Orchard Park, NY (Sports Network) – LaDainian Tomlinson ran for 133 yards with two touchdowns and Shonn Greene added 117 yards on the ground, leading the New York Jets to a 38-14 rout of the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Mark Sanchez completed 14-of-24 passes for 161 yards with a pair of touchdowns for the Jets (3-1), who have won three straight — all within the AFC East — since a season-opening loss to Baltimore. New York, which was just 2-4 in divisional games last year, had tough wins at home against New England in Week 2 and last Sunday night in Miami, but had a much easier time with the winless Bills (0-4).
The Jets racked up 273 yards on the ground and turned a 17-7 game at halftime into a laugher with 21 third-quarter points, beating the Bills for the fourth time in the last five meetings. Dustin Keller had two touchdown receptions in a span of just over 90 seconds during the third-quarter burst.
Tomlinson, who carried 19 times, recorded his 47th career 100-yard rushing game and had his most yards since a 146-yard effort on December 9, 2007 with San Diego against Tennessee. He also surpassed Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett for seventh on the NFL’s all-time rushing list.
Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was a dismal 12-of-27 passing for just 128 yards with two touchdowns and was also the team’s leading rusher with 74 yards on seven carries. The Bills, who scored 30 points in last week’s loss to New England, reverted back to form from their first two games when they mustered a combined 17 points against Miami and Green Bay.
It’s the first 0-4 start for Buffalo since 2004. That year, the Bills lost three of those first four games by three points or less and went on to finish 9-7. This Buffalo team, on the contrary, has been beaten by more than 20 twice already and has allowed at least 34 points in three straight games.
Buffalo had just 12 first downs and only 223 yards of total offense, while also failing on all 10 of its third-down plays. The Jets controlled the ball for nearly 40 1/2 minutes to Buffalo’s 19 1/2.
The Jets took the opening kickoff and drove 63 yards on nine plays for a touchdown. Tomlinson did most of the work, rushing five times for 42 yards and catching one pass for another 10. His last carry resulted in a one-yard touchdown plunge for a 7-0 lead.
Buffalo fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Jets had a golden opportunity from the Bills’ 39, but Tomlinson was stopped short of a first down at the 12 and Nick Folk missed a 30-yard field goal.
A series of punts left the Bills with good field position at the Jets’ 49 late in the first quarter, but three plays netted zero yards and the Buffalo offense finished the opening 15 minutes with 25 yards on 10 plays. Fitzpatrick misfired on each of his five pass attempts during the period.
Near the end of the first quarter, the Jets embarked on a drive that ate up more than nine minutes and covered 18 plays, but the Bills stiffened inside their own 10 and forced a 19-yard field goal from Folk that made it 10-0 with 6:46 left in the half.
The Jets got the ball back after another Buffalo punt and needed just three plays to find the end zone. After Greene carried twice for 25 yards, Sanchez used a pump-fake and found Braylon Edwards behind the secondary for a 41-yard touchdown.
Buffalo finally mounted an offensive surge and drove 64 yards on seven plays to answer. A conversion on 4th-and-2 kept the march alive and David Martin capped the series with a four-yard touchdown catch in the final minute of the half, sending the Bills into the locker room down 17-7.
The Bills also got the ball to start the second half and reached the New York 48, but Fitzpatrick was sacked on second down and the team was soon after forced to punt.
New York followed with 21 points to blow the game open. Keller hauled in a three-yard touchdown pass from receiver Brad Smith out of the wildcat to cap a 10-play, 69-yard drive and after Marshawn Lynch fumbled on Buffalo’s first offensive play following the kickoff, Keller caught a two-yard scoring toss from Sanchez to finish a three-play, 23-yard set to make it 31-7.
The Bills again punted it away and the Jets quickly scored again. Tomlinson went left for nine yards on the first play, then raced through a hole up the middle, made Buffalo safety Donte Whitner miss and went untouched the rest of the way for a 26-yard scoring jaunt.
Fitzpatrick threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Steve Johnson in the fourth quarter to account for the final margin. Mark Brunell ran the New York offense for its last two series.
The Jets averaged 5.6 yards on 49 rushing attempts…Edwards had four catches for 86 yards, while Keller finished with four catches for 28 yards…The Jets converted half of their 14 third-down plays and finished with 444 yards of offense…Buffalo rookie C.J. Spiller had just two carries for 11 yards, while Lynch had eight yards on four attempts.