills' 18. It was one of two picks Testaverde threw on the day and proved costly on Buffalo's next drive.
Unable to stop McGahee and backup Shaun Williams on the ground, the Jets D allowed the Bills to go right down the field for another score which chewed up almost six minutes. McGahee accounted for 42 yards on the drive including a 13-yard reception. He finally finished it with a one-yard TD run to extend Buffalo's lead to 24-10 with 6:32 left in the third quarter.
After New York was stopped in their next possession, they came up with another key play to get within a touchdown. Mark Brown intercepted Holcomb and returned it 18 yards all the way to the Buffalo 2. Two plays later, Testaverde's quarterback sneak from a yard out made it 24-17 with 1:41 left in the third. It was his 14th career rushing TD in a 19-year career.
Unfortunately for the Jets, it was as close as they would get. Off another lengthy drive in the fourth, Lindell added a 38-yard field goal, giving Buffalo a 27-17 lead with over six minutes left.
Gang Green's final two possessions resulted in two Testaverde turnovers (fumble, int), putting a damper on any last hopes of a comeback.