The Buffalo Bills won their second straight game on Thursday night, a 22-17 road victory over the New York Jets that could have been much more easily secured than it ended up being.
After spotting the Jets an early 3-0 lead, the Bills rattled off 22 straight points through the third quarter, highlighted by a Duke Williams fumble return for a touchdown, and a 26-yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor to scoring machine rookie Karlos Williams.
Buffalo's attempt to salt the game away thereafter was largely unsuccessful, however, as Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes - one to Brandon Marshall, one to Eric Decker - to cut the Bills' lead to 22-17 with plenty of time to play. On ensuing drives, however, the Jets gave up field goal opportunities to try to convert on fourth down, and both times, they were not able to convert. With under a minute remaining in the game, Fitzpatrick threw an easy interception to Bacarri Rambo (who also forced two fumbles, recovering one, on the evening) to end the game and elicit this reaction from Rex Ryan:
#Bills Rex Ryan celebrates the win over the #Jets in subdued fashion. https://t.co/e37cZfQIff— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) November 13, 2015
Rambo was the star of the evening, directly involved in three of the four Jets turnovers that the Bills forced, but an unsung hero was running back LeSean McCoy. Playing on an offense that struggled to handle a good Jets defense for the bulk of the evening, McCoy was the constant, running for 112 yards on 19 carries and adding 47 yards on five receptions. He did that against the NFL's best run defense, and it helped the Bills build their lead and, after the Jets coughed away opportunities, put the game on ice.
The Bills are now 5-4 (and 3-1 in division play). The Jets are, too, but the head-to-head win puts the Bills in second place in the AFC East behind just the 8-0 New England Patriots, who happen to be Buffalo's next opponent. That game will occur in 11 days, and it will once again have major playoff implications.