It could have cost the Jets the game or gone a long way toward it, but as he’s known to do, Brett Favre made up for his mistake.
After throwing a pick-six to Jabari Greer that made it 23-17 with just under 11 minutes to play, Favre went to work by milking 8:41 off the clock—the Jets’ longest this season—courtesy of a 14-play, 51-yard drive that resulted in a 31-yard field goal and sucked the life out of the Ralph Wilson Stadium crowd.
“I was nervous, to be honest,” Favre said. “That drive was one of the most important for us offensively all year, not only because it helped us win the game. It was a statement drive, not only to other teams but to ourselves.”
In a game that featured both the seemingly inevitable good and bad of Brett Favre, the good prevailed. With zero touchdown passes, Favre was a big reason the Jets got a big win Sunday at Buffalo.
The Jets improved to 5-3, including a 2-1 division mark, while the Bills dropped their first division game of the season and fell to 5-3.
For the Jets, it was a must win game as ever.
“It means a lot,” Favre said. “This is a tough place to play. Any win is a great win, but this one today’s great.”
The Jets got off to a slightly slow and frustrating start when they tallied 29 penalty yards in the first quarter.
While there were several points that sparked the Jets throughout the game, CB Darrelle Revis got things started in the first quarter when the Jets’ secondary came alive.
Revis blitzed on first down, taking down Bills QB Trent Edwards for a loss of nine and forcing a fumble that Revis recovered, setting up a first-and-goal opportunity that only yielded a 26-yard Jay Feely field goal.
It was the next possession that gave Gang Green the lead for good, sparking a team that needed exactly that.
Inside the red zone on third-and-goal, Edwards threw short to WR Roscoe Parrish and right into the arms of S Abram Elam. Elam took the ball 92 yards for a touchdown, giving the Jets a 13-7 lead on the last play of the first quarter.
Favre was 19-for-28 with 201 yards and an interception, allowing the defense to come up big in a big win.
“The game was important because it was a division game,” Mangini said. “I was looking for a complete game, complementary football, all three phases contributing at the same level, and that’s what I’m happy with.”
The Jets’ rush defense was stout, as it held Bills RB Marshawn Lynch to 16 yards on nine carries and Fred Jackson to 15 yards on seven. NT Kris Jenkins provided plenty of pressure on Edwards, sacking him twice and helping prevent the Bills larger-than-average offensive linemen from moving the pile and converting on a 4th-and-1 attempt in the second quarter.
Edwards was 24-for-35, throwing for 289 yards, a score and two interceptions, the last one made by Revis in the end zone on a desperate throw by Edwards.
The Jets extended their lead in the third quarter when Thomas Jones (12 carries for 69 yards) capped off a 4-play drive with a 7-yard touchdown run, his fifth rushing TD this season and sixth overall.
While Trent Edwards told the New York media early in the week that it wouldn’t have been good for him to throw seven interceptions in three games like Favre has done this season, it was Favre who got the last laugh against a younger player that still idolizes the salty-haired legend who still admits he has a ways to go in the Jets system.
“Things aren’t always what they seem,” Favre said. “You watch a game, and you’re like, ‘Hey, he’s got it all under control. Look at him.’ That’s one of the things they brought me in for.
“Keep things in check, keep things in control, compete your butt off, and I felt like I did that, but I’m not non-human.”
Regardless, it was a solid performance all around, and one that makes the Oakland loss seem much more distant than two weeks ago.
Coles Reaches Milestone
Laveranues Coles’ statline Sunday was modest at best. Three catches for 40 yards.
What his statline fails to mention is that his second catch of the game was the 600th of his career, making him the 46th receiver in league history to catch 600 passes.
Defense Flexing its Muscles
In each of the last three Jets victories (Cincinnati, Kansas City, and Buffalo), the defense has allowed a combined total of six points. The two touchdowns scored in the second half were on interceptions returned for touchdowns (vs. KC, at BUF). The Jets held the Bengals scoreless in the second half, and limited Kansas City and Buffalo to one field goal each.
The Jets held the Bills to 30 yards rushing on 17 carries (1.7 yards per carry), the lowest rushing total they have allowed in a game since they allowed only 25 yards to HOU, 11/26/06.
The Jets’ five sacks gave them 29 on the season through eight games, which matches their 2007 season total.
The sack recorded with 0:38 remaining in 4th quarter against Kansas City last week, originally credited to David Bowens, should be split by Bowens and Shaun Ellis. For the game, Bowens is now credited with one half-sack and Ellis 1.5 sacks.
GRADING THE JETS
The only reason this is not a C is because of the last drive that Favre led, taking time off the clock and the life out of Buffalo and its fans. While the offense wasn’t horrible, Favre had a pick-six, and the score could have been incredibly lopsided had it not been for stalled drives in the red zone that resulted in 3’s rather than 6’s. The offensive game ball goes to the O-line for not allowing Favre to be sacked once.
Darrelle Revis and Abram Elam should split the defensive game ball for their forced turnovers. There is no doubt that the defense carried Gang Green against the Bills, shutting down the Buffalo run game. Kris Jenkins had two sacks and four tackles, while the entire defensive unit had 5 sacks. Buffalo got a lot of help in drives from New York's self-inflicted wounds, but they never put themselves in too big of a hole.
The play calling worked, but I still don’t understand why offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer dialed up a pass play that resulted in an interception returned for a score. I know, Favre’s throw was awful and Jabari Greer played flawless coverage against Jerricho Cotchery, but when you have the lead in the fourth quarter and you have Thomas Jones and Leon Washington, there’s no need to take any chances in the air.