By JOHN WAWROW
AP Sports Writer
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) _ Bart Scott and the New York Jets are
accustomed to playing the role of villains. So the linebacker
didn’t feel any pangs of regret for putting a big dent in the
Buffalo Bills and their feel-good start.
“Everybody loves Cinderella stories,” Scott said, referring to
the Bills. “We’ve always been portrayed as the bad guys, but we
relish in that role.”
And just like that, the big, bad, brash-talking Jets are back
after Scott was part of a stifling 27-11 win in a key midseason AFC
East showdown on Sunday.
Rex Ryan’s defense forced three turnovers and twice stopped the
Bills on fourth down. The slow-starting Mark Sanchez-led offense
finally got into gear in the second half to help New York win its
third straight and improve to 5-3 and catch Buffalo and New England
in the standings.
“It’s totally attitude,” said defensive tackle Sione Pouha,
who had a team-leading seven tackles and forced a fumble.
“Jet-i-tude is the way we look at it. Today we displayed what Jet
football is all about.”
Having done away with Buffalo, the Jets were already looking
ahead to another AFC East showdown against the Patriots next
weekend. It’s a game Sanchez is already calling the “divisional
Sanchez overcame a pair of first-half turnovers to finish 20 of
28 for 230 yards and an 8-yard touchdown to Santonio Holmes.
LaDainian Tomlinson and John Conner scored on 1-yard plunges as the
Jets got their first road victory and handed the Bills their first
home loss (4-1).
The Bills looked nothing like the team that rolled through its
first seven games in attempting to get off to a 6-2 start for the
first time since 1993. They instead looked more like a team that’s
now lost four straight and six of seven against the Jets.
“We just couldn’t get anything going,” quarterback Ryan
Fitzpatrick said. “They kept us frustrated all day and didn’t
allow us to do what we’ve been doing all year.”
Fitzpatrick finished 15 of 31 for 191 yards and two
interceptions. He produced a mean-nothing 7-yard touchdown pass to
David Nelson with 3:14 left, and the quarterback then ran the ball
in for a 2-point conversion.
Through their first eight possessions, they had as many
turnovers _ three _ as they did first downs while also being held
to under 20 points for the first time this season.
So much for the statement the Bills hoped to deliver, or the
“It’s our turn” comment receiver Stevie Johnson made earlier in
“It’s disappointing,” said Johnson, who had three catches for
84 yards. “Nobody wants to lose against the Jets. That’s how we
feel in here.”
The loss came as a huge letdown for a pompom waving, passionate
fan-base that filled Ralph Wilson Stadium. Many of the fans wore
white to match their team wearing all white uniforms for the first
time since 1986.
“They played well and we played poorly,” Bills coach Chan
Gailey said. “It was a big ballgame. We haven’t had this happen at
home this year. And we’ve got to get better.”
It doesn’t get easier for the Bills, who now prepare to hit the
road for four of five games, including their next three.
The Jets took over in the third quarter, when they outscored the
Bills 17-3 to build a 20-3 lead.
Tomlinson scored 6:26 into the period to make it 13-0 three
plays after Pouha forced Fred Jackson to fumble. Sanchez then hit
Holmes for an 8-yard touchdown.
The Jets’ defense then sealed the win in the first minute of the
fourth quarter. With Buffalo threatening, Scott and Calvin Pace
combined to stuff Jackson for no gain on fourth-and-inches at the
New York 15 yard line.
The Jets responded with a 14-play, 84-yard drive capped by
New York continued to focus on its ground game which combined
for two scores and 126 yards _ the team’s second-best total of the
“I’m sure now there’s going to be something written about the
Jets being back,” Scott said. “And we won’t listen to that
either, because at the end of the day, we know that you guys (in
the media) don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”
Notes: Ryan said RB Shonn Greene was “a bit dizzy,” and was
held out for precautionary reasons. TE Dustin Keller returned after
hurting his head after landing hard on the turf in the first
quarter while attempting to hurdle two Bills defenders. … Nick
Folk hit two of three field-goal attempts, including a 50-yarder
into the wind. … Bills PK Rian Lindell hit a 24-yard field goal.
Lindell was having tests after the game after he hurt his right
shoulder while making a diving tackle on Joe McKnight’s kickoff
return to open the second half. … Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph
Wilson made his first appearance of the season at Orchard Park
after he missed his team’s first four home games while recovering
from a broken hip.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)