Week 6 Game Recap: New York Jets 17, Buffalo Bills 27
What you need to know
The Jets lost for the fifth straight time on the road and turned the ball over three times in this game. C Kevin Mawae injured his elbow in the second half and did not return.
QB Vinny Testaverde did not look comfortable at any time against the Bills’ pass defense. He was sacked five times, intercepted twice, and lost a fumble. The crowd made it difficult for him early in the game. Testaverde appeared to favor Justin McCareins over Laveranues Coles, hitting McCareins for five gains of 18 yards or more and helping him to his first career 100 yard game. Testaverde fumbled two snaps, losing possession on one, but did run in a touchdown on a quarterback sneak.
The Jets were able to move the ball on the ground against the troubled Bills run defense. Curtis Martin had runs of 49 yards and 41 yards after the Jets’ previous longest gain from scrimmage on the season was just 16 yards. Martin and Testaverde both scored rushing touchdowns.
The Jets’ defense intercepted Holcomb twice and sacked him once, but were unable to generate consistent pressure against the pass. DE John Abraham was hurt early in the game and was continually in and out of the lineup, missing a lot of time. Ty Law had a big first half but missed extensive time after that with injuries to his back and groin. The run defense was even worse, allowing the Bills 177 net rushing yards and a touchdown.
The Bills improved to 3-3 and a share of the divisional lead. They were able to start their first string offensive line for the first time since the opening game as Mike Williams and Chris Villarrial returned to the lineup, and they ended with their highest points total of the season. The passing game has yet to generate 200 yards in any game this season but is looking to be more of a threat since Holcomb took over at quarterback. The Bills’ offense held the ball for over 38 minutes.
Holcomb threw two touchdowns, to Moulds and Smith, and again favored Eric Moulds over the other receivers. The passing game was a big enough threat to open up running room for Willis McGahee who had his tenth 100 yard game for the Bills and also found the end zone for the fourth straight week.
The Bills’ pass defense was very effective, sacking Testaverde five times and intercepting the ball twice. The Bills’ third turnover of the game came when they recovered a fumbled snap from Testaverde.
What you ought to know
The Bills pressured Testaverde well, sacking him five times, intercepting twice, and recovering one of his fumbled snaps. Testaverde actually fumbled two snaps on the day and threw several poor passes. Some lacked accuracy while others fell short. He favored McCareins in this game and found him for five completions of 18 yards or over. Testaverde also scored on a one yard sneak in the third quarter. Basically, he looked more like the rusty guy we might have expected last week in his first game back. He did score on a QB sneak.
Martin was the only back to carry the ball for the Jets. He had two big gains; one of 49 yards and another of 41 yards, the Jets’ two biggest plays from scrimmage so far this season. Martin scored the Jets’ opening touchdown with a one yard run in the second quarter, and was stopped a few inches short of the goal line on another drive before Testaverde scored on a sneak. Martin was not utilized in the passing game until late in the fourth quarter when he gained a total of three yards on two targets. Martin recovered on of Testaverde’s fumbled snaps and ended the day with his first 100 yard game of the season.
McCareins was clearly Testaverde’s most productive receiver, ending the day with 116 yards. All five of his receptions were for at least 18 yards. He had consecutive gains of 29 yards and 28 yards and was then targeted in the end zone on the next play but the pass was broken up by Terrence McGee. This was the first time that McCareins had ever had a 100 yard game.
Coles was the secondary target in this game. His longest catch of the day was for 14 yards and a first down. He made one great catch on the sideline for a ten yard gain and another first down. Coles drew a pass interference call on Terrence McGee in the end zone to give the Jets a first and goal at the one yard line.
Chrebet caught his only target of the day for a nine yard gain.
The rookie was targeted once in the game in the end zone, but the ball was badly overthrown.
Baker did not have a catch in the game.
After missing two field goals last week, Nugent was perfect in this game. He nailed a 44 yard field goal and both extra point attempts. The Jets chose to punt rather than try a long field goal attempt in the second half.
