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BILLS 31 - JETS 13

By Drew Buono
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
December 10th, 2006
Jet killer Willis McGahee runs for one of his 125 yards against Gang Green on Sunday. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Jet killer Willis McGahee runs for one of his 125 yards against Gang Green on Sunday. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Same old Jets?

Sure looks that way, after NY had a great opportunity to secure themselves as a playoff contender by defeating an inferior Buffalo team. Instead, thanks to 3 costly turnovers by QB Chad Pennington and 125 yards rushing from Bills RB Willis McGahee, the Jets laid a huge egg at home by being whalloped by Buffalo, 31-13.

The loss puts a huge dent in the team's playoff hopes.

After blowing out the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau field, the Jets allowed the same number of points in the first half than they did in the last two games combined. The Jets were able to keep it close in the first half, but the numbers would tell a different story.

By the end of the half, the Jets had run a total of 41 plays from scrimmage for only 194 yards. The Bills on the other hand, needed only 25 plays to gather 20 more yards than the Jets. The 21-13 halftime score was highlighted by big offensive and defensive plays by the Bills. RB Willis McGahee lit the Jets up again, this time for a 57-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Bills QB J.P. Losman added another big play when he connected on a 77-yard touchdown pass to WR Lee Evans. On top of that, CB Nate Clements intercepted QB Chad Pennington’s pass and took it 58-yards to the house. Head coach Eric Mangini said that some of the reasons why the team lost was, “too many big plays and too many yards in the run game.”

The Jets looked good early, taking a 10-7 lead early into the second quarter, when K Mike Nugent connected on a 30-yard field goal after the Jets defense recovered a fumble by Bills RB Anthony Thomas in Bill territory. But then, Pennington and his team fell apart in the third quarter.

First, it started with a fourth and one from the Buffalo 38 yard line. The Jets had a play in mind that fell apart by the quick response from the Bills. Mangini said the team was, “looking to get up to the line quickly and make a play before they (Buffalo) got set, but they did well getting ready.” The Jets then decided to take a delay of game penalty and give P Ben Graham more room to punt.

Pennington later fumbled the ball deep in Jets territory and the Bills wasted no time in scoring on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Losman to TE Robert Royal. Besides a few big plays by the Bills, the Jets handled their opponent pretty well. It’s too bad that all those big plays they allowed turned into Buffalo points.

The only good news for the Jets is that, Pennington found WR Laveranues Coles again. Coles had 4 catches for 67-yards and one touchdown. The running game though was nonexistent again as the team of Cedric Houston and Leon Washington provided no help to Pennington. They had 105 yards combined, which did not matter as none of their runs accounted for anything substantial to help the offense put points on the board.

Pennington again will be blamed for this loss as he had a miserable outing. He had two fumbles, one lost, two interceptions and was sacked two times. The offense revolves around Pennington and when he falls, the Jets fall as well, flat on their faces. Pennington commented that, “each week presents its own different challenges.”

The key for Pennington and the Jets is to be consistent which they weren’t today. The only consistency from this team is the loss, as this is the second time the Jets came into a game winning two in a row only to loss the third game to a team they should’ve beat.

The 18-point loss is the Jets worst home loss this season and second worst loss this season. The team now finds itself one game out of the playoff race after big wins by Cincinnati and Jacksonville today.

QB Kellen Clemens probably knew this as well because he would have been grimacing if he were watching his teammates on the field. In fact, he probably was grimacing after getting sacked by Bills DE Aaron Schobel late in the fourth quarter. OL Pete Kendall said that the Bills, “just played better than us and that you don’t come out on the right side when you give up three big plays.” S Kerry Rhodes summed up the Jets next move best by saying, “you learn in every situation, win or lose.” The Jets will need to study the game tape thoroughly if they want to get back in the playoff hunt because their schedule does not get any easier with two straight road games coming up against Minnesota and Miami.

INSIDER TIDBITS:

- K Mike Nugent set a new career high today in consecutive field goals made with 10. Nugent’s previous record was eight straight over the final games of his rookie season.

- The Jets dominated the time of possession for the game, 32:08 to 27:52 for the Bills, but the Bills only needed 3:03 of game time to score 21 points on their three big plays.

- McGahee torched the Jets again for 125 yards on 16 carries which included his 57-yard touchdown run, which is the longest of his career.

- CB Andre Dyson’s lone tackle in the game was the 300th of his career.

- Pennington after the game said that the team “did not look at this as a playoff implication game, we had four games to go in the season, not one where it decided if we would get in or not.”

- Coles touchdown reception was the 30th of his career and the 23rd with the Jets.

The Jets return to Hempstead tomorrow to review the game film and to address the media after Sunday’s loss. JetsInsider.com will have a complete recap following Monday’s events.

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