Here are some quick thoughts after the Buffalo Bills' 22-17 victory against the New York Jets Sunday:
* Too bad the Bills couldn't play the Jets every week. They simply match up well against them in every possible way. I want to give the Bills credit for playing hard and well with nothing on the line except being a spoiler. But the matchup factor is an even larger part of the outcome. As they routinely do, the Bills won the battles at the line of scrimmage. They won the one-on-ones between their receivers and the Jets' defensive backs. They won the coaching battle.
* It's hard to gauge how hungry Bills fans were for the team to knock the Jets out of the postseason. It was huge for Rex Ryan to skunk the team that fired him at the end of last season, but you can't forget about the fact their draft position would have improved by multiple spots with a loss.
* Sammy Watkins obliterated the cornerback formerly known as Darrelle Revis. Well, I guess Revis still goes by that name, but his game that once was defined by the ability to consistently provide smothering coverage is no more. Or so it seems. Watkins caught a career-high 11 passes for 136 yards. Revis rarely got within a sniff of him throughout the game. And Tyrod Taylor did a superb job of taking advantage of those many open windows in the Jets' secondary.
* Bills coach Rex Ryan owns Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. That was the case going back to when Ryan coached the Jets and Gailey was the Bills' coach. Ryan utilized more blitzes than he has in recent games, taking advantage of Gailey's frequent use of four-receiver sets that minimize pass protection. And it was the Bills' defense that ultimately put the win away and knocked the Jets out of the playoffs.
- Tyler Dunne's Points After: Bills 22, Jets 17
- Jerry Sullivan's hot read: Bills' inspired effort has to leave fans with a stab of regret
- Vic Carucci's hot read: If only the Bills could always play the Jets
- Bucky Gleason's hot read: Plenty of entertainment, often for all the wrong reasons
- Tim Graham's Insta-Graham: Bills finish .500 and 4-2 in AFC East; Sammy sensational; Fitz fails
- Mark Gaughan's hot read: Justice is served -- the Jets are not worthy of the playoffs
- Jay Skurski's Quarterly Report: Fitzpatrick's 'hat trick' sends Bills home winners
* Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman put together a solid game plan that had Taylor work from a moving pocket, allowing him to either find open targets or run. Taylor's running, always a large part of the Bills' offense, became an even larger factor with the team entering the game without injured LeSean McCoy (knee) and then losing Karlos Williams during the game with a knee injury.
* Ironically, it was a defensive lineman, tackle Marcell Dareus, who brought the pressure up the middle to force Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw the errant pass that Manny Lawson intercepted with 1:51 left (the first of two decisive pickoffs that settled the outcome; AJ Tarpley had the second with 11 seconds remaining). Dareus was part of the chorus of linemen (led by end Mario Williams) complaining that Ryan's scheme didn't provide them with nearly as many opportunities to rush the quarterback as they had last season when Jim Schwartz ran the Bills' D.