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Bad plays by Jets turn a close game into a blowout

The Bills' Stefon Diggs, right, catches a touchdown

The Bills' Stefon Diggs, right, catches a touchdown in front of the Jets' Javelin Guidry during the first half of an NFL game on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Credit: AP/Bill Kostroun

Given the Jets’ general dysfunction on both sides of the ball on Sunday, it is unlikely that the events that unfolded late in the first half and early in the second would have affected the bottom line of a 45-17 loss to the Bills at MetLife Stadium.

But still . . . it was an excellent example of a bad team handing momentum to a good team, momentum that it never came close to getting back.

With 1:53 remaining in the first half, Matt Ammendola kicked a 48-yard field goal that cut the Bills’ lead to 10-3. The Jets would have been happy to settle for that score going into the locker room.

But on the Bills’ next play from scrimmage, a first-and-15 from their 20-yard line, Stefon Diggs beat Brandin Echols with a double move down the left sideline and Josh Allen hit him for a 57-yard gain to the Jets’ 23-yard line.

Shortly thereafter, Allen found Diggs again, this time for a 12-yard touchdown reception against Javelin Guidry — in for the injured Echols — with 53 seconds remaining.

The long completion was the killer. Coach Robert Saleh said in such circumstances, understanding the situation is critical. With so little time left, the Bills were likely to try something deep. And so they did.

"It’s things that a young group has to understand — what teams are trying to achieve in a certain situation," he said.

Then things got worse.

The Jets started moving the ball in the waning seconds, and Mike White found Corey Davis for a 28-yard gain to the Buffalo 33. It appeared at least a field goal was in the offing. But Davis, fighting for a few extra yards, fumbled the ball away after it was forced out by Micah Hyde.

"Right there at 17-3, a chance to get it to 17-6, worst-case scenario," Saleh said. "But I know Corey’s just grinding, trying to gain more yards. It’s not lack of effort or concentration."

Said Davis, "Just trying to make a play. I have to hold on to the ball."

Linebacker C.J. Mosley said, "It was an unfortunate moment. Corey made a great catch; Mike threw a great ball. He was fighting for extra yards. That’s the kind of person Corey is. He’s going to give it everything he has."

The Bills took the ball to open the second half and marched downfield for another touchdown.

"It’s why a lot of teams defer [to get the ball in the second half]," Saleh said. "You score before the half and score coming out of the locker room and all of a sudden a 10-3 game turns into 24-3 in a heartbeat."

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