For the second week in a row, the CBS announcers were once again Dick Enberg and Randy Cross. The bills were in their throwback jerseys, and Bills QB J.P. Losman started the game with a long throw to WR Peerless Price working against CB David Barrett for 18 yards. The next throw was about a 7-yarder to WR Roscoe Parrish, who caught it in between CB Andre Dyson and FS Kerry Rhodes and turned it into about a 50 yard touchdown. Think back to some of those "Tone Time" catches we've seen this past season.
The Jets were then pinned on their own 8. OC Brian Schottenheimer tried a run with RB Kevan Barlow, a quick pass to the flat to WR Laveranues Coles, and then a run with FB B.J. Askew. I don't think I need t Askew if the backs set the Barlow this year. If only we could find someone with the heart of a Leon.
Losman then completed another long throw to Parrish, working against DB Derrick Strait. The Bills then went to the run with RB WIllis McGahee. DE Shaun Ellis, falling to the ground with the RG over him, was able to reach for McGahee's ankle and slow him down, and OLB Bryan Thomas jumped on top. On the next play, NT DeWayne Robertson pressured the QB, but the RG seemed to let him go one on one against the C as Losman tried a screen to McGahee which he couldn't catch. DT Kimo von Oelhoffen almost intercepted it, but both his hands were all taped up. The announcers then mentioned that Kimo is only two weeks younger than HC Eric Mangini, who by the way, was the youngest NFL HC that year, in case you didn't know.
After trying another deep pass to Price which was defended by Strait and Barrett, the Bills sent out K Rian Lindell. At the snap, Bills OT Jason Peters pulled to the left and the holder tossed the football forward to him, but it hit his back and fell incomplete.
The Jets then took over at their own 35. Barlow ran for no gain. WR Jerricho Cotchery motioned from wide left to the slot, and WR Brad Smith lined up as RB behind QB Chad Pennington. Smith then ran to the right, but Chad elected to try TE Chris Baker in the middle, who was surrounded by two defenders and couldn't catch it. Brad was open, and I think he could have made something happen if Pennington chose to go to him. The next play was four wide, and Chad tried to pass to Coles, but he was immediately hit by three defenders. Cross commented that a throw like that should be a dart, which is not something we have seen from Chad all season.
Remember incidental face masks? Rhodes touched McGahee's face mask, and it was a five yard penalty. The Bills then went to McGahee again, but the Big Katt shot through the line and stopped him for a one yard gain. Losman then found Price for about twelve yards. LB Victor Hobson was called for roughing the passer. McGahee then ran twice for a first down, as the defensive line kept losing the battle in the trenches. Losman then got BT to jump off-sides. Mangini was not happy and took notes. The defense still couldn't get to the QB, but the coverage must have been good as the protection finally broke down and Losman ran out of the pocket and threw incomplete. On 3rd and 4 from the Jets 19, both Rhodes and SS Erik Coleman blitzed. Kerry hit Losman from behind, causing a fumble which LB Jonathan Vilma picked up and took to the Buffalo 22.
Still using pre-snap shifts and motions, Pennington found Baker for about 8 and then screened to rookie RB Leon Washington for about 10. But then WR Tim Dwight was called for a block in the back. Mangini was discussing something with Barlow on the sidelines, as he looked lost or confused on the previous play. Dwight then immediately received a talking to from the Mangenius. Later, Chad tried a short pass in the middle to Cotchery but it was deflected.
McGahee kept running through the holes provided by the Bills O-line. Losman then found Bills TE Robert Royal as Thomas seemed to pass him off to Vilma who failed to cover him. An offensive holding call made it difficult for Buffalo, and then a false start made it even tougher. A quick pass to Parrish got them to 4th and 3. Losman then passed to Reed who was immediately tackled by Coleman short of the marker.
Pennington connected with Coles on 3rd down. Then Brad came in under center and handed off to Leon for a short gain. After an imcompletion intended deep for Askew, Chad screened to Washington who used his moved to elude a couple of tackles and brought the ball from the New York 47 to the Buffalo 8. This was the play that opened up my eyes to Little Leon. An incidental face mask added five yards. Barlow then ran for the touchdown.
