Following two subpar performances in the previous couple of weeks, the New York Jets stepped up to the plate as they faced the AFC East leading Buffalo Bills. This was a "make it or break it game" and the Gang Green passed the test, beating one of their archrivals 26-17. This win put the Jets in a 3-team tie with the Bills and the Patriots, but with the best division record the Gang Green are in the first place.
The Jets quickly got on the board as RB Leon Washington made a 40-yard return on the opening kickoff and then caught a 40-yard pass from QB Brett Favre two plays later. Then, however, the offense stalled and had to settle for a field goal, 3-0. The Bills' opening drive was just as explosive, but with a much better ending. After a long kickoff return, it took Buffalo just four plays from scrimmage to score a touchdown and take the lead, 3-7. Two possessions later CB Darrelle Revis sacked the quarterback on a cornerback blitz and recovered a fumble on the Bills 6-yard line. The Jets had a golden opportunity to retake the lead but failed, just like in many previous games. So, it was another field goal, 6-7. On the ensuing possession the Bills looked like they were going to extend their lead, as they moved the ball deep into the Jets territory and in field goal range. But S Abram Elam, who started in place of injured S Eric Smith, intercepted a pass on the Jets 8-yard line and returned it 92 yards for a touchdown, 13-7.
After a scoreless second quarter, the Jets extended their lead to 16-7 when PK Jay Feely converted a 20-yard field goal attempt on New York's first possession of the second half. The Bills then answered with a field goal of their own, 16-10, but their ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, giving the Gang Green an excellent field position. Four plays later, following a 35-yard completion to WR Jerricho Cotchery, RB Thomas Jones scored from 4 yards out, making the score 23-10.
The defense came up big again when they stopped the ensuing Buffalo drive in the fourth quarter. With 11 minutes to go in the quarter and a two touchdown lead, it sure seemed like the game was all but over. However, Brett Favre's interception that was returned for a touchdown put the Bills right back in contention. But, just like last week, Favre stepped up when he had to. Following the interception, he led the Jets on an almost 9-minute drive that resulted in another field goal, 26-17. The Bills tried to pull a miracle but CB Darrelle Revis' interception in the end zone sealed the deal for the suddenly resurrected Jets.
QB Brett Favre completed 19 of 28 passes for 201 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT. RB Thomas Jones had another good game - 69 yards on 12 carries, 1 TD. WR Jerricho Cotchery led the team with 6 receptions for 62 yards.
The defense once again played very well against the run, as they allowed only 30 yards on the ground (1.8 yards per carry). LB Eric Barton had the team high 8 tackles (7 solo). DT Kris Jenkins had his best game as a Jet - 5 tackles (4 solo), 2 sacks. CB Darrelle Revis recorded 5 tackles (4 solo), 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 INT.
Next Sunday the New York Jets will host the Saint Louis Rams (2-6) at Giants Stadium. The kickoff is at 1:00PM EST.