It was a spirited effort by a short-handed Bills team who lost their starting quarterback and a handful of other starters during the game, and in the end on a second attempt to win the game Rian Lindell put a 47-yard field goal through the uprights with 2:44 remaining in overtime to win 16-13 over the Jets.
"I kind of learned from the one at the end of regulation and just told myself to make sure you stay a little slower and usually if I do that and get my foot out in front of it and its timed up it's better," said Lindell of the game winner after missing a 46-yarder at the end of regulation.
"That was ridiculous. It feels great. It was a nice atmosphere in here and it always is after a win. Just the way we had to battle and kind of overcome the adversity. It was really nice to finally get a win."
"It sure was a great win for our football team and we certainly needed it," said head coach Dick Jauron. "I can't say enough about that group of guys. They won't quit no matter what happens. They just keep coming and they kept coming. Just a great win for our football team."
For the Bills it ended their three-game losing streak and was their first division win in nine tries spanning almost two seasons as Buffalo improved to 2-4 on the season.
"It was big for a lot of reasons," said Lee Evans. "For us as a team it's our first divisional win in a while. So it feels good all the way around."
The Bills came back from a 10-point first half deficit with their backup quarterback leading the offense. They had a chance to win in regulation, but a 46-yard attempt by Rian Lindell went wide right. Overtime followed and with the Jets getting the benefit of the first possession.
A 22-yard pass play from Mark Sanchez to Braylon Edwards, followed by a 33-yard run by Leon Washington put New York in position to kick a game winning field goal, but a holding penalty put them in a fourth down situation where they'd be attempting a 50-yard field goal. But a bobbled snap led to a fluttering pass by New York's punter that was intercepted by John Wendling.
Back and forth it went as both quarterbacks threw interceptions in the extra frame. Buffalo finally put themselves in position to win when the offense capitalized on Paul Posluszny's interception at the Buffalo 39.
"The five interceptions on defense really helped us out," said Posluszny. "Winning that turnover battle… we made the plays that we needed to make to win the game. We didn't play the perfect game by any means, because there were a lot of rushing ayrds that we'd like to have back. But when it came down to it we made the plays that we needed to make to win the game."
Relying primarily on their running game Buffalo grinded out 29 yards on nine plays to get Lindell a second crack to secure the victory.
The Bills secondary was very opportunistic as they had a stellar day against Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez picking him off four times, with Posluszny recording the last INT.
Jairus Byrd was responsible for two of the takeaways with George Wilson and Reggie Corner recording the others.
"From watching film sometimes he was a little careless with the ball," said Byrd of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. "I played him as USC in college so I kind of knew what kind of quarterback that he was. I didn't expect five, but we'll take it."
All those takeaways helped Buffalo's offense find its rhythm in the second half as they turned a 13-3 halftime deficit into a tie game down the stretch. Trailing 13-6 late in the third quarter Buffalo's offense led by Ryan Fitzpatrick marched 64 yards on six plays with Fitzpatrick firing a bullet on a quick slant to Lee Evans over the middle on a 3rd-and-7. Evans streaked through the secondary and down the middle of the field 37 yards for the touchdown to tie the game at 13.
"It was just a slant route and he put it on the money and gave me a chance to run with it afterwards," said Evans. "It was just a well executed play."
"It was one-on-one and we wanted to make sure to get the ball out quick," said Fitzpatrick. "They had a lot of guys coming on that play, which they always do on the third downs. You credit Alex Van Pelt for the play call, for the scheme that we had on third down and that's just Lee making a play. That's one of the guys knowing that we needed somebody to step up and Lee making a great play."
Fitzpatrick finished the game 10-25 for 116 yards a touchdown and an interception.
Trent Edwards was knocked out of the game when the game was tied at three early in the second quarter when he was hit high and low by Marques Douglas and David Harris on a 3rd-and-2 pass play for a sack. The Bills quarterback was helped to the sideline by trainers on his way off the field after suffering a concussion. He was taken to the locker room a short time later and did not return.
After his exit the Jets put up 10 unanswered points to close out the half and it could have been more had Jets kicker Jay Feely not missed a 44-yard attempt wide right at time expired in the first half.
The Jets run game had a couple of big hitters in the second quarter that led to those 10 points for New York as the Bills gave up 212 rushing yards in the first half alone. Thomas Jones had a 64-yard run down to the Bills 27-yard line. Buffalo's defense managed to only surrender a field goal with the Jets taking a 6-3 on Feely's 41-yarder.
On New York's very next series following a six-yard bootleg by Mark Sanchez, Jones took an inside hand-off 71-yard for a touchdown as the Jets' offensive line created a gaping hole to spring him for the score. It gave the Jets a 13-3 lead that they took to the locker room at the half.
"We were upset with the amount of rushing yards they had, but the vast majority was on just two plays," said Posluszny. "On both of those plays we knew we just made mistakes. We got out of our gaps and we knew it was something we could easily correct. When Perry came in at halftime he said all we had to do was not panic, stick with our game plan and stick with everything we know and it worked out for us."
Buffalo cut the Jets lead to 13-6 after Rian Lindell put a 25-yard attempt through midway through the third quarter to capitalize on an interception by George Wilson off Sanchez.
The Bills offense got off to a promising start after Buffalo's defense sent the Jets three-and-out on their first possession. Trent Edwards marched the unit down into the red zone on 4-4 passing for 34 yards with Lee Evans contributing a pair of receptions on the drive. Marshawn Lynch was also responsible for 22 all-purpose yards.
However, once Buffalo reached the red zone they've committed back-to-back penalties taking a 3rd-and-3 at the Jets six-yard line all the way back to the New York 21. After a six-yard catch by TerrellOwens was short of the first down marker, Rian Lindell came on to put a 33-yard field goal through the uprights for an early 3-0 lead.
The Jets responded on their ensuing possession thanks in part to a 12-men on the field penalty on the Bills during the Jets fourth down punt that created a fourth-and-inches situation for New York. Thomas Jones converted the 4th-and-inches to extend the drive, which resulted in a 23-yard field goal for the Jets to tie the score at three late in the first quarter.
But Buffalo ultimately pulled out the victory and it was sorely needed.
"It feels great," said Posluszny. "We needed this big time. We weren't in a great situation coming into this game. This is a huge win for us and for our confidence. It was a big win for us and our organization."
The win however, didn't come without a price. Head coach Dick Jauron confirmed that Edwards suffered a concussion, but did not provide a prognosis. Buffalo also lost Kyle Williams to a shoulder injury, tight end Shawn Nelson to a concussion and Donte Whitner with an ankle injury.
None of them returned to the game. Terrence McGee also suffered a chest contusion. All of the injured players will be re-evaluated Monday.
Buffalo returns to the road next week when they travel to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers for a 4 pm kickoff.