McGahee then ran for from his own 31 to the Jets 36, as the defense couldn't get off their blocks. McGahee kept running as Gang Green kept getting pushed back by the Bills O-line. Losman then tried a quick pass to Evans, and Drew Coleman almost picked it off. Lindell then made the field goal, followed a Jets three and out.
McGahee kept running, and with 5 minutes to go in the first half, he rushed for over 100 yards already. A blitz by Rhodes helped Thomas tackle him for a loss. DT Rashad Moore and DE Bobby Hamilton helped pressure the QB, and the Bills punted. Chad and LC moved the chains twice, and then Pennington found Cotchery at the 12 yard line. After moving it to first and goal at the 1, Chad play actioned to Barlow and Baker snuck out from right to left to catch a wide open touchdown.
In the second half, Leon was able to gain a first down by keeping his legs moving as he was falling backwards after a tackle. Players continue shifting on most if not every play. Despite Leon's roll, two consecutive quick throws to LC in the flat failed to gain much yardage, and the Jets punted. Passes to Evans moved the chains, but a blitz by Rhodes caused another fumble, this time picked up by Hobson at the Bills 33 and brought in for a score. Replay showed that Victor stepped on the chalk around the 5 but the Bills failed to challenge it.
There's a player named Pennington on the Buffalo sideline. Don't know much about him, but I've always noticed that.
Instead of sticking to the run, the Bills tried a deep pass and Price was called for offensive pass interference working against CB Justin Miller. Losman then went to the shotgun and three incomplete. Vilma, covering McGahee, was called for a very obvious illegal contact. Randy Cross described it as "mugging". Vilma then shot through the line, but McGahee ran past him for about 12. Hamilton came in and stopped McGahee for a short gain. Losman then threw two incompletions.
Dwight was hammered as he returned the punt. Strait rode the bike on the sidelines. As we have seen before, Brad started in the backfield and motioned to the right. This time he wasn't open and Chad's pass to Coles in the middle was deflected. I think Chad could have helped himself with a pump fake to get his receivers open. On 3rd and 10, Cotchery snagged a high throw for about 15. RG Brandon Moore was caught for a hold.
On 3rd down, Washington wowed us again. Pennington was in trouble as the rushers were closing in and tossed it to Leon. Washington jumped back a yard to elude a defender, then jumped forward to elude another by his feet, then back to elude two linemen running at him. He then ran around Brick who sealed the two, ran for a few yards, faked to the outside of two defenders and ran inside. He then broke a tackle and ran for about five more before being brought down. I wish you could see it.
I wonder why it wasn't on many of the highlights. Oh yeah. C Nick Mangold was ineligible downfield. Mangini was not happy. Pennington then rolled out and was sacked by Bills LB Chris Kelsay.
Losman completed to Reed against Miller and then later to Evans against Dyson. After running fairly well, the Bills then opted to pass deep to Evans, but he was well covered and intercepted by Barrett. Pennington threw two short passes to Coles and then to Cotchery who were both immediately drilled. J-Co was laid out on a third down pass down the middle, and it was incomplete.
P Ben Graham continued punting well and pinned the Bills around the ten. Losman then connected with Evans to their 40. Evans later caught it at the Jets 47. And then Reed caught it at the 15, as Losman had plenty of time with no pressure. On the reverse to Price, Vilma grabbed him from the back, but it was deemed a horse collar. On 3rd and goal, Losman faked a toss and Hamilton sacked him. Lindell made the field goal.
Pennington and Coles kept connecting, and on 4th and 1 at the Bills 34. The offense started in a power look, then shifted out wide. Chad kept the ball and ran for about 5. The offense kept eating the clock with short runs and passes. Barlow left the field with an injury and RB Cedric Houston came in and scored a touchdown.
Losman moved the ball, but pressure by Ellis and LB Eric Barton helped Hobson get a sack at midfield. Losman then found Evans at the Jets 34, at the 17, and at the 6. The Bills were called for delay on 4th and 1, and so it became 4th and 6. And then Losman escaped pressure and ran all the way to the end zone. Buffalo recovered the onside kick after LB Matt Chatham touched it first. However, the Bills didn't get a first down, and the Jets took over with 32 seconds left.
The final score was Jets 28 - Bills 20. CBS Announcer Shannon Sharpe was impressed. Next time we'll return to the exciting game against the Colts in the Meadowlands.