Rapid Reaction: Jets 48, Bills 28
September, 9, 2012
By James Walker | ESPN.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few thoughts on the New York Jets' season-opening 48-28 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
What it means: It means the Jets have more answers than the Bills at this point of the season. Both New York and Buffalo entered this game with "contender or pretender" labels. These teams are expected to compete for second place in the AFC East and possibly a wild card. The Jets certainly have it more together in Week 1. The Jets dominated Buffalo on offense, defense and special teams. The game wasn’t as close as the final score indicated, as the Jets took their foot off the pedal late in the second half. New York continues to have Buffalo's number. The Jets won for the sixth straight time over the Bills, who fell to 2-11 against other AFC East teams under head coach Chan Gailey.
Offensive explosion: What got into the Jets' offense? This was a starting unit that couldn't score a touchdown in the first three games of the preseason. Suddenly, the Jets were efficient and explosive against the Bills, scoring 34 points. New York took advantage of Buffalo's four turnovers and had the short field most of the game. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was solid. He overcame an early interception and finished with 266 yards, three touchdowns and one pick. New York also scored once on defense and special teams. The 48 points were the most by the Jets in a season opener in team history.
Jackson injured: The Bills lost one of their leaders on offense in the second quarter. Starting running back Fred Jackson took a hard shot on the knee from Jets safety LaRon Landry and did not return to the game. This was Jackson’s first game back since last year’s season-ending knee injury. Bills backup C.J. Spiller did play well in relief. Spiller rushed for 169 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown.
Hill and Kerley show: There were plenty of questions about whether New York had a No. 2 receiver to pair with Santonio Holmes. It turns out both rookie Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley showed up in the season opener. Hill did a great job of getting behind the defense and caught five passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Kerley made an impact on offense and special teams. He caught a 12-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and also returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown.
Tebow Time: New York unveiled its much-anticipated Wildcat formation Sunday. There were a few flashes, but overall it didn’t have much of an impact in this game. Tebow rushed for 11 yards on five carries. Buffalo has its own Wildcat package and was well prepared in this area.
What’s next: The Jets continue a tough slate to start the season with a road game in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was important for New York to win right off the bat. The Bills have a home game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Buffalo needs to prove it can bounce back from a tough loss or risk falling to 0-2 on the season.