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The Jets Did Exactly What They Needed to Do

Jets rout Bills 38-14 for third straight victory

By Josh Alper
|  Sunday, Oct 3, 2010  |  Updated 4:15 PM EDT
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The Jets Did Exactly What They Needed to Do

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There are times when it feels good to be right and times when it feels good to be wrong. Every now and then you get to be both at the same time and, as it turns out, that feels better than anything else.

Sunday's 38-14 Jets win against the Bills was one of those times. All last week we fretted about how the Bills tended to bring out the worst in the Jets and predicted a tougher game than the quality of the two teams would indicate. On Friday, though, we finally decided to throw history in the corner and called on the Jets to back up their coach's big talk with a blowout win against a weak opponent. We were wrong to worry and right to expect an overwhelming performance, although that wasn't apparent until after halftime.  

The Jets looked dominat from the first series, which ended with a LaDainian Tomlinson touchdown plunge from the one-yard line. Then the Bills fumbled the kickoff and the Jets got the ball in prime position to end things early. It didn't work out, however. The play calling got conservative, Nick Folk missed a field goal and the Jets spent most of the first half finding ways to keep the Bills in a game that the home team didn't seem to be particularly interested in winning. 

Buffalo had the ball for less than nine minutes, were outgained by 100 yards and gave up a long touchdown pass to an uncovered Braylon Edwards, but the Jets let them score a touchdown just before the half to keep the score an uncomfortably close 17-7 after 30 minutes. The Bills had the ball to start the third quarter and it felt like one of those sloppy, ugly games was going to unfold. 

Those fears were unfounded. The Jets stopped the Bills, called a little razzle dazzle that led to wide receiver Brad Smith throwing a touchdown pass to Dustin Keller and then really turned up the heat. The Bills fumbled again, Shonn Greene ran the ball to the one and then Keller caught another touchdown from the more traditional arm of Mark Sanchez. That was two touchdowns in just over 90 seconds for the tight end and the rout was finally on. 

It continued when Tomlinson scored again less than two minutes later. Those two scores were just part of a monster day for the running back who is quite clearly a lot less done than everyone figured after his disappointing 2009 season with the Chargers. Tomlinson piled up 133 yards on 19 carries, his first 100-yard game since October of 2008, and the numbers only tell half the story of how much burst he had and how his vision enabled him to continually find big yardage against the Bills defense. 

That defense is flawed, to be kind, but Tomlinson has been a strong part of all four games this season. His performance today looks even better when placed next to the 117 yards that Greene picked up on the ground. That was the idea in the preseason, one that was abandoned during Greene's slow start to the year and one that will come in handy down the stretch of the long season.

It was a less interesting but just as satisfying win for a team that needs to get healthy -- Shaun Ellis left with an injury to join Calvin Pace and Darrelle Revis on the sideline -- before welcoming Brett Favre to their house for a Columbus Day prime time affair.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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