Jets' Austin Howard stymies Bills' Williams

Mario Williams | Buffalo Bills

When Austin Howard was named the New York Jets starting right tackle midway through the preseason, no one knew what to expect. Now with his first start as a Jets under his belt, Howard showed he was more than deserving of the starting job.

Mario Williams struggled and Austin Howard shined. That was final outcome in a match up between superstar pass rusher and virtually unheard of offensive tackle.

Williams, the Buffalo Bills' $100 million man, was held without a sack or pressure on New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez thanks to the surprisingly stout play of Howard, who took over as the starting right tackle two weeks ago.

Gang Green easily-handled the recently-hyped Buffalo Bills, 48-28.

Howard, a third-year former journeyman and practice-squad pickup, had just one career start on his résumé prior to Sunday. But he handled his business just fine against the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.

"Austin had a monster challenge today and he really did answer the call there," Sanchez told the media after the game. "That was special for him. It was a big day for him and he was thrilled. He did a great job in the run game and great job in pass protection – and it was across the board."

Williams, however, wasn't as fond of Howard's play. After the game, Williams opened his meeting with the media by complaining about the referees not calling Howard for illegal hands to the face on "every" play.

"He's a hands to the face guy and they don't call it, so he will continue to do it," Williams said.

The fact is, Howard played like a guy with something to prove, and Williams played like a guy already content with what he has.

The Jets were thrilled with their new starting right tackle's season debut. Howard will get another good test next weekend, going against the always-tough Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive front.

Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for

You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland By: Recommended Stories