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Bills, Sanchez, Down and Out

The Buffalo Bills (4-8) were defeated Thursday night 19-13 by the New York Jets who improved to 6-6, now only one game out of first place in the AFC East.

Not all of the news is good in New York, however, as rookie QB Mark Sanchez sustained a knee injury in the third quarter when he opted to dive headfirst for a first-down. Coach Rex Ryan, who has seen the young quarterback through his share of growing pains this season, said “He’s got to understand that it’s in the organization’s best interests to slide, and that was disappointing … I love the kid, but he’s got to grow up …”

The Bills offense that finally showed signs of life in last week’s win sputtered and stalled facing a stingy Jets defense. Marshawn Lynch was able to net only 60 yards, while QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was utterly non-existent. He completed only 9 of his 23 pass attempts for just 98 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception.

On defense, the Bills were, again, run over giving up 168 yards on the ground. While they were relatively effective stopping the pass, Sanchez’s one touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards in the third quarter was enough to pull the Jets – trailing 9-10 – out in front of Buffalo 16-10. From there the Bills gave them no reason to look back.

Interim coach Perry Fewell falls to 1-2 since the departure of Dick Jauron. “We just didn’t get it done, bottom line,” Fewell said. “But we had an opportunity to win the football game in the fourth quarter.”

Buffalo has been plagued by an inability to finish games in the fourth quarter all season. When they put up 24 points in the final quarter against the Dolphins last week, some though that perhaps this proverbial monkey had been thrown from the team’s back. Sadly, it seems like last week may have been a fluke.

The game was Buffalo’s second time “hosting” in Toronto. As part of a five-year, $78 million deal the Bills reached with Toronto-based Rogers Communications last year, Buffalo will continue to play one regular season game in Canada’s largest city for the next three years.

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