Drive of the Game: Rookie failure

November, 18, 2013
11/18/13
9:00
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An examination of the key drive in the New York Jets' 37-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills:

The Drive: It lasted only two plays for the Jets, but it changed the game. They took over at their 20-yard line with 4:05 remaining in the second quarter. Less than a minute later, the rout was on.

The Situation: After falling behind, 10-0, on the first of two touchdown passes by EJ Manuel, the Jets got the ball with the wind at their back. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg tried to capitalize on the conditions by giving Geno Smith the green light to throw.

What Happened: On first down, Smith threw a long incompletion to Santonio Holmes. On second down, disaster struck. Rookie left guard Brian Winters, struggling in pass protection, was whipped by defensive tackle Kyle Williams. With a clear path to Smith, Williams forced a strip sack. It was recovered at the Jets' 4 by teammate Manny Lawson, the first of four turnovers by the rookie quarterback.

The Impact: One play later, fullback Frank Summers blasted in for a 3-yard touchdown, giving the Bills a 17-0 lead. It was the turning point of the game. A rattled Smith never recovered, throwing an interception on his next pass to set up a Bills field goal. Because of Smith's mistakes, the Bills started three drives inside the Jets’ 35, resulting in 10 points. You've seen this movie many times, as Jets opponents have started 12 drives inside the 35, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Only the Bills (14) have allowed more.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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