- Rich Wilhelm
Jets Hit on All Cylinders in Win Over Bills
Were both teams at full strength, no. Were both teams playing for anything but pride, no. With all of this being said, the Jets gave their fans something that had been missing since week two against you guessed it, the Buffalo Bills.
With key players out on each side of the ball, the Jets got to showcase their younger players. These players could very well be starters in the upcoming youth movement that will sweep over the team. The game again revolved around Bilal Powell who is cementing himself as a true RB1 in this Jets offense. Matt Forte was put on IR earlier in the week but Bilal didn't miss a beat. 122 yards on 22 carries and 3 receptions for 15 yards and a touchdown to end the season is not too shabby.
The young receiving core did the job even though there were some bad drops by Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa. Enunwa led the team with 81 yards on 5 catches, Anderson second with 43 yards on 4 catches. Jets fans were also excited to see Jalin Marshall healthy in the lineup and securing an athletic touchdown in which he stretched across the goal line. Ryan Fitzpatrick had no turnovers and threw for over 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. With that being said, he was far from perfect and could have had 3-4 interceptions on the day if the Bills defenders had better hands.
On the defensive side of the ball the Jets were on fire. Lets not beat around the bush here, EJ Manuel is one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL but the Jets took every opportunity. The Jets seemed allergic to sacks after week 2 but in this game they had three big sacks which was technically four with the bone crushing hit by newly acquired Lemonier. Revis even got into the action with a 51 yard interception return which was almost a pick six. Revis then gave up a 50 yard pass on the very next series but hey thats life as a Jets fan.
Sheldon Richardson had one of the best games of the year and raised his trade value if that is the route the Jets want to take. The feud between Richardson and Marshall continues to drag on but Richardson won this round. David Harris may be a cap casualty for the Jets in the offseason but he again led the team in tackles with 8. The youth movement was not far behind with Darron Lee finishing the day with 7.
Special teams showed up for the Jets in this game in the best way. It is always great when your team is on the positive side of a blooper reel. The Jets scored a special teams touchdown when the ball trickled into the end zone and was recovered by UDFA rookie Doug Middleton. Nick Folk was perfect on the day 3 for 3. Lachlan Edwards averaged 46.2 yards a punt and Jalin Marshall was solid with the return game.
It is always uplifting to end on a positive note. This could not be more true for Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan who had their jobs secured after the win. Strap in Jets fans this offseason is going to be a wild ride. The rebuild starts now.