On Sunday, as the season changed to fall, the New York Jets (1-1) returned home to face another division rival, the Buffalo Bills (1-1). It was to be the first battle of the 2013 NFL Draft class rookie quarterbacks, EJ Manuel and Geno Smith. Smith and the Jets defense got the better of it and won 27-20 despite committing 20 penalties, a new team record.
The Jets received the opening kickoff with Chris Ivory starting at running back. On third down Geno Smith found Stephen Hill open for 45 yards to the Bills 32 yard line. To keep the drive going Smith found Jeremy Kerley in the middle and he ran the needed yardage for first down on a third and 17 yard play. Kerley also caught a third and three pass to put them in scoring position. Geno Smith called his own number and ran it in on second down for the Jets first score. Two Jets drives later on a third and 13 yard play Smith threw a beautiful, slightly high, pass that Santonio Holmes picked out of the air to put them at the 41 yard line, but the drive ended in a Ryan Quigley punt. On a third and one yard play that the Jets defense seemed to have Fred Jackson wrapped up on, he broke free for 59 yards.
The Jets defense held and Dan Carpenter kicked a 37-yard field goal to open the Bills scoring, making it 7-3 Jets. On the Jets next offensive play Smith was intercepted by former Jet Jim Leonhard as he came in front of a pass intended for Holmes. The defense would stiffen again as the Bills got inside the 10 yard line, and Carpenter hit another field goal to make the score 7-6. On the following Jets drive, Smith found Holmes and Hill for first downs to get the drive moving. Then just inside midfield, Smith connected with Hill who ran past the coverage for a 51-yard touchdown to make the score 14-6 Jets. The Bills drove and go for it on a fourth down and two yard play that Demario Davis recorded a sack of Manuel on. Confusion between Nick Mangold and Smith caused an early snap to go way down field that Powell fell upon. Muhammad Wilkerson recorded his first sack, the Bills would punt and the Jets got the ball back with less than 45 seconds left before halftime. Smith drove the Jets down quickly on a catch by Holmes, pass interference on pass intended for Kellen Winslow and run by Bilal Powell, in order for Nick Folk to make a 47-yard field goal as time expired.
After the Bills were forced to punt the Jets got a 21-yard run from Bilal Powell. A few plays later a catch by Santonio Holmes at the 48 yard line was ruled incomplete on replay which helped the Jets as Holmes fumbled the ball to the Bills. Then Holmes made up for it with a wonderful catch that moved the Jets down to the Bills 21 yard line. Unfortunately, Vlad Ducasse moved them backwards on back to back penalties, holding and then a false start. Smith found Jeff Cumberland to the 18 yard line and Folk connected from 34 yards to make it 20-6 Jets. Sheldon Richardson sacked EJ Manuel on the Bills next drive but Dan Carpenter made a 43-yard field goal to end the drive to make it 20-9. On the Jets next possession Smith was picked by Kiko Alonso, who returned it to the 13 yard line. The Jets defense held and allowed another Carpenter field goal, of 26 yards, to make it 20-12. The Jets got two more sacks on Manuel, one by Antonio Allen the other by Calvin Pace. Powell eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the first time with a 12-yard run to the right outside before the end of the period.
The Jets defense forced two Bills turnovers on the Bills next drive but both were negated by penalties including a "phantom" unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Kyle Wilson while trying to get off of Stevie Johnson since both had fallen down while in coverage. Darrin Walls came in for Wilson. Manuel connected with Chandler for a touchdown and Johnson for a two point conversion to tie the game at 20 apiece. David Harris was shaken up and came out for a few plays only to return to make a hit on Manuel. Wilkerson got his second sack of Manuel and the eighth overall for the team. Quigley punted after a delay of game penalty and Ellis Lankster saved the ball that was downed by Isaiah Trufant at the one yard line. The game ended as the Bills were unable to down the ball.
The New York Jets were fortunate to come away with their second win of the season, especially with the sloppy play of many offensive false starts, defensive encroachment penalties and more that totaled 168 yards for the Bills. Next week they travel to Tennessee to face the Titans in a game that starts at 4:05 p.m. on Sunday.
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