EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After last week’s five-point disappointing loss to the Patriots, the Jets were hoping to head into next week’s bye on a positive note.
But Gang Green would have to defeat a Buffalo Bills team that many experts consider the best team in the NFL at the halfway point of the year.
The Jets were 12.5-point home underdogs in Sunday’s affair, but someone forgot to tell the team that.
Jets (6-3) upset the Bills (6-2) 20-17 on a cloudy, off-and-on rainy 75-degree day at MetLife Stadium in front of a sellout crowd.
After throwing three interceptions against the Patriots, Zach Wilson had an efficient day as he completed 18 of 25 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown.
Gang Green’s rushing attack also played a huge role in the victory as the team registered 174 yards on the ground. Michael Carter led the way with 76 yards and a touchdown run.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who is considered one of the favorites for the MVP, struggled against the Jets defense. He completed 18 of 34 passes for 205 yards and two interceptions. The Jets defense also sacked Allen five times.
To begin the game, Braden Mann slipped on the opening kickoff as Bills cornerback Cam Lewis recovered on the team’s 45-yard line. Following a 42-yard pass play to Stefon Diggs, Jordan Whitehead intercepted a pass on the 14-yard-line.
Buffalo’s second drive of the afternoon went better than its first. The Bills drove 67 yards on 14 plays as Allen’s legs got the team into the end zone. An 11-yard run play by Allen set up a one-yard touchdown that gave Buffalo a 7-0 advantage.
The Jets got points on their second drive as well. A 15-yard pass play to Garrett Wilson, along with a facemask penalty against Jaquan Johnson on James Robinson helped the Jets get in field goal range as Greg Zuerlein cut Gang Green’s deficit to 7-3.
More than midway through the second quarter, the Bills again found the end zone after a Jets punt. Receptions of 14 and 17 yards by Diggs helped put Buffalo in Jets territory. On the 3rd and 2 on the Jets 36-yard line, Allen ran for a 36-yard touchdown, his second of the day as that extended the Bills lead to 14-3.
Before halftime, the Jets got into the end zone for the first time. A Wilson-to-Wilson connection for 24-yards put the Green and White into Bills’ territory. Then Carter’s 10-yard reception was followed up by a six-yard run, which cut the Bills’ lead to 14-10 at halftime.
Following the halftime break, the Jets received the ball and drove down the field to the Bills 22-yard-line before a 12-minute delay. The sky cam at MetLife Stadium fell down on the field and the officials halted the game, which called boos from both Jets and Bills fans.
Once the delay was over, the Jets offense couldn’t maintain the same momentum. On 3rd and 6, Wilson was stripped and sacked by Von Miller as A.J. Epenesa recovered as Buffalo took over on its 29.
However, the Jets would get the ball back two plays later as Sauce Gardner picked off Allen on the Bills 35-yard-line. Four plays later, Wilson found Robinson for a seven-yard touchdown reception that gave the Jets a 17-14 lead late in the third quarter.
The Bills tied the game at 17-17 on the next drive as running back James Cook helped them get into Jets territory. Once Buffalo’s drive stalled, Tyler Bass settled for a 51-yard field goal, which tied the game.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Jets went to their running game, which paid dividends. Robinson’s 16-yard run along with Carter’s 17-yarder had the fans chanting “let’s go Jets” as they were deep into Bills territory. The grind-it-out attack of the Jets took minutes off the clock. After a stop on third down, the Jets kicked a 22-yard field goal with gave them a 20-17 lead.
The Bills had one final chance to tie the game with less than two minutes left. A Bryce Huff sack and strip left Buffalo a 4th and 21 situation on their 14. But an Allen incompletion gave the Jets the win.
The Jets will have a bye during Week 10 before returning to the field on Nov. 21 as they will play at the Patriots. Buffalo will return home next week as it will take on the Minnesota Vikings.