Notebook: O-Line protects Sanchez

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
8:49
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rex Ryan opened his post-game news conference by giving some love to the Jets' offensive line, which has absorbed a few dents this season.

"The protection was tremendous, especially when we had to have it in the second half," Ryan said.

After allowing eight sacks in the previous two games, the Jets' O-line pitched a shutout -- no sacks for the first time this season. Then again, it came against one of the worst pass-rushing teams in the league. They entered the game with only 16 sacks.

The Bills stayed fairly conservative, rushing four or fewer players on 29 of 37 dropbacks. But they did send pressure on the Jets' last two passes, to Plaxico Burress (18 yards) and Santonio Holmes (16-yard TD).

INJURY CONCERN: DT Mike DeVito injured his left knee in the third quarter and didn't return. This is a major concern for the Jets, who can't afford to lose one of their best run stuffers. Marcus Dixon and Ropati Pitoitua got more playing time in DeVito's absence. Rookie DT Kenrick Ellis was a healthy scratch.

TURNOVER BATTLE: That the Jets won with a minus-2 turnover margin was a rarity. Under Ryan, the Jets are 4-12 when they lose the turnover battle, only once when they were minus-2 or worse.

The Jets committed their fifth special-teams turnover on Antonio Cromartie's muffed punt, which led to a Bills TD. It was Cromartie's first punt-returning opportunity this season. Ryan went to Cromartie because rookie Jeremy Kerley (knee) was out and because Jim Leonhard had the wind knocked out of him on the previous defensive play. Another option was Joe McKnight, but he's already muffed one this season.

ODDS AND ENDS: WR Santonio Holmes recorded his sixth game-winning TD in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter/overtime. He now has the most game-winning TD catches since 1983, breaking a tie with former Bengal Carl Pickens ... WR Plaxico Burress leads the team with seven TD catches ... The Jets improved to 5-1 at home ... WR Patrick Turner made his first career start.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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