ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- When Plaxico Burress awoke Sunday morning, he did not expect his sore lower back to allow him to play at all against the Bills.

Closer to game time, he figured he might be able to participate on a limited basis, perhaps near the end zone.

Instead, he played through all of the Jets' 27-11 victory and contributed five catches for 79 yards, including the one that set up the game's first touchdown.

"I woke up, stretched, said a couple of prayers and went out and played as hard as I could, and I lasted the whole game,'' he said afterward. "It felt pretty good. I wasn't limited in any way.''

He credited the training staff with spending the previous several days "working and stretching and massaging and just about anything they could think they could possibly do'' for him.

It paid off most importantly on a 19-yard completion to the Buffalo 1-yard line midway through the third quarter. LaDainian Tomlinson followed with a leap into the end zone as the Jets took a 13-0 lead.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Burress appeared to shove the Bills' Leodis McKelvin to open space for the catch, but there was no call.

"My hat's off to Plaxico,'' coach Rex Ryan said later. "His back was bothering him, but he played great, anyway.''

Burress' receiving partner, Santonio Holmes, also made a huge contribution. He drew a 42-yard pass-interference penalty on McKelvin a play before catching an 8-yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez, making a nifty reception in traffic.

In the fourth quarter, the Bills' Terrence McGee was called for interfering with Holmes in the end zone. On the next play, John Conner ran it in from the 1 as the Jets went ahead 27-3.

"I guess you [media] guys can get off Santonio,'' Ryan said. "Next week, I challenge somebody to come up with somebody else who's struggling, because it seems to work. First it was Shonn Greene and then it was Plaxico and now it's 'Tone.' ''

It was far from an aerial show by the Jets, with Sanchez finishing 20-for-28 for 230 yards and his two starting receivers totaling eight catches for 108 yards. But to review: Burress and Holmes set up all three Jets touchdowns and scored one of them. That was more than enough.

Holmes said of his touchdown catch, "It was a great pass by Sanchez, the confidence he had in believing in me that he could deliver a pass between two, maybe three defenders in the end zone.''

Asked if he thought he would get the call on the first of the two interference penalties, which was far less egregious than the second, Holmes said this:

"I think those guys did a pretty good job of trying to cover us, but they obviously got caught, and the refs were right on top of it when they needed to be, and they made the calls that were necessary.''