The New York Jets capped their 2012 season with a loss to the Bills in Buffalo, 28-9. They finished with a 6-10 record and based upon losing to Tennessee and San Diego they will have the number nine pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Since the Bills ranked dead last against the run and with the coaching staff still not confident in Mark Sanchez, the Jets ran a lot in the first quarter. On Shonn Greene's third run for eight yards to the left he surpassed 1,000 yards for a second straight season. Sanchez would not connect with any receivers on the series, which ended with a Nick Folk 47-yard field goal. On the Jets' second series Bryan Scott intercepted Sanchez, trying to find Jeremy Kerley, and ran it in for a touchdown to put the Bills up 7-3.
The Jets continued the ground and pound that started just before the end of the first quarter and mixed in runs for Bilal Powell. Powell ran down the left side to the nine yard line to put the Jets at first and goal. Tim Tebow came in, for his only play all game, and handed off to Joe McKnight for a two yard gain. Greene would get three more but the Jets would have to settle for a 23-yard field goal from Folk that just made it over the crossbar after a deflection at the line. Greene would scamper for 13 yards to 35 yard line to start Jets next series. On a third down and 16 play Sanchez found Kerley along the sideline for 39 yards. Eventually Nick Folk would connect again, this time from 28 yards, to put Jets up 9-7. Buffalo would answer shortly after when on a delay screen pass from Fitzpatrick, CJ Spiller would run it in past a sleepy Jets defense, 66 yards, for another touchdown.
On the first play from scrimmage for the Bills, C.J. Spiller was stripped by Mike DeVito and Yeremiah Bell recovered running down to the 15 yard line. Greene would lose two yards then Powell ran for six on third down. Folk's 30-yard field goal attempt would be blocked leaving a golden scoring opportunity behind with nothing to show for it. When the Jets got the ball back, Sanchez targeted Kerley along left sideline for 40 yards. Then he found Edwards for five yards on second down, but it was negated by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Edwards taking his helmet off after play. When the Bills got the ball back they drove down to set up a 50-yard Ryan Lindell field goal attempt that went wide left. On the Jets next possession Sanchez fumbled when hit after pumping his arm. Lindell would get another shot at a field goal but missed again left on a 46-yard attempt.
Stevie Johnson would burn Darrin Walls in coverage for 37-yard gain on a pass along sideline. Eventually former Jet Brad Smith would run it in for the touchdown from three yards out to make it 21-9 Buffalo. The Jets would move the ball well after that score, including Jordan White making his first NFL catch, but on fourth and one Powell would be stopped and the ball turned over to the Bills. It seemed the Bills wanted a small measure of revenge for the beatdown they suffered in week one when on fourth down and four yards to go they could have kicked a sure field goal but instead Tashard Choice would run in for yet another touchdown.
To say this season was a disappointment for many fans, myself included, would be an understatement. The offense regressed and needs a major overhaul for 2013, while the defense will need a fine tuning and younger talent to step up. Hopefully special teams will benefit from a new coach as well as it seemed Mike Westhoff stayed one year too long.Tags: Football, Mark Sanchez, Mike DeVito, Mike Westhoff, New York, New York Jets, NFL, Nick Folk, Shonn Greene