Week 8: Bills Finish Off Jets 13-3
Losman comes off bench to lead Bills to win.
by Steve Saslow
Just when you thought the quarterback controversy was over things changed on a dime so is life in the National Football League. J.P. Losman came off the bench for an injured Trent Edwards and led the Bills to ten fourth quarter points to pull out a 13-3 win over the Jets.
Edwards injured the wrist in his throwing hand in the third quarter. He played one more series but struggled with gripping the ball and had to come out of the game. He came back on the field with his hand bandaged up and it was Losman's game. The team immediately started going deep as Losman's throws were lasers as his stronger arm was needed in the windy conditions at the Meadowlands.
The Bills started attacking downfield as a perfectly thrown long pass to Roscoe Parrish couldn't be brought in forcing the Bills to punt in Losman's first series late in the third quarter with the score tied at 3. On his second series, Losman engineered a drive to a 40 yard field goal by Rian Lindell. He managed that drive, somewhat like Edwards would have done. The damage was done on the ground mostly as there were six runs and only one pass, a deep completion to Lee Evans for 19 yards.
The defense made another stop on the Jets next possession giving the Bills a chance to put the game away. They did just that with the big play that is a huge part of Losman's game. It is also a big part of Evans' game and it has been missing most of the year. It all came together on one 85 yard touchdown pass. Evans made a great catch on the deep ball as two Jet defenders knocked each other off the ball. He then fought them off, took the ball and jogged down the sidelines for the game clinching touchdown. The ball could have been easily picked off and we would be talking about how Losman struggled. The bottom line is he put the ball up for the team's best player to make a play and for one of the few times this year he made the play.
The game was a low scoring somewhat methodical game in which the Bills defense continues to show marked improvement from early in the year. They are really coming into their own as they were flying to the ball against one of the worst offenses in the league. They put tremendous pressure on both Jets quarterbacks with blitzes and nice bull rushes from the inside. They finished with three sacks and numerous other pressures forcing incompletions. They allowed a season low 254 total yards and just one lone field goal.
The game moved at a very fast pace, especially early on as the Bills took 10 minutes off the clock on their first possession, it was a 16 play drive that stalled in the red zone and they had to settle for Lindell's 30 yard field goal. The Jets responded with 15 play drive that took over nine minutes. Their drive also stalled in the red zone and led to their only points of the game, a 27 yard Mike Nugent field goal. The game stayed that way until the fourth quarter heroics.
If Edwards is healthy this week it appears likely that Jauron would go back to him since he appears to be his guy. A wrist injury is tricky and if he's not 100% they should stick with Losman. If the former first round pick plays well against the Bengals we will be right back where we were two weeks ago with another full blown controversy. What would a season in Buffalo be without quarterback controversies?
The bottom line is the team is playing much better and now can actually get to .500 at the halfway point with a suddenly winnable game against the Bengals at home on the horizon. With the defense playing well and the offense coming to life late in the game things appear to be heading on the right track.
Here are our exclusive gameballs and goats from the Bills game against the Jets: