Buffalo will have Matt Milano, Tre White and Cam Lewis all available. However, Milano and Lewis did not start the game.
The Bills won the toss and elected to defer. The Jets get the ball first.
The Jets waltz down the field on their opening possession, but a combo Trent Murphy/AJ Epenesa sack gets the Jets behind the sticks in the red zone. New York has to settle for a short Sergio Castillo field goal. It’s Castillo’s first ever NFL kick.
Josh Allen responds with a pretty good drive of his own. Buffalo goes 48 yards on six plays, but stalls at the Jets 28 yard line. Allen tried to force one into coverage in the end zone on third down. Tyler Bass then yanked a 45 yard field goal try and the Bills stayed off the scoreboard.
The Jets ran another seven minutes off the clock on their next drive and converted a third and 20 with a 22 yard pass from Sam Darnold to Braxton Berrios. However, Quinton Jefferson leads a monster stop on 4th and 1 from the Bills 18 yard line and the score remains 3-0 Jets.
Buffalo seems poised to take the lead when a 17 yard Allen scramble and a 15 yard pass to Reggie Gilliam sets the Bills up with first and goal at the seven. The series opens with an Ike Boettger holding penalty and ends with Allen getting stripped in the pocket. Jets recover the fumble and hold the 3-0 lead.
The first touchdown of the game belongs to the Jets. La’Mical Perine reaches out and touches the pylon with a five yard run on second and goal. White and Micah Hyde were called for pass interference penalties on the drive. Hyde’s seemed very ticky-tack, at best. The Jets never faced third down on the drive and all the yards were courtesy rookies Perine and receiver Denzel Mims (making his NFL debut). It’s the largest lead of the SEASON for the Jets at 10-0.
Bass makes up for his earlier miss by curling a 53 yarder just inside the left upright. The kick would have been easily good from ten yards further. Bills fans are holding their breath as Stefon Diggs stayed down on the field after the third down miss that precipitated the field goal try. He did pop up and walk off under his own power. It’s now 10-3 Jets.
Rookie Dane Jackson comes up with a huge interception to stop the Jets in the final minute of the first half. He sagged off his short zone to drop back and snag a terrible decision by Darnold. A Justin Zimmer roughing penalty kicks the Bills back to their own 27 yard line.
The flag doesn’t matter. Allen moves the Bills to the Jets 30 on five plays. The last is an alert super quick throw to Cole Beasley. The Bills had seven seconds left on the Jets 43 yard line. With a timeout, they needed a quick play. Allen took the snap and immediately hit Beasley slanting inside a sagged Jets secondary. Bass’ 48 yard field goal try is low and wobbly, but goes through easily and Buffalo goes to the locker room down 10-6.
Andre Roberts opens the second half with a 58 yard return down the right sideline. He took the ball five yards deep in the end zone and beat the Jets coverage to the sideline. Buffalo opens the second half already in Jets territory at the 47 yard line. After a first down, Isaiah McKenzie is dropped for an 11 yard loss on a jets sweep that was dead from the moment he got the ball. Bass delivers for a third straight time from long range. A 46 yard field goal gets Buffalo within one at 10-9.
The Bills defense follows by forcing the first punt of the game by either team. Taron Johnson gets his hand in to break up a pretty good third and long pass by Darnold. Roberts rips off another long return, but it’s negated by a Siran Neal holding penalty.
Buffalo started inside their own ten, but Allen got in a rhythm and easily moved the ball inside the Jets red zone. It looked like the Bills had a TD pass to Gabriel Davis, but an illegal formation penalty wiped it out. The drive stalled three plays later, but Bass nailed his fourth consecutive field goal–a 37 yarder. It was his first from inside 45 yards and gave the Bills a 12-10 lead.
A Dean Marlowe coverage sack opens the Jets next drive and the Bills defense smothers Darnold and company from there to force a quick three and out as the third quarter ends.
The Bills were a foot or two away from taking a commanding lead, but instead get nothing. A blown coverage left Tyler Kroft wide open down the sideline, but Allen’s pass was a touch high and outside. Kroft could not keep his footing after making the leaping catch and fell down his own at the 20 yard line. The Bills could only move the ball one yard further and Bass yanked a 37 yard field goal far left. The rookie kicker is now 4 for 6 and the lead remain just two points.
Another quick three and out for the Bills defense who have the Jets looking like… the Jets. Buffalo did catch a break when a formation penalty took a third down conversion off the board. The Jets got that break on the next play when Jerry Hughes forced a fumble on a scrambling Darnold, but the Jets recovered. Hughes got a zero yard sack on the play and the Jets again punted.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. The Bills get a drive together, but it stalls well short of the end zone. A Zack Moss 26 yard run gave Buffalo first and ten at the Jets 12 yard line, but no one could get open on third and five. Allen took a sack and Bass made his fifth field goal in seven tries. This one was from 29 yards and the Bills extend the lead to 15-10.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, too. The Jets go three and out again. Darnold is 1 of 7 throwing in the second half for four yards with two sacks.
Buffalo moves the ball inside Jets territory and could have sealed the game with one more first down. Instead, Allen was stopped on a third and one run. Bass ends up tying a Bills record with his sixth field goal make from 40 yards. He set a new team record with his eight field goal attempt of the game. Bills need one more stop to finish a less than inspiring win.
The Jets got one first down on an illegal Hyde hit, but Hughes deflected and then intercepted a Darnold pass to finish the win. Buffalo is now 5-2, beating the Jets 18-10.
Allen finished 30 of 43 for 307 yards, rushing for 61 yards on 11 carries. Cole Beasley led the Bills receiving corps with 11 catches for 112 yards. Tyler Bass scored the only points of the day, completing six of his eight attempted field goals. The sixth-round draft pick out of Georgia Southern set a new franchise record with eight field goal attempts and tied the franchise record for field goals made in a game. Both of those records were originally set by Steve Christie against the Jets on October 20, 1996.
The Bills defense only allowed four yards in the second half, totaling six sacks, three tackles for loss, and two interceptions in the game. Rookie Dane Jackson and Jerry Hughes added the picks, including Hughes’ to seal the game.
“The stats speak for themselves there are certainly things we did well,” said head coach Sean McDermott. “Moving the football to the middle of the field but we kinda hurt ourselves in the red zone, some self inflicted wounds there, coming up with threes instead of sevens, that’s what keeps a team in the game.”
Despite throwing more than 300 yards, Allen was frustrated with his own play, especially in the red zone.
“We got to find ways to finish in the end zone, I have to find ways on my part,” said Allen. “Couple penalties pushed us back, put us in a bad position. Shout out to T Bass for making those field goals and getting us the win.”