At the half the Bills were ahead 17-13. It was pretty remarkable the Jets were still in this game. It seemed like whenever the Buffalo needed a big play, Josh Allen would take off for a run. Or the Jets would commit a dumb penalty. As far as the penalties, there were 2 very questionable roughing the passer calls that the NFL has got to review. After each of those calls I had to wipe my eyes because I thought we were playing the Patriots who always get that call even if it just a sneeze in Tom Brady’s direction. On one of Josh Allen’s runs, he straight armed Leonard Williams who has about 70 lbs. on Allen. Williams (2 tackles, 1 Assist) did have a good game and it seemed he was getting stronger creating havoc as the game went on. The Jets penalties seemed to be out of control. That Buster Skrine pass interference happened on a 3rd and 4. On the second Bills TD, Jet linebacker Neville Hewitt seemed like a deer in the headlight just not reacting and the announcer mentioned it.
The second half will be remembered by two plays. Both by Sam Darnold that should excite Jet fans. In the third quarter the only score was a Bills field goal. Sam Darnold had a bad interception throwing across his body. A similar motion like his first ever NFL pass that went for a pick six. In the quarter the Bills had a 3rd and 18 and on a run that went 16 yards, Hewitt fanned on the tackle. Horrible fundamentals. I don’t know if it is me or every Jet fan feels this way. It has seemed for the longest time that whenever the Jets opponent has a 1st and 25 or a 3rd and 20, it doesn’t matter. The yardage gets eaten up just as quick as if the opponent only needed one yard. Drives me crazy!
The Bills missed a 54 yard field goal. Then it was the Sam Darnold show with some help from Elijah McGuire. Sam was on target and showed his worth as the 3rd pick in the draft. He was throwing darts dead on to Leggett, Herndon and Enunwa. McGuire got a 34 yard run with a great stiff arm but it was the touchdown pass to Robby Anderson that was as thrilling as any touchdown Jet fans have seen in years. Darnold took the snap and was flushed out to his right. He then circled what seemed to be the long and wide route to his left and miraculously found a small window and hit Robby Anderson for a touchdown. It was a great play and a play Sam probably wouldn’t have made in his first few games. After a Buffalo field goal, Andre Roberts (co-MVP today with Sam) returned the ball to the 34 yard line after a 5 yard Bills penalty was enforced. Sam hit McGuire for 9 yards. After an incompletion and a 4 yard McGuire run, Darnold hit Rishard Matthews for 6 yards. Then Sam’s second great play. He goes deep to Robby Anderson for a perfect 37 yard pass up the right sideline. Darnold put the ball in the only place Anderson could catch it and he did a great job keeping his feet in bounds. The Jets tried three times and missed getting the ball into the end zone. With the ball on the one yard line, and Todd Bowles deserves all the credit in the world, instead of going for a field goal, the Jets went for it. They gave the ball to Elijah McGuire on a sweep right and he scores the winning touchdown. The Bills got the ball but a Josh Allen interception by Truman Johnson (3 tackles, 2 INT’s) gave the Jets their first win in what seemed like an eternity. Fans who wanted a high draft pick in 2019 got burned but believe me it was worth it seeing Sam Darnold play the way he did. And Robby Anderson (4 rec. 76 yards 1 TD) looked like the Anderson from last year. Sam Darnold (16/24 170 yds.1TD 1INT) played big today. Of his 16 pass completions, 9 different receivers caught the ball. This kid sees the field. He will continue to make mistakes but Sam Darnold has a chance to be a real good football player and an outside chance to be a star. The Jets must surround him with weapons and protection.
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Give Todd Credit
As all Green Rewind readers know I am not a Todd Bowles fan as a head coach. In fact I wanted him fired 2 years ago and have criticized him endlessly. With that said as a man, Todd Bowles has class. He was being blitzed in the newspapers all week. He never fought back and always took the high road. He always backs his players and never throws anyone under the bus. In a game today the Jets could have mailed it in, they played hard for their coach and came back with a victory. Todd Bowles deserves a lot of credit this week and if he is fired like it sounds, all Jet fans should wish him luck in his next job which will probably be as a defensive coordinator somewhere.
…..Announcer probably only saw Jets opener against the Lions. How in the world can he say Darron Lee was having a very good year before he was suspended. Darron Lee is the “roller skate kid” the way he gets pushed back for what seems like 20-25 yards on some plays…..TE Eric Tomlinson had another big penalty on a Roberts return…..Chris Herndon was invisible until he made that 14 yard catch in the 4th quarter. Hopefully we’ll be hearing Darnold to Herndon for a long time……Jordan Leggett had a nice clutch catch but missed one he should have had…..DB Rashard Robinson (#30) is a disease. As soon as he came in for Claiborne, the passes went right to Robinson’s man. This was an awful pick up by the Jets last year and he should not see the field again…..Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis had a sack today and had a blocked punt last week. Keep this man on the field. Also Brandon Copeland and Frankie Luvu need to play more….Draft pick DL Nathan Shepherd is playing less and less. Could be another Mike Maccagnan bust…..Draft pick Parry Nickerson is MIA or just missing…..Give Bills and former Jet running back Chris Ivory credit. He is 30 years old and continues to run and play hard…..Un-drafted free agent wide receiver Robert Foster of the Bills has been a real find. Today he only had 7 receptions for 104 yards…..DL Henry Anderson continues to be a great pick up. With a 1/2 sack today, he has 17 tackles and 3 sacks. Not bad…..After Darnold’s interception, he was 9/13, 119 yards with a touchdown and no more turnovers…..Despite a couple of brain freezes, LB Neville Hewitt was excellent filling in for the recently suspended Darron Lee…..Brant Boyer is the Jets special teams coaching in case you are wondering. He has had 2 good weeks in a row.....
