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Bills Lose Heartbreaker 28-24
Fourth straight loss came down to the wire.
by Steve Saslow
Week 12
Bills  24
Jets  28
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
Mark Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes for a 16 yard touchdown with 1:01 left to lift the Jets to a 28-24 win over the Bills. Buffalo battled tough throughout as a last minute drive fell short after Stevie Johnson dropped a wide open pass. If he caught it, he would likely have sailed into the end zone. Ryan Fitzpatrick also missed Johnson in the end zone on a scramble. The ill-fated drive ended at the Jets 24. Fitzpatrick threw three touchdown passes to David Nelson, Brad Smith, and Johnson. It was a seesaw battle as the teams traded touchdowns before Dave Rayner hit a 53 yard field goal to give the Bills a 24-21 lead before the Jets game winning drive.

The Turning Point:
I'll take the Johnson penalty. He was called for a boneheaded celebration penalty on his touchdown when he simulated Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg. The play may have awakened a sleeping dog. The Jets dominated the game after the Bills botched the ensuing kickoff

The Big Drive:
Has to be the Jets game winning drive. It was a 12 play, 82 yard drive that took 4:43. Greene had an 11 yard run and Burress caught a 14 yarder early in the drive. Patrick Turner converted a 3rd and 8 with a big 12 yard catch. Burress made a very nice 18 yard catch to convert a 3rd and 11 and setup Sanchez's 16 yard touchdown pass when Sanchez rolled to his right to buy time and found Holmes in the end zone.

Stat I Did Like:
Fitzpatrick's Passing Line: 26 of 39 for 264 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and a 111.5 QB rating.

Stat I Didn't Like:
Penalties: 9 of them for 85 yards. They were at least three 15 yard penalties. Six of them on the offensive line by four different players.

Quick Slants:
- The crowd was very quiet early in the game and started booing early when the Jets were forced to punt on their first two possessions.
- The offensive line committed two holding penalties on the Bills second possession, something we haven't seen that much of this year. They overcame them on the 90 yard drive for their first TD.
- Johnson was called for a boneheaded celebration penalty when he simulated Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg. It may have been bad karma because minutes later Burress tied the game with a touchdown.
- Burress's score was setup when Chan Gailey tried a squib kick when kicking off from their own 20 after Johnson's penalty. The ball hit an upfield player it was designed to bounce down the field.

My Take:
This was a heartbreaking loss and hurts a lot but in a way it doesn't hurt as much as the last three losses. That is because they battled hard and never gave up until the very end. They showed the team still had life in it. The big story will be the Johnson penalty and I am on the side as thinking it was boneheaded and he shouldn't have did it. It seemed to come back and bite him in the ass as Burress promptly scored and Johnson dropped a sure winning TD pass. Johnson regretted the penalty and said he felt it cost the Bills the game. It didn't since the Bills didn't allow it to kill them. His drop at the end did cost them the game however. Will the team remain focused and play just as hard with the playoffs all but out of reach? We will find out as another December of meaningless football in Western New York.

What's Ahead:
The Bills head back to Ralph Wilson Stadium for only the 2nd time in two months when they face the Tennessee Titans. It begins a string of three home games in four weeks in month of the December.


  • Ryan Fitzpatrick - Had nice command of the offense and made a lot of plays with a depleted offensive unit missing many starters.
  • Stevie Johnson - He owned Revis Island with 8 catches for 75 yards.

  • Goats
  • Stevie Johnson - He had a great game and a bad game all at the same time that is why he got a gameball and a goat. His drop and penalty were killers in this game.
  • Marcell Dareus - Was sick which may have contributed to his awful game. Made two bad penalties including a bad unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
  • Offensive Line - 6 penalties, no running lanes, and Fitz got knocked around pretty good.
  • Spencer Johnson - Couldn't stop anybody from getting around the edge for big gains.

  • Player Of The Week
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick - Had his best game in a month.

  • Positional Breakdown and Grades Gamebook
    Jets Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage

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