Buffalo came into the game facing an up hill battle. The Jets all week were talking about how upset they were that Miami ran all over their defense, and Buffalo had been in a state of turmoil with an ugly looking loss to Cleveland at home, and constant discussion over Coach Dick Jauron’s job swirling around the team. However in this game, the Bills would circle the wagons, which was a popular phrase given to the team by ESPN analyst Chris Berman. The team showed incredible resiliency, and came up with a dramatic and stunning 16-13 win over the Jets in Overtime.
The Jets started out with the football, and were forced to a three and out possession by the Bills. Trent Edwards came in on the first drive and led Buffalo down the field completing short passes to Marshawn Lynch and Lee Evans taking the ball down to the Jets 38 yard line. Buffalo was huddling for the first time all season. They had to make some adjustments to the offense after not doing much offensively for 3 games. Alex Van Pelt was calling a good variety of plays mixing in runs with Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch to get the Bills deep into Jets territory. Buffalo had a 3rd and 18, and Edwards threw a short pass to Terrell Owens for 6 yards, settling for three points to take the early lead.
The Jets answered right back on the next possession. The Bills aided the Jets with a key 12 men on the field penalty on 4th down and 5 to make it 4th and short. Rex Ryan made the gutsy call to go for it and Thomas Jones converted with a short run to the Jets 44 yard line. A couple plays later, Mark Sanchez converted a third and 1 to Dustin Keller for 11 yards to Bills 36 yard line. The Jets moved closer a couple of plays later on a Leon Washington run, but the drive stalled at the Bills 5 yard line. Jay Feely tied the game at 3 with a short field goal.
On the Bills next possession, Edwards was sacked on third down and 2 by Marques Douglas and David Harris on a hard hit that knocked him out of the game. Ryan Fitzpatrick took over for the Bills for the rest of the game.
On the next Jets drive, Sanchez threw a ball to Braylon Edwards which was a little to far ahead of Edwards, and it was tipped by Braylon and intercepted by Bills rookie safety Jairus Byrd. Fitzpatrick came in and threw a couple of bad looking incomplete passes to force the Bills to punt. Thomas Jones ran on first down for a 64 yard pickup thanks to a gaping hole on the right side. That set up a Jay Feely 41 yard field goal to give the Jets a 6-3 lead. After the Bills were forced to punt, Jones took the ball to the endzone on a 71 yard run to put the Jets up 13-3. Things were going downhill for the Bills at this point in the game.
The teams alternated possessions, and no scoring occurred for the remainder of the half. The Bills came out in the second half and responded with a 9 play drive led by Lynch, Jackson, and Owens. They all contributed with key runs to take the Bills to the Jets 6 yard line, where Lynch was stopped on third down to force a Lindell field goal. After Rian hit the field goal the lead was cut to 7 for the Jets at 13-6. On the next Jets possession, Sanchez threw another interception to Byrd, setting the Bills up with great field position. Fitzpatrick made the Jets pay on a blitz, as he hit Lee Evans on a slant pattern over the middle that went for a 37 yard touchdown to tie the game at 13.
In the early stages of the fourth quarter, Mark Sanchez threw his fourth interception, this time it was to Reggie Corner. George Wilson took one from Sanchez earlier in the half, the Bills secondary was having a great game, and the team was in position to win when Jackson’s punt return set the ball up near midfield. Fitzpatrick made a throw to Evans for 12 yards, and then the Bills ran the ball a couple of time with Jackson to set up Lindell for a game winning kick. Lindell missed it wide right, words that have plagued Western New York for years now.
The Bills would be resilient in overtime. The Jets won the toss and drove right down the field inside the Bills 20 yard line, but a key holding penalty on Ben Hartsock would push Feely’s field goal attempt to 50 yards. The snap was bobbled by Steve Weatherford, he threw it up for grabs and it was intercepted by John Wendling. Two possession later Fitzpatrick threw a poor pass that was intercepted by Dwight Lowery. He read Evans running the slant, and stepped inside of him. The Bills got the ball right back when on 3rd down and 10 Sanchez threw another poor pass that Paul Posluszny intercepted to set the Bills up near midfield. The Bills drove all the way to Jets 33 yard line when Fitzpatrick threw a nice looking deep ball to Evans who hauled it in at the Jets three yard line. The play looked up in the air, because the ball was moving in Evans hand. The referees looked at the replay and overturned the call to an incompletion. The Bills ran the ball a few more times, and then Lindell came on and nailed a 47 yard game winning kick just inside the uprights to give the resilient Bills a much needed 16-13 upset win against the Jets.
Everyone could just tell by looking at the Buffalo sideline how thrilled this team was to win a game like this, when no one gave them a chance. These types of games have not gone the Bills way for a long time, and they found a way to hang together and pull out a stunner. The main question on everyone’s mind this week will be the health of Edwards as he suffered a head injury. The Bills will travel to play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.