The Buffalo Bills put an end to a two-game losing skid Sunday afternoon against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Following losses to two of the National Football League's best teams in the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo took on the lone winless team in the NFL in the 0-7 Jets, defeating their AFC East rivals 18-10.
Despite more inconsistent play, kicker Tyler Bass came through for the Bills on Sunday when it was all said and done. The rookie kicker attempted a franchise single-game record eight field goals, and made six of them, tying a single-game team record set by Steve Christie in 1996.
Between Bass' efforts and a massive turnaround from the defense, the Bills managed to come out with a win and finish 2-0 against the Jets in a season for the first time since 2015.
It was, by no means, a pretty win for the Bills. For a while, it looked like the outcome of the game was going to be worse than just an ugly victory for Buffalo.
New York opened the game with an impressive drive, using a nice mix of run and pass plays to move down the field in efficient fashion. The Bills defense was able to stop the Jets' momentum with a combined sack by defensive ends Trent Murphy and A.J. Epenesa and then a nice pass break-up by cornerback Dane Jackson a few plays later, holding the Jets to a field goal.
The Bills responded well with their first offensive series. A pair of big gains on catches by Tyler Kroft and Cole Beasley quickly moved Buffalo into New York territory. The Bills had to settle for a field goal attempt of their own, but Bass' first kick of the afternoon was a missed 45-yard attempt wide to the left.
New York's second drive was about as successful as it's first. The Jets, once again, made it into the Bills' red zone, but were stopped on 4th-and-1 at the 19-yard line, turning the ball over back to Buffalo.
The Bills drove deeper in to Jets' territory than on the first possession. Buffalo had the ball first-and-goal at New York's seven-yard line, but a pair of penalties to the offensive line pushed the Bills back. The drive ended with Josh Allen fumbling on third down after getting sacked and the Jets recovering the ball at their own 20-yard line.
New York made good on the turnover with an 80-yard scoring drive in just seven plays. La'Mical Perine's five-yard rushing touchdown extended the Jets lead to 10-0 midway through the second quarter.
The Bills gathered themselves and weathered the storm a bit before the first half came to a close. Buffalo responded to the Jets' touchdown with a drive that ended in a career-long 53-yard field goal from Tyler Bass, cutting the deficit to 10-3.
Dane Jackson intercepted a Sam Darnold pass in the final minute of the second quarter, giving the Bills a chance to add points to the scoreboard before halftime. Bass nailed a 48-yard kick as time expired following a solid six-play, 43-yard drive by the Buffalo offense to set up the field goal attempt, making the score 10-6 at halftime.
Momentum continued to shift the Bills' way at the start of the third quarter. Andre Roberts took the second half opening kickoff 58 yards to the New York 47-yard line, giving the Bills offense a great spot to start their drive.
Buffalo didn't make the most of the short field though, and had to settle for just another three points as Bass made it 10-9 in favor of New York with a 46-yard field goal early in the third quarter.
After the Bills forced the Jets to punt, the first of the afternoon from either side, Buffalo took the lead for the first time with Bass' fourth field goal of the game, this time a 37-yard kick, to make it 12-10 with 1:37 to play in the third. Bass' fourth made kick capped-off a 14-play, 73-yard drive that took 7:23 off the clock. Bass extended the Buffalo lead to 15-10 midway through the fourth quarter with a 29-yard field goal.
The Bills defense continued it's stellar second half play as time ticked off the clock in the fourth quarter.
With it still being a one possession game, the Buffalo defense kept things tight and kept bringing pressure towards Darnold and the Jets. With 5:26 to play, Buffalo forced a third consecutive three-and-out from the Jets, forcing them to punt for the fourth time in the game.
The Bills took full control of the game following the punt, going on an eight-play drive that ended with Bass' sixth field goal of the afternoon, stretching the lead to 18-10 with 1:56 left.
After a solid first half, the New York offense was almost non-existent in the final two quarters. The Jets had just four net yards of offense in the second half, finishing the game with just 190 yards total compared to Buffalo's 422.
New York's five second half drives ended in punt, punt, punt, punt and lastly an interception. Jerry Hughes put a bow on a great second half for the Bills defense with a pick off of a tipped pass with 1:08 to play, sealing the win for Buffalo.
Darnold had a tough afternoon for the Jets, finishing 12-for-23 for 120 yards with two interceptions, was sacked six times, and had just one completion for four yards in the entire second half.
Allen had himself a nice bounce-back game, throwing for 307 yards and completing 30 passes on 43 attempts. Aside from the lost fumble early on and no touchdown passes, Allen had a pretty solid outing.
Cole Beasley had a big day for Buffalo, leading all receivers with 11 catches for 112 yards. Stefon Diggs had another solid game as well, catching six balls for 48 yards.
It took a while for Buffalo's run game to get going, but Zack Moss and Devin Singletary both got involved more as the second half rolled on, finishing with 47 and 29 rushing yards respectively. Allen finished with a team-high 61 yards on 11 carries for the Bills.
Hughes, along with his interception, tied for the Bills lead with Jordan Poyer and A.J. Klein with six total tackles. Hughes recorded two sacks for the Bills as well.
- 3-0 JETS - Jets field goal (8:46) – Sergio Castillo’s 29-yard field goal attempt is good
Drive info: 11 plays, 67 yards, 6:14
- 10-0 JETS - Jets touchdown (7:22) – La’Mical Perine rushes for a five-yard touchdown (Sergio Castillo’s extra point attempt is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards, 3:38
- 10-3 JETS - Bills field goal (2:42) – Tyler Bass’ 53-yard field goal attempt is good
Drive info: 10 plays, 42 yards, 4:40
- 10-6 JETS - Bills field goal (0:00) – Tyler Bass’ 48-yard field goal attempt is good
Drive info: 6 plays, 43 yards, 0:40
- 10-9 JETS - Bills field goal (10:35) – Tyler Bass’ 46-yard field goal attempt is good
Drive info: 9 plays, 19 yards, 4:25
- 12-10 BILLS - Bills field goal (1:37) – Tyler Bass’ 37-yard field goal attempt is good
Drive info: 14 plays, 73 yards, 7:23
- 15-10 BILLS - Bills field goal (6:04) – Tyler Bass’ 29-yard field goal attempt is good
Drive info: 8 plays, 46 yards, 4:28
- 18-10 BILLS - Bills field goal (2:00) – Tyler Bass’ 40-yard field goal attempt is good
Drive info: 8 plays, 37 yards, 3:18
The Bills will host the New England Patriots in another AFC East matchup on Sunday, Nov. 1 at Bills Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Be sure to hear all the action on WGR with John Murphy, Steve Tasker and Sal Capaccio on the call.