Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three fourth-quarter interceptions to help the Buffalo Bills secure a 22-17 win over the New York Jets in Week 17. The Bills will finish the season with two straight wins and an 8-8 record.
Coupled with a Pittsburgh Steelers win over Cleveland, the Bills' upset win knocks the Jets out of the AFC playoff picture. The Bills and head coach Rex Ryan complete the season sweep of the Jets with the win (both final scores coming in at 22-17, coincidentally), and the Bills have won five straight games against the Jets dating back to the 2013 season.
Ryan's defense, maligned for its disappointing season on the whole, played the Jets exceedingly well given how many players were out of the lineup. Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes, but completed just 16-of-37 passes with the three picks on a windy day at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Juxtaposed with the steady play of Tyrod Taylor (18-of-28, 182 yards, 51 rushing yards, one touchdown, zero turnovers), the men under center proved to be the difference in the game.
Buffalo's efficiency on offense extended beyond Taylor, who led the team in rushing; aided by a huge effort from Sammy Watkins (11 receptions for 136 yards), the Bills were able to convert 9-of-20 third down opportunities. They were also 2-for-2 on fourth down conversions. Those extended drives helped the Bills control the ball for over 39 minutes in the contest, which helped the team's undermanned defense perform in the clutch.
We'll have more on this game, and the Bills' 8-8 2015 season as a whole, starting tomorrow. For now, there's no reason not to enjoy an upset win that knocks a division opponent out of the playoffs, right?