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Jets’ grades

Ryan Fitzpatrick of the New York Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick of the New York Jets walks off the field after throwing his third interception of the day in a 22-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Jan. 3, 2016 in Orchard Park, N.Y. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Tom Szczerbowski


The Jets wouldn’t have reached this point without the gritty play of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick over the past five weeks. But the veteran picked the worst time to have one of his worst performances. His three fourth-quarter interceptions — including his first red-zone pick of the season — helped doom the team’s shot at a comeback. The absence of No. 2 running back Bilal Powell (ankle) severely hurt the unit, which was successful on only 27 percent of its third-down attempts (3-for-11) and compiled 300 total yards, including 122 on the ground. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker each caught a touchdown pass, the ninth time this season both scored in the same game, an NFL record. Fitzpatrick (16-for-37 passing, 181 yards) finished with a career-high 31 TD passes, and his 17-yard hookup with Marshall in the second quarter broke Vinny Testaverde’s franchise single-season touchdown mark (29), set in 1998.


The Bills’ offense pretty much had its way against the Jets. Sammy Watkins (11 catches, 136 yards) took advantage of the Jets’ zone coverage and the extra cushion Darrelle Revis gave him. Tyrod Taylor completed 18 of 28 passes for 182 yards and also rushed for 53 yards on 10 carries, including an 18-yard TD scramble. The unit picked up needless penalties, including a 15-yard unsportsmanlike flag on rookie Leonard Williams and a neutral-zone infraction on Sheldon Richardson for jumping offsides on fourth down.


Ryan Quigley’s 21-yard punt set up Taylor’s 18-yard TD run in the first quarter. Kicker Randy Bullock made matters worse by missing a 40-yard field goal in the second quarter. He nailed a 39-yarder in the third. Jeremy Kerley returned four punts for 21 total yards and Antonio Cromartie returned one kick 24 yards.


Curious clock management by Todd Bowles. An early reliance on third-string running back Stevan Ridley. A terrible game plan against Watkins. And an inability to get players over the “Same Old Jets” hump. It was all right there for the taking, but the Jets collectively failed.

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