Jets run roughshod over BillsToronto makes game two worth it
NFL coaches fret and scheme deep into the night, every night, trying to find the edge that will make the difference on Sunday.
Or Thursday, as it so happens.
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, or at least his offensive coaches, could have gone on vacation this week. How tough was this?
The Jets have the No. 2 rushing team in the league. The Buffalo Bills have the No. 32 ( and that’s just because there are only 32 teams) rushing defence in the league.
So guess what? The Jets ran over, around and through the Bills Thursday night on their way to a 19-13 victory. Who knew?
Thomas Jones was the featured back for the Jets, rolling up 109 yards on 23 carries, but he was just one of seven Jets who carried the ball up and down the Rogers Centre turf for a team total of 249 rushing yards.
“It’s how we’re built,” said Ryan. “We have a tremendous offensive line. You’ve got to give our backs credit and our receivers credit for blocking down field. The thing I’m most proud of was we had 43 rushing attempts. If you can run the ball that many times, you’re generally going to win.”
One of those rushes was an eight-yarder by New York’s rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez who was taken down hard after making a first down early in the third quarter. Two plays later he left the game with a knee injury. He didn’t return but Ryan said it was “just a sprain” and that Sanchez is likely to start next week.
“The kid’s got to understand,” said Ryan. “We’re trying to teach him to slide. Sometimes he’s just competitive. If he would have slid we wouldn’t have gotten the first down but we might not have had a quarterback get hurt either. He’s got to understand that. I love the kid but he’s got to understand.”
The Bills showed some flashes of offence early in the game but the Jets defence stiffened as the night wore on. Buffalo had 158 yards of offence in the first half, but after half time they were totally embarrassed.
The Bills had no first downs in the third quarter and just 10 total yards. They got their first first down of he second half with nine minutes left in the fourth when Terrell Owens collected a 15-yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick. They finished the second half with a paltry 36 yards of offence and only three points to show for it.
“They brought a lot of pressure and we didn’t handle the pressure,” said Bills coach Perry Fewell. “We only converted on one of 11 third downs and when you don’t convert on third down, you’re going to have a tough night.”
The full house crowd of 51,567 at Rogers Centre seemed to enjoy itself and brought a little more life to this game than was the case in the Miami game here last year. It still wasn’t enough to breathe life into the catatonic Buffalo offence.
The teams matched field goals in the first quarter. The Jets went up 6-3 on a 49-yard Jay Feely field goal early in the second period.
The Bills countered with their first touchdown of the game and their first-ever in this Bills Toronto Series, having lost 16-3 to Miami in the inaugural last season.
The major was authored by Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 50 of the 65 yards on the five-play, 64-yard drive, capped by a 15-yard TD romp.
The Jets kicked it into gear late in the half. Another Feely field goal, this time from 31 yards, cut the Buffalo lead to 10-9 and then, in the final minute of the half, New York broke through for its first TD when Braylon Edwards caught a ball over the middle and lunged over the goal line from 13 yards out.