Jets 31. Bills 27. This game should be called the Miracle at the Meadowlands Part 2. The Jets were able to escape a sure loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday thanks to some defensive heroics late in the 4th quarter. The Jets can also thank Bills quarterback J.P. Losman for being J.P. Losman. Overall, the Jets had another poor performance, especially on defense. This time however, they managed to get a win that the desperately needed.
The offense showed up early in this game. On the opening drive of the game, Brett Favre was able to get the Jets down the field for a touchdown. This is something that the Jets did pretty consistently during their five game winning streak. He came out on fire, leading the Jets to scores on their first two drives. He had a better first half then he did in the second, but overall he was 17-30 for 207 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. On the plus side he was able to complete nine of his passes to Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery. Coles pulled in 5 receptions for 82 yards, all in the first half. That is more catches then he has had the previous two weeks combined. Dustin Keller also hauled in three balls for 35 yards. After last weeks game, it was good to see the Jets top 3 receivers getting 12 catches between them.
The running game was solid once again. On the day, Jones had 78 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. The touchdown turned out to be a little bit of Jets history. It was his 15th of the season, which is now a Jets team record for rushing touchdowns in a season. Jones is continuing his great season and is still the AFC leader in rushing yards. Last week I said that Leon Washington needs to get more touches because you never know what he will do when he gets the ball. On Sunday, he had one carry that went 47 yards for a touchdown, another solid game for the Jets ace in the hole. All around the offensive line was solid. They did not allow Favre to get sacked in the game as well as letting the offense rush for 165 yards on the ground.
The defense was all around shaky on Sunday. The one strength the Jets have had all season is their run defense. They had allowed only one rusher to gain 100 yards against them all season. Well on Sunday, Marshawn Lynch was number two. He ran all over the Jets defensive line for a total of 127 yards on only 21 carries. A different story then a month ago when he only gained 16 yards against the Jets in Buffalo. On the day the defensive line allowed a season high 187 rushing yards. They also allowed backup running back Fred Jackson to score in the 4th quarter on an 11 yard run while dragging four defenders into the end zone with him. Jets linebacker David Harris has now been back for two games and the defense has not improved. The 49ers gained 100 yards on the Jets last week on the ground with a couple of different backs. Now this week they gave up almost 200 yards, not acceptable.
While the run defense suffered, the pass defense had an improved game over what we have seen lately. Losman was only able to throw for 148 yards and one touchdown. Buffalo really did not need to throw with the running game going so well. The pass rush was finally allowed to get some pressure on a QB and sacked Losman three times. They also had three interceptions and a forced fumble. With the Jets trailing 27-24 with 2 minutes to go in the game, the Jets sent Abram Elam in on a blitz and he was able to strip the ball from Losman causing one of the fumbles. Shaun Ellis picked up the ball and ran it in for the game winning touchdown. If you watched the game, the defense was nothing spectacular, but they did cause four turnovers. If you have to look for a plus, there it is.
The Jets got lucky in this game. Currently, they are still tied with the Patriots and Dolphins for the division lead. They may have won the game on Sunday, but it was very sloppy all around for the Jets. Favre is under throwing the receivers, the defensive line looks tired, and Mangini looks confused on the side lines. Obviously the Jets needed the win and will take it anyway they can get it. But the truth is, they only have two games left to try to get back on track and get into the playoffs with a little momentum on their side. They have another tough week coming up against the Seahawks in Seattle. They are 0-3 on the West coast this season, and they can not afford to lay another egg out there with the Dolphins coming up in two weeks.