Final

Bills 27

(6-8, 3-4 away)

Jets 31

(9-5, 5-2 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, December 14, 2008

Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 

1 2 3 4 T
BUF 3 14 3 727
NYJ 14 7 0 1031

Top Performers

Passing: B. Favre (NYJ) - 207 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: M. Lynch (BUF) - 21 CAR, 127 YDS

Receiving: L. Coles (NYJ) - 5 REC, 82 YDS

Jets' Elam strips Losman; Ellis returns fumble for winning TD

Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Jets were facing a stinging loss that would've knocked them out of first place in the AFC East and severely damaged their playoff hopes.

Fast Facts

• Shaun Ellis' fumble return for a touchdown with 1:54 left (first career TD) won it for Jets, snapping their two-game losing skid.

• Jets outscored the Bills 10-7 in the fourth quarter despite not recording a first down.

• Thomas Jones sets a Jets record by scoring a TD in his eighth straight game.

• J.P. Losman (one TD, three interceptions) had three turnovers in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter (two interceptions, one fumble).

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

A bad play call, a big hit and a lucky bounce changed all that in an instant.

Abram Elam sacked J.P. Losman from behind and caused a fumble, and Shaun Ellis picked up the ball and rumbled 11 yards into the end zone with 1:54 left to give the Jets the go-ahead score in a 31-27 victory Sunday.

"That play that Shaun makes and Abe makes, who knows?" quarterback Brett Favre said. "At the end, we may look back and say that could be one of those plays that catapulted us into something great."

Maybe, but the Jets (9-5) looked nothing like a playoff team for most of this one as the Bills' once-dormant offense prospered against New York's struggling defense.

Buffalo (6-8) was nursing a 27-24 lead and close to wrapping up its first win against an AFC East opponent when Losman dropped back to throw and was hit from behind by a blitzing Elam. The ball squirted out and bounced around before Ellis grabbed it, tiptoed down the sideline and splashed into the end zone.

"I just kept running, got some good blocking and was able to get into the end zone," Ellis said.

Added running back Thomas Jones: "Me and Laveranues [Coles] said he jumped into the end zone like he was jumping in the pool."

The big play came as Ellis is dealing with legal troubles. He was arrested Nov. 29 and charged with possession of marijuana, speeding and driving without insurance after being pulled over by police in Hanover, N.J.

"Shaun has been Shaun, he hasn't changed," Favre said. "You find out a lot about people in tough times. If anything, guys rallied around him. It was good for this team that that play happened. And it was good for Shaun."

New York Jets Buffalo Bills

NFL.com Video

Watch highlights from the New York Jets' 31-27 win over the Buffalo Bills.

The Jets were surprised the Bills were passing in that situation, expecting Buffalo to try to run out the clock. After all, Marshawn Lynch gained 127 yards on 21 carries and New York was struggling to stop him. Instead, coach Dick Jauron overruled offensive coordinator Turk Schonert.

"Clearly the responsibility for the last call, the play-action pass, that was mine," Jauron said. "That goes right on me. It backfired clearly and caused us to lose the game. ... It's one of those times in a game that's pretty good for a pass, right before the 2-minute."

Jauron refused to blame Losman, making his second straight start for the injured Trent Edwards.

"It's on my shoulders to protect him, to keep him from that situation," Jauron said, "and I didn't do it."

It was a hectic scene as bodies flew everywhere near the end zone, with even referee Jeff Triplette getting knocked to the turf face first by Bills center Duke Preston and taking a bloody nose. He worked the rest of the game wiping his face with a towel.

Triplette said Preston sought him after the game to check on him and apologize.

"He's a really classy young man because he came to the locker room afterward and wanted to know if I was OK," Triplette said. "Whoever No. 75 is, he's a really classy young man. He wanted to know if I was OK."

Buffalo got the ball back twice, with both drives ending on interceptions, including Losman's desperation heave as time expired that was picked off in the end zone by Kerry Rhodes.

