The Jets and Bills played right down to the wire in a de facto playoff elimination game on Sunday and it was the Jets who were still breathing when all was said and done.
Mark Sanchez found Santonio Holmes for a touchdown with a minute left to play and, after letting Ryan Fitzpatrick drive almost all the way down the field, the Jets defense held on a fourth down as time expired to escape with a 28-24 victory. The win came after a long afternoon of ugly football in all three phases of the game by the Jets, but they pulled out a win they had to have in order to stay alive in the fight for a playoff spot.
The Bills appeared to have the game won twice on their final drive, but a wide-open Stevie Johnson couldn’t catch either pass from Fitzpatrick. The plays called to mind Johnson’s mind-boggling drop against the Steelers last season (no word yet on if Johnson will again accuse God of forsaking him) and came after Johnson had the highlight of the first half with a touchdown celebration mocking Plaxico Burress’ self-inflicted gunshot wound. You could say Johnson shot himself in the foot in both halves, then, but only one made people in Buffalo smile.
The win keeps the Jets alive, but they are going to need to be much better if they want to keep pressure on those ahead of them in the standings. Sanchez threw four touchdowns, but still struggled mightily for the majority of the game. Their defense held on three passes into the end zone at the end, but they couldn’t get off the field all day and memories of Denver were rolling across all minds at the end of the game. Antonio Cromartie muffed a punt, making it three straight weeks with a special teams turnover, and, generally, the Jets didn’t play well on Sunday.
But they won. Given their situation, that’s the most important thing to take away from the game.