The Jets’ rush defense struggled in this game, allowing 177 net rushing yards. McGahee was able to move the ball easily, often dragging tacklers with him. The defense gave up a 23 yard run on the third play of the day and it set the tone for the remainder of the game. Jonathan Vilma led the Jets with eight solo tackles and four assists, and was aided in the first half by Ty Law who was used to stop the run frequently. Law should have recovered a Holcomb fumble but allowed Holcomb to get the ball back.
The Jets managed to contain Kelly Holcomb, allowing 164 net passing yards on the day. Shaun Ellis sacked Holcomb on the Bills’ opening possession, but the Jets still conceded a touchdown on that drive. The Jets allowed Eric Moulds to score on a 15 yard reception after Ty Law had the chance to recover a Holcomb fumble on the previous play. Law did make one interception in the first half when Holcomb looked long for Lee Evans. Mark Brown made a big play on the Bills’ second possession of the second half when he intercepted Holcomb and took the ball to the one yard line, setting up a Vinny Testaverde one yard sneak.
|QB Kelly Holcomb, Pass: 18 - 26 - 172 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - -2 - 0|
Holcomb won his second straight start after replacing J.P. Losman last week. He started the game strongly, leading the Bills to a 60 yard score on the opening drive and finding four different receivers. The drive ended in an eight yard pass to Jonathan Smith. Holcomb found Moulds for a 15 yard touchdown on the Bills’ third drive before being intercepted twice later in the game. The Bills again failed to reach 200 yards passing for the fifth straight game. Holcomb looked to Moulds most often and clearly sees him as the number one option in the passing game. The longest completion of the day was to TE Mark Campbell for 27 yards to set up a 38 yard field goal and give the Bills a ten point lead with under six minutes remaining in the game.
McGahee ran very hard and scored for the fourth straight week. He had three first downs on the opening drive, including a gain of 23 yards. He reached 100 yards for the tenth time in his career. McGahee was effective running right, left, or up the middle, perhaps due to the fact that the Bills were able to field their preferred starters on the offensive line for only the second time this season. McGahee had four first downs on the Bills’ third possession which ended in a 15 yard score for Eric Moulds. The Bills went straight back to McGahee on their opening possession of the second half. He ran for a first down, caught a pass for another, and then dragged tacklers with him to the one yard line before scoring to end an 82 yard drive. That was the Bills’ first touchdown of the second half in any game this season. McGahee ended the day with 143 yards and a touchdown, and caught three of his five targets for a further 24 yards.
Williams was used to spell McGahee. His longest run was for 21 yards and a first down.
Moulds was again Holcomb’s favorite target. He caught a 15 yard touchdown pass on the Bills’ third possession and made two other key catches for first downs in the game. Moulds caught a pass for the 116th straight game, a franchise record. He seems to be featured much more heavily with Holcomb under center.
|WR Lee Evans, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (6 targets)|
Evans was not much of a factor in the game, catching three of his six targets for 22 yards. He was the intended target on both of Holcomb’s interceptions.
Smith’s only target in the game came on the Bills’ opening drive when he made an excellent move to find the end zone for an eight yard score.
Reed was only targeted once in the game, making a 17 yard gain.
Campbell caught two of his three targets. His main contribution was an outstanding 27 yard catch to set up the Bills’ final field goal.
Lindell made all of his kicks, including field goals of 50 yards and 38 yards and all three extra point attempts. The 50 yarder was his longest of the season.
The Bills gave up 149 net rushing yards and have yet to solve the problem caused by the loss of LB Takeo Spikes early in the season. Curtis Martin had two gains of over 40 yards and both Martin and Testaverde ran in a touchdown. There were no dominant linebackers for the Bills as the leading tacklers were both defensive backs, but London Fletcher recovered a fumbled snap from Testaverde.
The pass defense continues to play at a high level. The Bills recorded five sacks on the day, two from Ryan Denney, and one each from Angelo Crowell, Sam Adams and Tim Anderson. Crowell had an interception, as did Terrence McGee. McGee almost had another interception after Justin McCareins slipped. McCareins was able to make five significant gains, but the defense only allowed 126 net passing yards on the day.