"It's been that type of season," receiver Lee Evans said. "Sometimes the ball bounces funny ways. On that last play, it certainly took a bounce for the worst for us."

The Jets remained tied atop the division with Miami, which beat San Francisco 14-9, and New England, which routed Oakland 49-26.

It didn't appear likely that the Jets were going to be doing any celebrating after this one, especially when the Bills -- held to single field goals in their previous two games -- went ahead on Fred Jackson's 11-yard touchdown run with 5:30 remaining.

Losman marched the Bills down the field with four straight completions to get the ball to the Jets 20. Lynch followed with a 9-yard run, and then Jackson powered into the end zone despite being hit by several Jets at the 3.

The Jets snapped a two-game losing streak and offset another shaky performance by Favre. The veteran quarterback was 17-of-30 for 207 yards and a touchdown, but also threw two interceptions and misfired several times.

"Maybe I don't have the arm I once had," he said. "I don't know."

Losman was 24-of-39 for 148 yards and a score and was picked off three times.

Leon Washington gave the Jets a 21-17 lead on a 47-yard touchdown run with less than a minute left before halftime.

The Jets took a 7-0 lead on Jones' 2-yard touchdown run on their first possession. It was the eighth straight game he scored in, his 15th touchdown overall, and 13th rushing -- all franchise records.

Game notes


Jones, who entered leading the AFC with 1,144 yards rushing, finished with 78 yards on 20 carries. ... Jets linebacker Vernon Gholston, the No. 6 overall pick, was inactive for the first time. ... Jets safety Eric Smith played for the first time in seven weeks after suffering three head injuries in four games. ... Bills rookie wide receiver James Hardy left early in the first quarter with an injured left knee and didn't return. Jauron was unsure of the severity of the injury, but said, "We'll have to remain optimistic."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
BUF
NYJ
1st Downs2318
Passing 1st downs
1410
Rushing 1st downs
98
1st downs from penalties
00
3rd down efficiency
6-144-11
4th down efficiency
2-20-1
Total Plays7454
Total Yards306372
Yards per play4.16.9
Total Drives1411
Passing119207
Comp-Att
24-3917-30
Yards per pass
2.86.9
Interceptions thrown
32
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-290-0
Rushing187165
Rushing Attempts
3224
Yards per rush
5.86.9
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-42-3
Penalties4-333-25
Turnovers42
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
32
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession35:2924:31

Passing Leaders

BUFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Losman24/391483.8133-29
NYJC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Favre17/302076.9120-0

Rushing Leaders

BUFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Lynch211276.0035
Jackson7314.4111
NYJCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones20783.9116
Washington14747.0147

Receiving Leaders

BUFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Reed44310.8014
Jackson6244.008
NYJRECYDSAVGTDLG
Coles58216.4022
Keller33511.7020

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERBUFNYJ
nyjTD11:54Thomas Jones 2 Yard Run (Jay Feely Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 72 yds, 3:09
07
bufFG7:48Rian Lindell 34 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 52 yds, 4:07
314
nyjTD3:50Jerricho Cotchery 11 Yard Pass From Brett Favre (Jay Feely Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 70 yds, 4:00
314
SECOND QUARTERBUFNYJ
bufTD6:52J.P. Losman 8 Yard Run (Rian Lindell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 50 yds, 5:06
1014
bufTD2:10Steve Johnson 2 Yard Pass From J.P. Losman (Rian Lindell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 24 yds, 2:05
1714
nyjTD1:05Leon Washington 47 Yard Run (Jay Feely Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 83 yds, 1:10
1721
THIRD QUARTERBUFNYJ
bufFG3:42Rian Lindell 48 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 15 yds, 4:30
2021
FOURTH QUARTERBUFNYJ
nyjFG13:21Jay Feely 31 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 8 yds, 1:34
2024
bufTD5:39Fred Jackson 11 Yard Run (Rian Lindell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 64 yds, 3:15
2724
nyjTD2:06Shaun Ellis 11 Yard Fumble Return (Jay Feely Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 6 yds, 2:26
2731