Jets Defense Wins Turnover Battle, Loses Game to Bills

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Even though the Jets fell to the Bills 17-16 when a double-digit lead evaporated, the defense provided somewhat of a silver lining as the unit recorded four takeaways and a safety. 

“We were pretty lights out in the beginning, the whole first half,” defensive lineman Leonard Williams said. “We scored on defense, got a safety, takeaways, everything that you’d want in a defense. We won the turnover margin, but at the end of the day, we were still out there on the field in a time where the defense could’ve stepped up and stopped them from scoring and we would’ve possibly won the game.”

The Bills’ offense was hot out of the gate but cooled off just as quickly. Quarterback Josh Allen and his group were marching downfield on the game’s opening series before Allen coughed up the ball as OLB Jordan Jenkins got around LT Dion Dawkins and recorded his fifth-career strip sack. Veteran D-lineman Steve McLendon fell on the rock and set the Jets up on their own 38-yard line.

On Buffalo’s ensuing possession, LB C.J. Mosley gave the Green & White a 6-0 lead with his second-career pick-six. Allen fired a short pass over the middle to new Bills slot receiver Cole Beasley, but the ball popped out of his hands and into Mosley’s lap, who ran it 17 yards for the score. Later in the half, Mosley recorded the defense’s third turnover as he scooped up a botched snap on fourth-and-1. 

“It was fun. The environment was great, the intensity was great,” said Mosley of his Jets debut. “As a team, we held each other accountable. We were out there playing our best, but it was tough to take a loss like that especially against a divisional opponent. It’s a learning experience for this team. In the media, people are going to say it’s just like last year, but like I said, we control what we can control. We’re going to go to work Monday and try to get better.”

With 1:06 remaining in the first half, the Jets defense registered its fourth turnover of the day — Harvey Langi blitzed off the right side and deflected Allen’s pass into the air, which eventually landed in LB Neville Hewitt’s hands.

After pitching a first-half shutout, the Green & White defense picked up where it left off following intermission. On the Bills’ first play of the second half, which started on their own 2-yard line, CB Brian Poole met RB Frank Gore at the goal line and pushed him back into the end zone for a safety that put the home team up 8-0.

“We came out in a bunch formation,” Poole said. “It was kind of a play we were studying all week in a backed-up formation and I saw it, so I just took my shot.”

Even though the defense was successful in forcing turnovers, the offense only capitalized on the safety with their lone scoring drive as Sam Darnold led the unit on a nine-play, 60-yard drive. And the defense yielded 14 points in the game’s decisive quarter as a winnable game slipped away.

“It’s frustrating. It’s a learning process,” said Mosley, who left the game in the third quarter with a groin injury. “As a defense, we can only control what we can control. We could’ve controlled the plays that they got in the fourth quarter. We got out of position some of those plays. We played good in the fourth and they played better.”

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