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Mistakes Cost Bills 17-7
Two missed field goals, two interceptions, and a fumble was the difference in the loss.
by Steve Saslow
Nov. 21, 1999
The difference in this one was five huge miscues by the Bills. Doug Flutie threw two interceptions deep in Jets territory and fumbled the ball in his own end zone that resulted in a Jets touchdown. Add two missed Steve Christie field goals to the mix and you have a devastating division loss that derails the Bills run for the AFC East title. All the steps they made with two impressive wins the last two weeks were wiped out on the turf of the New Jersey Meadowlands.
The defense played impressively once again holding the Jets to 208 yards total offense but the Bills offense were their own worst enemy. They gave the Jets seven points and had four scoring opportunities result in zero points. The defense forced a three and out on the first series and after the Bills moved the ball to midfield they were forced to punt but had the early field position edge. The Jets were forced to punt after six plays and the Bills used a pass interference penalty to get into field goal range. Christie missed the 40 yarder and the Jets had some momentum. They drove 70 yards in 7 plays and Ray Lucas took it himself the last 9 yards for the touchdown that gave the Jets the 7-0 lead.
The teams traded punts and the Bills were then pinned deep in their own territory and on third and 5 Flutie fumbled in his own end zone and it was recovered for a touchdown by Eric Ogbogu to give the Jets a 14-0 lead. Flutie was determined to make amends for the fumble and took the Bills on a long drive of 69 yards that ended in an interception by Victor Green. The Bills were on the 11 yard line and the hot read was to Bobby Collins, there was a miscommunication and Collins turned inside on the ball went right to Green who returned it 32 yards to the Jets 41 yard line. That ended the first chance the Bills had to get back in the game.
They went three and out the first two possessions of the second half while the Jets added a field goal to go up 17-0. Midway through the third quarter the offense got going by driving 66 yards using the no-huddle offense. Flutie had his best drive of the game hitting Jay Riemersma for 29 yards and Kevin Williams for 19 before Peerless Price caught his second NFL touchdown to cut the lead to 17-7.
The defense shut the Jets down from there including a huge stop on 4th and 1 where Martin gained no yards with less than four minutes to go in the game giving the Bills one final chance to get back in the game. Flutie responded by driving to the 10 yard line led by his 15 yard scramble on 4th and 2. But he turned the ball over one final time having a pass deflected and picked off by defensive lineman Jason Wiltz to seal the victory for the Jets.
The Jets continue to play spoilers in the tough AFC East and the loss drops the Bills back to where they were before the impressive win against Miami last week. Next week's game against New England is a must and the Bills can't afford to many more days like today, if they are going to make the playoffs let alone a run at the division title.
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