After suffering a Week 1 loss at Buffalo, the New York Jets evened their season series with the Bills on Thursday Night Football.
Gang Green’s running game went on hiatus after running for 256 yards in their Week 4 win over Jacksonville, averaging just 60.1 yards per game. The hiatus ended Thursday night as Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte and Josh McCown combined to run for 194 yards.
Forte, after running for 100 yards and three touchdowns against the Bills in Week 2 last season, was the difference again for the Jets, running for 77 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Jets’ 34-21 win.
Entering the game, the Bills ranked third in the NFL in rushing yards allowed, averaging 80.1 yards per game.
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Three Is The Magic Number
This is the third time the Bills have started 5-2 since their last playoff appearance in 1999. This was the third time that they lost to the New York Jets in their eighth game of the season. That loss ruined the other two seasons in which it occurred.
2008: Started 5-2, lost their eighth game to Jets, 26-17, finished the season 7-9.
2011: Started 5-2, lost their eighth game to Jets, 27-11, finished the season 6-10.
2017: Started 5-2 lost their eighth game to Jets, 34-21, …finish the season?
Bills Do Themselves In
The Bills were their own worst enemy Thursday night, making several errors:
- Were penalized 11 times, tied for their most this season.
- Took a season-high seven sacks, five of which came against the blitz.
- Committed three turnovers and forced none. They had committed three turnovers in their first seven games combined.
- Lost two fumbles on completed passes. They hadn’t lost a fumble on a completed pass in their previous 24 games.
Sack Exchange Returns
The New York Jets dominated the line of scrimmage of both sides of the ball. Entering the game the Jets had just 11 sacks all season. Thursday night, they had seven.
Speaking of sacks, I’d like to officially welcome Muhammad Wilkerson back to the NFL. After being nearly invisible the first seven weeks of the season, Wilkerson has played like his 2015 Pro Bowl self the last two games. He recorded his second sack of the year and constantly pressured Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor on Thursday.
Jets First To Conquer Vegas
New York won its fourth game of the season. It is the first team to surpass its over/under win total as set by the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook (3 1/2 wins).
Robby Anderson Coming Alive
For the third straight game, Robby Anderson caught a touchdown pass. He now has 13 receptions for 187 yards and three touchdowns in his last three games.