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Jets squander chance at playoffs, lose to Rex Ryan’s Bills

Leodis McKelvin of the Buffalo Bills intercepts a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass in front of the Jets' Eric Decker during second half of Sunday's game. (Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images)

Leodis McKelvin of the Buffalo Bills intercepts a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass in front of the Jets’ Eric Decker during second half of Sunday’s game. (Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images)


Sunday’s 22-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills marks the final game of the season for the New York Jets. A 10-6 record was a huge improvement from 4-12 one year ago, but in a competitive AFC, it was not good enough.

To make matters worse, a familiar face kept the Jets out of the playoffs. Rex Ryan.

It will be a tough loss to swallow, but the Jets had their opportunities to win. Let’s take a look at some of the takeaways.

Defense – The numbers may not jump off the page, but the Jets defense definitely could have been better this week. First of all, they let Sammy Watkins get whatever he wanted in the passing game. He finished with 11 receptions for 136 yards, so the defense never really kept him in check. But the thing that proved to plague the Jets was third and fourth down. The Bills were 9-of-20 on third down conversions and 2-for-2 on fourth down tries. The Jets could not get a stop when they needed one. I don’t think the defense is to blame because they did only allow 22 points, but they were not as sharp as other times this season.

Turnovers – In my preview of this game, I said that the Jets had to play clean football. They could not afford to beat themselves. Well, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions and one of them was in the end zone. During the Jets five game winning streak, Fitzpatrick was very consistent and kept the interceptions at a minimum. Ryan Fitzpatrick, nicknamed “Fitzmagic”, could not keep the magic going for one more game. It is hard to win when you give the other team three extra possessions. This is the category that lost the Jets the game, and ultimately the season for the Jets.

Running Game – I can’t criticize the running game itself too much. Chris Ivory finished with 81 yards on six carries. Stevan Ridley finished with just 29 yards on nine carries. But I do question why Ridley had more attempts than Ivory, and why Ivory was not used more. He clearly did very well in his six carries. And the Jets are a complete offense when Ivory is running the ball well. He was able to get going but I know that the Bills have a good run defense, but Ivory did just fine in the touches he got. But he did not get enough in my opinion.

Playoffs or not, 10-6 is not a bad season, especially since they were 4-12 last year. But this was not a successful season in my opinion because they are not playing next weekend, and the playoffs was the goal at the beginning of the season. On the bright side, the Jets as an organization took a huge step forward this season and they are no longer being laughed at by the rest of the NFL. It was not a bad season by any means. But I wouldn’t call it a successful one either.

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