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Bills Snare Big Plays, Victory in The Meadowlands

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Evans grabs clinching TD from Losman (AP photo - Kathy Willens)

Coming off the resolution of a quarterback controversy, the Buffalo Bills entered their contest with the New York Jets on Sunday focused on the future. One sloppy effort, one gutsy pass and a clinching turnover later, the Bills picked up their third win of the season with a 13-3 victory in The Meadowlands.

It was J.P. Losman, however - not Trent Edwards - leading the Bills to victory in New York. Losman, who lost his job to Edwards last week after missing the last 3 games with a knee injury, entered the game in the third quarter after Edwards injured his throwing wrist. Two drives later, Losman and the offense had put up 10 straight points - enough to effectively seal the win.

Losman, Defense Provide Spark
Prior to his injury, Edwards was 14-of-21 passing for 130 yards and another interception; Edwards was efficient as usual, but an effective Jets blitz package was keeping the Bills' offense at bay. That wasn't the case with Losman (3/5, 113 yards, 1 TD) - with the game tied at 3, he immediately drove the ball down the field, hitting Lee Evans (5-138-1) on a 19-yard pass that set up Rian Lindell's game-winning field goal. After a forced punt, Losman sealed the deal with an 85-yard bomb to Evans that was more a result of Evans' effort than a great pass by Losman. Nonetheless, the veteran quarterback provided enough spark for the offense to finish off the game.

Meanwhile, Buffalo's defense was stellar throughout the contest, sacking Chad Pennington three times, forcing three turnovers and limiting an anemic Jets attack to just three points. Aaron Schobel continued his Jet domination, forcing two fumbles and sacking Pennington once; Angelo Crowell was very effective on the blitz (7 tackles, 1 sack); and Terrence McGee's interception of Jets QB Kellen Clemens really sealed the win late in the fourth quarter.

Not a Perfect Win
Despite the positives of this win (big plays, strong D and special teams, winning time of possession, third win in four games), this was far from a perfect performance for the Bills. Penalties plagued the team early, and the team finished the game with 7 yellow flags for 50 yards. With veteran RB Anthony Thomas sidelined, the Jets' pass rush was also problematic for the Bills, keeping them out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter.

Of particular worry was the seeming regression the team had against the run. Jets RB Thomas Jones was very effective in the contest, amassing 70 yards on 16 carries (4.4 ypc) and adding 34 more yards through the air. Jones was "held in check" not by Buffalo, but by Jets O-Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who inexplicably kept the ball in Pennington's hands for most of the contest. That, more than anything, may have been the biggest key to success for the Bills' defense.

Rumblings Game Balls
QB J.P. Losman: Whether you want to admit it or not, Losman got a raw deal when he was benched after his injury. The young veteran kept his head and remained a consummate professional, however, and made the plays necessary to win a division game on the road. If Edwards' wrist injury is serious, Losman may get the call against the Bengals next week.

RB Marshawn Lynch: Lynch's 80 yards on 21 carries is even more impressive when you consider that he played most of the game with an injured hip. Marshawn remains by far the most consistent threat our offense has, and is a big reason the Jets' defense wore down in the fourth quarter.

LB Angelo Crowell: The anchor of the defense today. He was seemingly constantly in the backfield on the blitz, picked up a sack and got his hands on a few passes as well. This guy's play has been superb over the past month.

Much more on the game tomorrow. Enjoy the victory, Bills fans!