It may not have been pretty, but the New York Jets improved to 2-1 Sunday by defeating the Buffalo Bills 27-20.
The Jets committed 20 penalties, two penalties shy of the NFL record, but still managed to pull out a victory at home on Sunday. Geno Smith showed improvement and beat fellow rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel. Smith threw for 331 yards on 16 of 29 passing, including two beautiful touchdown passes, hooking up with Stephen Hill for a 51-yard touchdown and Santonio Holmes for a 69-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that ended up being the game winner. Smith also rushed for a touchdown, but did throw two interceptions.
Coach Rex Ryan has to be happy with the way his team has battled to start the season. With a lot of question marks on offense, Geno Smith and the offense played exceptional. They gained 510 yards of total offense, and kept Smith from getting sacked for the first time all year.
Smith’s two touchdowns were both beautiful passes down the field. This was an encouraging sign after Smith struggled with the deep ball last week in New England. Along with Smith’s improved play, Bilal Powell rushed for 149 yards and both Holmes and Hill went over 100 yards receiving.
The Jets defense yesterday, and the whole year quite frankly, was stout. The Jets’ defense held the Bills to 328 yards of offense, and sacked Manuel eight times. They held the Bills offense to mostly field goals, only letting up one touchdown all game. Muhammad Wilkerson had two sacks and was a force on the outside all day. Quinton Coples made his season debut after the injury to his heel in the preseason, but played a limited role. Dee Milliner saw an even more limited role yesterday. Milliner played when the Bills had three wide receivers on the field, but when Kyle Wilson was benched for committing back-to-back penalties, Darrin Walls and not Milliner took his place.
The Jets have to be optimistic about the direction of their football team. They haven’t made it look pretty, but the Jets have fought in each of their first three games. Geno Smith is progressing, and the chemistry between Smith, Hill and Holmes is improving each week. Bilal Powell gave the Jets a big boost in the running game and the Jets young defense is getting better each week.