BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — For just the second time in nine career meetings, Ryan Fitzpatrick found a way to beat Rex Ryan, as the former Bills quarterback returned to Buffalo to give the current Bills head coach a night full of fits in a 37-31 Jets victory, dropping the Bills to 0-2.
Fitzpatrick and the Jets torched the Buffalo secondary all throughout the first regular season game at New Era Field, throwing for 374 yards against two of the best young cornerbacks in football, Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby. Three Jets receivers finished with more than 90 yards receiving, led by Eric Decker’s 126 yards.
The Jets jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Tyrod Taylor completed an 84-yard touchdown to Marquise Goodwin, the longest completed pass in Bills history in their home stadium. The success would be short-lived, as the Jets marched down the field to score on their next three drives; a field goal and two touchdowns, one from Matt Forte and the other from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Eric Decker, putting the Jets on top, 20-7.
The Bills got a 39-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter just before halftime, but their real success came early in the third quarter, when Taylor lofted another deep touchdown pass 71 yards to Greg Salas to cut the lead to 20-17. Nickell Robey-Coleman then scooped up a Jalin Marshall fumble to score and give the Bills a 24-20 lead.
New York stormed back in the fourth quarter, marching down the field with multiple long completions from Ryan Fitzpatrick, leading to a Matt Forte touchdown and a 27-24 lead. The next Jets scoring drive wound up going 69 yards for a Nick Folk field goal, giving the Jets a 27-24 lead.
The Bills couldn’t respond on the next drive, as LeSean McCoy was stopped on fourth and short. New York immediately scored again, led by more Fitzpatrick deep passes, in this case a 27-yard completion to Eric Decker. Matt Forte scored his third touchdown to make it 37-24, Jets. Forte ran for 100 yards.
The Bills now have extra time to rest before hosting the Arizona Cardinals a week from Sunday.