Not the same old Jets.
Sunday’s 20-17 win over the Bills changes everything. Had the Jets lost, they were risking a tailspin from 5-2 to 5-5, and perhaps worse. Last week’s disappointing loss to the Patriots had them trended in the wrong direction given how heavy a favorite Buffalo was. But this upset victory sends the Jets into their bye week with a boatload of momentum — and a shot at winning the AFC East for the first time in 20 seasons.
The Jets (and Dolphins) are now 6-3. The Bills remain a half-game up at 6-2. But the Jets now own wins over Buffalo and Miami. And if they can get their win back against the Patriots in two weeks, they will control their fate. Plus they have favorable matchups with the Bears, Lions and Jaguars in the second half to cushion their playoff push.
Quarterback Zach Wilson was efficient, protecting the football while throwing for 154 yards and a touchdown while also making things happen with his legs. Wideout Garrett Wilson (eight catches for 92 yards) and running back Michael Carter (12 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown) also had big days. And kicker Greg Zuerlein booted a game-winning 28-yard field goal with 1:23 to go. The Jets then held off a last-gasp drive by the Bills’ high-powered offense. Zuerlein also had a 53-yard field goal earlier in the game.
Buffalo jumped out to a 14-3 lead midway through the second quarter. But the Jets shut down Josh Allen and company from there. Allen was careless with the ball, throwing a pair of shaky interceptions. He did run for 86 yards and two scores.
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James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch[email protected]