The Jets' 27-20 win over the Bills this afternoon was rich with records and facts and distinctions. But the one item the Green & White are not happy about running up the tab on is their 20 penalties for 168 yards and eight first downs for the Bills.
"Yeah, I'm upset because of this," head coach Rex Ryan said. "We think we're working hard at it, but we have to find a way to get better. How many games are you going to win when you turn the ball over twice and commit 20 penalties? We have to get rid of the self-inflicted things."
The offense's 11 penalties — probably the most in a game in franchise history, definitely the most since the 1970 merger — for 90 yards were downsides to an otherwise awesome performance for a unit that produced 513 yards from scrimmage, 20 first downs and five scoring drives.
"I'm happy that things went well. We also had a lot of penalties, and that could've turned the game in a direction that wouldn't have been so favorable," tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson said diplomatically. "So I guess with the good there is some bad as well. I think we'll enjoy this win but recognize that we have work to do."
The defense similarly chalked up nine of those penalties — the most by a Jets D since logging 10 penalties at Cincinnati in 1985 — for 78 yards.
"That's a thing we really take an interest in as a team — we can't allow so many penalties," LB Demario Davis said. "We have a great accountability system, and I look forward to that improving down the stretch ... it's going to have to."
"I knew it was up there," said LB Calvin Pace. "We need to do better. I'll leave it at that."
The 20 penalties (not including two that weren't marked off by ref Scott Green and his crew) was a franchise record and was tied for the fourth-most in NFL history behind San Francisco (22 @ BUF in 1998), Baltimore (21 @ DET in 2005) and Cleveland (21 @ vs. CHI in 1951). The 168 penalty yards was also a franchise record but was merely tied for 22nd-most yards in a game in league history.
The eight first downs the Jets allowed via penalties was also close to the NFL mark of 10, set by Cleveland in 2012 and tied by Denver (at the Giants) this year.
Perhaps the one bright side to the yellow-flag fever that we suffered today: The special teams were not penalized once.
Racking Up the Sacks
Lost in the penalty talk was the increasing pressure our defense brought to bear on Bills rookie EJ Manuel, who was sacked eight times in the game — twice by Muhammad Wilkerson and once by six other Jets — and completed 45.2% of his passes (19-for-42).
"A guy like that, man, he's so good at knowing where his reads are at," said Davis, who had one of those sacks. "The thing we wanted to do was to make him hold the ball. Our coach had a good game plan and we had to go out and execute."
It's only the ninth time in franchise history that the Jets have racked up at least eight sacks in a game. The last time was against Phil Simms and the Giants in 1988. The last time we had nine: the 1981 regular-season finale against Lynn Dickey and the Packers.
Bilal Powell's 149 rushing yards was easily his career high and the most by a Jet since Shonn Greene's 161 vs. Indianapolis last year. The 182 team rushing yards were the most since the 252 also vs. the Colts in that game. ... LB Quinton Coples, playing in his first game since injuring his ankle in the second preseason game, fared well with three tackles, one for loss and two QB hits. "I had to get used to the game, but things went pretty well," Q said. "I feel pretty good. I don't feel any pain or anything now."
It was an eventful day for Ryan Quigley, who punted in his first game as a Jet and as an NFL player (not to mention becoming the first player whose last name begins with Q to play in a game in franchise history). Quigs' line: seven punts, 42.0-yard gross average, 41.4 net, no touchbacks, two inside-the-20's, including the pooch with 21 seconds to play that Ellis Lankster batted out of the end zone to Isaiah Trufant, who downed it at the Buffalo 1.