Somehow, some way, the Buffalo Bills found a way to win Sunday.
Despite surrendering more than 300 yards on the ground, the Bills stunned the New York Jets, 16-13, in overtime Sunday. Buffalo recorded six interceptions on defense and a solid — if not spectacular — performance by backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who relieved Trent Edwards (concussion) in the first half.
And after missing a 46-yarder at the end of regulation, Rian Lindell provided the 47-yard exclamation point with 2:44 left in overtime for the win.
For the Bills (2-4), the win couldn’t have come at a better time. Last week’s 6-3 loss to the lowly Cleveland Browns was a new low for the Dick Jauron era. Now, there’s life.
“Anytime we play the Jets, you know it’s going to be a physical battle,” said linebacker Paul Posluszny, who had a crucial pick in his first game back from a broken arm. “It was also a long game. To go all the way into overtime like that, it was a very physical, tough, hard-fought win. It feels great to win. We needed this big-time.”
Buffalo’s defense was gashed by Thomas Jones (210 yards on 22 carries), but was able to stay in the game by robbing rookie Mark Sanchez for five picks. Sanchez never found a rhythm with Buffalo's secondary swarming to the ball all game. Rookie Jairus Byrd had a pair of interceptions, while Posluszny, Reggie Corner, George Wilson and John Wendling (on New York’s botched FG attempt) all had picks. Sanchez only completed 10-of-29 passes.
Fitzpatrick wasn’t much more accurate than Sanchez, completing only 10-of-25 passes for 116 yards. But his 37-yard bullet to Lee Evans for a touchdown was clearly the shot of adrenaline Buffalo’s offense had been missing. On the ground, Marshawn Lynch (61 yards on 19 carries) and Fred Jackson (52 yards on 15 carries) pounded away at New York’s vaunted 3-4 defense.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Terrell Owens, who was mostly shut down by New York’s Darrelle Revis. “It’s our first divisional win, so that’s a good thing. We are just going to try to build on this win and keep it going.”
Owens said Buffalo rallied around Fitzpatrick when Edwards went down with a concussion.
“He came in and obviously had to pick up the slack. He’s a guy that has to stay prepared. It’s kind of tough just standing on the sideline and then being thrown into the fire. But he came in with a lot of confidence and was zipping the ball around. We all rallied around each other, so it was a good win for us.”
Added Evans: “(Fitzpatrick) played really well. He stepped in and we didn’t miss a beat. When he came in he had complete control of the huddle and executed.”
Now at 2-4, the Bills - lost for dead a week ago - are alive and well.