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Halftime: Bills 14, Jets 9

12/30/2012

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Mark Sanchez, in the final game of the Jets season, struggled once again in his role as starting quarterback and the Jets trail 14-9 at the half.

The deck wasn’t stacked in Sanchez’s favor; Dustin Keller and Chaz Schilens didn’t travel to Buffalo.

The Jets were able to get a field goal on the first possession of the game, but it was the second possession that caused problems. Sanchez, who was 1-for-4 passing for three yards at that point, attempted to throw to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley only to have it picked off by Bills linebacker Bryan Scott and returned for a touchdown.

The pick-six gave the Bills a 7-3 lead. It was Sanchez’s 18th interception and 25th turnover of the season. At the half he was 8-for-15 for 85 yards.

SPILLED MILK: C.J. Spiller took advantage of Jets safety LaRon Landry getting held up in traffic and took a short pass the distance for a 66-yard touchdown and 14-9 lead with 3:21 to go in the first half. Spiller had 15 rushing yards on four carries.

GREENE DAY: Shonn Greene has gained over 1,000 yards in his second straight season for the Jets. With 23-yards rushing in the first drive alone, Greene was used extensively in the first half. At the half he had 79 yards on 17 carries. Fellow running back Bilal Powell caught a 40-yard pass on a field goal drive in the second quarter. The Bills have a weak rushing defense so the tactic made sense.

FAIR CATCH RECORD: Punt returner Jeremy Kerley had his 34th fair catch of the season with his first fair catch of the game. Kerley has a new NFL record in the category. Last week special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff took a shot at the defense when the record was brought up, saying the Jets defense had slacked enough to give the punt return unit poor field position, hence record fair catches.

TEBOW TIME: Backup quarterback Tim Tebow, who was subbed out of the wildcat in practice again this week in favor of Kerley, was only on the field for one play. It was first and goal at the 9 yard line with a chance for the Jets to score. Tebow came in, handed the ball off to Joe McKnight for two yards and then jogged back to the sideline. The Jets settled for a field goal. Not the kind of impactful “Wildcat” plays fans envisioned when the team held secret training camp practices in the summer.

FIELD DAY: Nick Folk made all three attempted field goals in the first half, even though the second was tipped before it completed the trip through the goal post. It still counted.

BEHIND THE SCENES: Woody Johnson didn’t make the trip to Buffalo with the team, as he did when the 2008 season ended in Miami. That year, he offered a blistering post-game speech and then fired Eric Mangini. Reports on Sunday have already said offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and general manager Mike Tannenbaum are about to lose their jobs. But without Johnson on site, word of those firings and the falling dominoes may take longer to come out.