Sunday, November 27, 2011
Keller ends TD drought; Smith returns
By Mike Mazzeo
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It took nine games, but TE Dustin Keller finally got back in the end zone.
Keller caught four passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns -- his first since Sept. 18 vs. Jacksonville in Week 2 -- in his team’s 28-24 win over Buffalo on Sunday.
“I think we did some good things and there were a couple things I could’ve done better,” Keller said. “There were some balls that were tough catches, but those are things i can come up with so I can make it easier on him. It’s just things we need to go through and get some repetitions in practice. You have to tip your hat to Mark [Sanchez] because he found mismatches.”
Keller capped off a 10-play, 78-yard drive in the second quarter with a three-yard score. He hauled in an 18-yard TD in the third quarter. It was the third multi-touchdown performance of his career and first since Oct. 3 against this same Bills team.
Keller got off to a great start this season, catching 16 passes for 249 yards and two TDs in his first three games. But in his next seven coming into Sunday’s game, he had just 16 receptions for 203 yards and no scores.
Fortunately for the Jets, he picked the perfect time to have another standout performance.
“This was huge,” Keller said. “If we let this game slip, who knows what the situation would’ve been. It’s just a matter of taking it one game at at time. We may have to win out.”
• Brad Smith returned to MetLife Stadium -- and he certainly made his presence felt against his former team.
Smith led all Bills receivers with 77 yards and added an acrobatic 36-yard touchdown to boot.
With 2:11 left in the third quarter and Buffalo trailing New York 21-14, Smith had a pass thrown his way down the right sideline with Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie in coverage. The ball deflected up into the air, and Smith alertly came down with it and ran into the end zone.
“I thought I got a piece and tried to knock it down,” Smith said. “I don’t know if he went the other way or if our hands kind of met, but it got tipped up. “I saw it hanging, ‘Cro kind of slipped and I just went and grabbed it.”
Smith was surprised at the warm reception he got from the Jets fans. He clearly wanted to stay with the team, but things just didn’t work out.
“It was unreal. I was just surprised that the fans were so supportive,” Smith said. “They were saying some nice things. I’ve always got love for the people here in New York and the Jets fans. Hats off to them and their team for getting a win.”