EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- After beating New York Jets Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, Buffalo Bills receiver Steve Johnson performed the most talked about touchdown celebration of the 2011 NFL season.
Johnson danced and pretended to shoot himself in the leg, mocking Jets receiver Plaxico Burress, who spent 20 months in prison on an illegal weapons charge after accidentally shooting himself at a New York nightclub three years ago. Johnson's celebration was creative, controversial, entertaining and tasteless all wrapped into one moment. It also became a trending topic on Twitter.
Johnson was flagged 15 yards for excessive celebration, and the personal foul penalty helped lead to a Jets touchdown, which tied the score at 14 before the end of the first half.
Johnson played well, catching eight passes for 75 yards. But he also dropped a potential winning touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of Buffalo's 28-24 loss to New York. After the game, Johnson said he regretted his celebration.
"It hurt our team. It was very stupid of me going through that, and I feel like I cost our team by doing that," Johnson said. "It was a bad decision. It's irrelevant whether or not I rehearsed it or not. At the end of the day, it cost our team seven points.
"I have to apologize to everyone and talk to Coach. I can't be doing that. I need to be mature about the situation."
The Bills needed this game badly, but Johnson appeared more concerned with putting on a premeditated celebration than winning a crucial game.
The young Bills, and particularly Johnson, showed their youth in this game. Johnson is due for a contract extension, but Buffalo must decide if the talented receiver is mature enough to be relied upon as a building block.
Surprisingly, none of Johnson's antics drew the ire of the veteran Jets, who are usually quick to respond to taunts by opponents. New York was happy to win, which kept its playoff hopes alive.
Jets coach Rex Ryan said he was unaware of Johnson's celebration but was pleased the receiver gave them 15 yards. Other players also weren't aware until the media told them after the game.
"I really don't care. That's him," Revis said.
Even Burress, the subject of the celebration, basically shrugged his shoulders.
"I don’t have any reaction to it. I’m a big fan of his,” Burress said. "He's a great, young talent, and I love to watch him play. That doesn't bother me at all."
Burress was pressed on the issue, but didn't bite.
“It doesn’t bother me. I’m just trying to win the football game,” Burress reiterated. “That’s what it’s about, the last man standing."