The game may not have counted for any style points, but the New York Jets still managed to pick up the win last Sunday.
In the most penalized game in franchise history, Gang Green pulled out a 27-20 win over division rival Buffalo. The game featured 20 penalty flags for the Jets for numerous mental errors but also saw them rack up the largest yardage total under the Ryan regime with 513 yards of total offense.
Adding to the historic game was the performance of Geno Smith who became the first Jets rookie quarterback to pass for over 300 yards and two touchdowns in a game. His 69-yard connection with Santonio Holmes put the Jets up by seven late and ultimately clinched the game for New York.
“I love the fact that our team found a way to win,” said Ryan postgame. “Take away all the other stuff, we found a way, we persevered and we won. That is really encouraging to me. That tells you about the fight and the spirit of this football team and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
The Jets were able to overcome all their penalty woes by putting together a complete performance of passing and running. This dynamic attack led to career highs for not only Smith, but also Holmes who looks to be back in form coming back from a Lisfranc injury. Holmes finished the day with 154 receiving yards and Bilal Powell also set a career high with 149 yards on the ground.
“I figured he did that against me four or five times, but 154 yards receiving is pretty impressive,” said Ryan jokingly. “Powell rushed for 149 yards…what a day. He’s durable, dependable. He’s just a much better player than he has been given credit for.”
The Jets held a 20-6 lead at one point during the game before penalties sent them free-falling into a 20-20 tie. Kyle Wilson emerged as the main culprit and took three penalties on the drive that tied the game for the Bills.
“We needed to get him out of there, sit back, think about it, calm down and that’s exactly what we did,” affirmed Ryan. “Kyle came back and responded, played well after that.”
The win now brings the Jets record against rookie quarterbacks under Ryan to 6-1. The offensive line managed to keep Smith upright throughout the game as they did not allow one sack to the Bills. Meanwhile, the Jets got to rookie E.J. Manuel a total of eight times and limited him to under a 50 percent completion rate. Ryan applauded the performance of his team but knows that the mental mistakes have to be worked on.
“I just want to be in every game because of our team,” Ryan said. “We overcame 20 penalties and overcame two turnovers to win a game. Just think how good can we be if we can eliminate the penalties and the turnovers.”