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What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini, ESPN
For 11 seconds, the New York Jets were as good as anybody in the NFL. Sam Darnold had the ball, and everything went right for a team that has experienced so much wrong this season.On one magical play, Darnold outran the Buffalo Bills, going this way and that way – a 46.8-yard scramble, according to NFL NextGen Stats. A highlight-film block from tackle Kelvin Beachum got him out of trouble, and wide receiver Robby Anderson -- invisible for stretches of the season -- got open to create a small window in the end zone. On the run, Darnold fired a 7-yard touchdown pass to Anderson, the signature play in the Jets’ 27-23 win on Sunday at Next Era Field. It was the most yards run by a quarterback on a completion in the last two seasons, but it was so much more than that for the Jets (4-9), who snapped a six-game losing streak. With one play in the fourth quarter, and a few other gems that followed, the Jets saw into their future. Darnold displayed poise and playmaking ability, giving the forlorn franchise something to feel good about in this dreadful season…..Darnold (16-for-24, 170 yards) played an uneven game, throwing an ugly interception in the third quarter, but he perked up in crunch time. Years from now, the game will be remembered for The Scramble. It was a schoolyard play in which he scrambled right … and then left … and then unleashed a laser to Anderson. At one point, he was 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
“He does really good outside the pocket,” wide receiver Quincy Enunwa said. “We have to figure out more ways to get him doing that. When he was coming out in the draft, I think that was one of the things he did best. Now that he’s healthy, we have to make sure he’s attempting that a little bit more.”
It had been a long time since he had delivered a "wow" moment. It didn't change the narrative of the season, which was ruined several weeks ago, but it provided a glimmer of hope.
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Danish Mehta, NY Daily News
Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins won’t be exchanging Christmas gifts with Josh Allen, left tackle Dion Dawkins or any other Bills anytime soon after a cheap shot and a whole lot of trash talking Sunday. Jenkins didn’t hold back when describing Buffalo’s rookie quarterback in the wake of the Jets’ 27-23 win.“He can throw the ball far… maybe not accurate,” Jenkins told two reporters in the winning locker room. “I don’t really like that guy. That guy was talking trash out there. Personally, I couldn’t care less about that guy.” Allen carved up the Jets defense for 87 rushing yards and a touchdown on seven scrambles in the first half before the Jets made adjustments to hold him to just two runs for 14 yards in the second half. Allen, who had rushed for 99 and 135 yards in the previous two games, was the engine of the Bills offense that jumped out to a 14-3 first-quarter lead. He scrambled for 48 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown, on the game’s opening drive before Gang Green held him in check. “He was feeling himself,” Jenkins said. “He was talking trash out there today.”
Jenkins’ anger was fueled by left tackle Dion Dawkins’ chop block on the first play from scrimmage. Jenkins was engaged with the guard when Dawkins executed the dirty play that prompted the outside linebacker to briefly leave the game with an ankle injury.
“I took myself out, because I couldn’t really move well and I had to go inside,” said Jenkins, who returned and finished with two tackles, including one tackle for loss. “I was trying to get some taped up to help out. After the play, I told (Dawkins), ‘If you do that again, I’ll kill you.’ I was enraged at the time. That’s a career-ender. You’re trying to mess up my life. That’s classless. You don’t dive at somebody’s ankle when somebody’s engaged with somebody. That’s not real football.
“We know the tight end’s cut block,” Jenkins continued. “That’s totally legal. But if you’re diving at somebody’s ankles when you’re engaged with somebody, that’s classless. That’s not real football. That’s some punk type stuff.” Keeping Allen in the pocket made all the difference in the second half.
Brian Costello, NY Post
The Jets only had 248 total yards, but we’re grading on a curve here. They actually scored three touchdowns, equaling as many as they had in the previous five games. QB Sam Darnold (16-of-24, 170 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 83.7 rating) showed what he can do in a brilliant fourth quarter when he made some big-time plays to lead the Jets to the win. The offensive line had a strong game, allowing no sacks and opening holes for 78 yards rushing…..The Jets continue to play hard despite being out of the playoff race. That is a reflection on Todd Bowles, who has not let the team give up on the season. Bowles made a nice adjustment in the second half to keep Allen in the pocket and stop him from running all over the Jets. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates had some suspect calls, but he pushed the right buttons in the fourth quarter.