It was fitting that the Jets donned their all green Nike Color Rush uniforms Thursday night because they stepped down on the accelerator in the second half against the Bills. In snapping their three-game losing streak and moving to 4-5, the Jets finished what they started by crushing Buffalo with a 24-point run after intermission.
After taking a 10-7 lead at halftime, the Jets landed some hard body blows in the third quarter. A defense that had sacked QB Tyrod Taylor five times in the first half kept the pressure on and the offense added a pair of touchdowns on Josh McCown's 25-yard TD to Robby Anderson and veteran RB Matt Forte later added a 10-yard scoring run.
With a 24-7 advantage, the Jets kept hustling to the football. After Taylor connected with TE Logan Thomas on a long gain, rookie S Marcus Maye ripped it loose and fellow rookie Jamal Adams recovered for the team's second takeaway.
Top Snapshots from the Week 9 Matchup Between the Jets and Bills at MetLife Stadium
Against a defense that entered the contest with 17 takeaways, the Green & White played a clean game throughout and protected the football. They had success running the ball early and then they kept it on the ground to put it away, totaling 194 yards on 41 attempts. In the third, Forté had a 20-yard run and Bilal Powell's dazzling 51-yard effort set up the former's first TD in 2017.
"We challenged the O-Line about running the ball," McCown said. "They wanted it on their back, they were asking for and it's hats off to them for holding up their word."
The defense was dominant because the front seven consistently won in the trenches. The pressure was consistent and McCoy, coming off an 151-yard performance vs. the Raiders, had nowhere to go most of the night while totaling just 25 yards on 12 carries. He became a non-factor late and the Bills had no answers.
"Swarm. Get everybody to the ball. He's one of the best backs in the league, without a doubt," said head coach Todd Bowles of defending McCoy. "He made a play in the first quarter where he spun back on Jordan (Jenkins) where you can't do anything but tip your hat to the guy. We just tried to swarm everybody to the ball."
Outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins, who had the first two-sack effort of his career, effectively put the Bills away for good. His vicious strip-sack of Taylor was returned by Demario Davis to the Buffalo five-yard-line. Forté (14-77-2TD) took it in from there and it was a runaway.
"We just knew there was blood in the water and we just had to keep finishing," Jenkins said. "We just fed off of each other's engery. From that first sack, we just kept going. We were relentless out there today and we need to keep that going moving forward."
At 4-5, the Jets will get a long weekend of rest before getting back to work on Monday. They'll have a chance to reach .500 the following Sunday in Tampa. For a team some questioned was "tanking" before the season, the Jets showed they have plenty left in the tank with a 24-point second half explosion against the Bills.
"We just wanted to finish," said rookie safety Jamal Adams. "We finished better as a group and we got that W."