Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) celebrates his first down against the Buffalo Bills in the 4th quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets were victorious in their final game of the season against the Buffalo Bills. Here are the top 5 takeaways from the Week 17 Bills vs Jets matchup.
The New York Jets finally broke the losing streak and got the season finale win against the Buffalo Bills. The Jets took out their frustration and were determined to get the win against their division rivals. From the first snap of the game to the last play, the Jets had controlled the time of possession battle and eventually wore out the Bills defense. This Bills vs Jets game will go down as one of the few bright spots this season.
With this win, the Jets finish the season 5-11 and head home now to get ready for next season. They will look to improve the team and make a run to get back into the NFL Playoffs.
If the Jets could continue to improve on what they did in this game, they could be a surprising team next year. Let’s take a deeper look and break down the top five takeaways from this Week 17 matchup.
Next: 5. Ryan Fitzpatrick sweeps his former team
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) scrambles during the game against Buffalo Bills in the 2nd quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
5. Ryan Fitzpatrick sweeps his former team
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was finally able to sweep his former team with a solid performance. He was very careful with the football and was able to get the deep plays going.
Fitzpatrick was able to hit receivers in stride and even threw some deep passes for big plays. He finished with a 109 quarterback rating which was good to end a game like that.
He was also able to produce in the running game but not much. Fitzpatrick was able to spread the football around which was good to see and a big improvement over his last few games as a starter.
Fitzpatrick was a big part in this victory and was finally able to put the Bills away. Fitzpatrick took the right step in being an efficient quarterback in what might be his last game with the Jets.
Next: 4. Offensive line steps up in a big way
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) drops back to pass against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
4. Offensive line steps up in a big way
After struggling all game last week against the New England Patriots, the Jets offensive line stepped up big in Week 17. They protected Fitzpatrick much better this week.
The offensive line was able to open many holes for the rushing game to be very successful. Some starters were out due to injury and the other players on the team stepped up.
They also gave enough time for Fitzpatrick to be able to make the passes he needed to. They had possessed the ball for close to over 31 minutes of the game.
They will need to continue to build on this and help each other develop. They need to build on the team chemistry just like they illustrated against the Bills.
Next: 3. Wide receivers show up in a big way
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Charone Peake (17) runs past Buffalo Bills safety Corey Graham (20) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
3. Wide receivers show up in a big way
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Besides Enunwa, these receivers did not even play much of this season. They averaged 16 yards per passing play. These players made a name for themselves that was impressive heading into the offseason.
Rookie Jalin Marshall continued to progress as he helped keep those chains moving. They were very careful in protecting the football and didn’t fumble to keep the momentum going..
If they were to play like this all season then they would have had different outcomes in any games they lost. They will need to put in the work this offseason and become a tighter group as the sky is the limit if these young receivers continue to grow and develop.
Next: 2. Running game established in win
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) makes a run and is chased by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Jerry Hughes (55) in the 2nd quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
2. Running game established in win
It has been an uphill battle this season for the running game being established. Running back Bilal Powell had 22 carries for a total of 122 yards and no touchdowns.
He was very effective from the start and to the end of the game. Powell stepped up in a big way and helped the team out with Matt Forte out due to injury.
Powell is a more efficient runner as he is a speedy player who can plow through defenders. If he is able to stay healthy, he is a player that will help spread the offense out even more.
They should look into Powell being the main starter because of his youth and explosiveness. They need to continue to get younger and dynamic, especially at running back.
Next: 1. Defensive line finally dominates
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive back Jonathan Dowling (31) fumbles the ball after New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) hits him during the 3rd quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
1. Defensive line finally dominates
Everyone knows how good the Jets defensive line is and in Week 17 they didn’t disappoint. Besides having three quarterback sacks, they were able to contain quarterback E.J. Manuel most of the day.
The Jets front seven was flying to the football and didn’t let many big plays happen. They learned their lesson from last season against the Bills and made sure it didn’t happen again.
The defensive pressure they put on Manuel caused him throw interceptions and fumble the football. The key play was when cornerback Darrelle Revis was at the right place, right time and intercepted the football to lock up the win.
They made huge stops when the Bills were driving the football. They had three quarterback sacks, and two forced fumbles. Overall, this season the defensive line was up and down and will look to come back next year to prove doubters wrong. At least with this game in the books, they have something good worth mentioning and remembering next time around.