Pinned inside his own 20 and with the Bills clinging to a 6-3 lead late in the fourth quarter, J.P Losman went for broke. Spotting Lee Evans streaking down the right sideline, Losman in the game for the injured Trent Edwards uncorked one of his patented deep balls.
It seemed like it hung in the air forever,” Evans said. “I just tried to go up and make a play on it. It was a matter of who wanted to make the play the most.”
Jets rookie cornerback Darrelle Revis tried to fight Evans for the ball, managing to get his hands on it, but the Bills wide receiver won the battle. And when safety Abram Elam collided with Revis, knocking both defenders out of the play, Evans had clear sailing to the end zone for an 85-yard, game-clinching touchdown.
New York countered by bringing in Kellen Clemens off the bench to replace Chad Pennington; while he did manage to move the ball, he also threw two interceptions, the last on a Hail Mary to George Wilson as time expired.
Led by a defense that held Thomas Jones to a season-low 35 yards and intercepted Chad Pennington twice in the fourth quarter, the Bills finally managed to hold on at the end of a game to record their first victory of the season.
Neither team could muster much offense in the first half. Shaun Ellis’ sack of first-time starter Trent Edwards knocked the Bills out of field goal range in their deepest drive, and the Jets never got inside the Buffalo 35-yard line until a last-second pass to Laveranues Coles set up Mike Nugent for a 37-yard attempt on the final play. Nugent bounced it off the right upright, though, and the teams left the field locked in a scoreless tie.
The Jets got the ball first after the break, but Mario Haggan’s third-and-short stuff of Jones brought on the punting team yet again. Starting at their own 44, the Buffalo offense finally began to show signs of life. A few short passes mixed in with a heavy dose of Marshawn Lynch got them to first-and-goal, and two more handoffs to Marshawn put the ball into the end zone for the game’s first score.
Pennington quickly matched Buffalo’s success with an efficient drive of his own, hitting Coles for the game-tying touchdown. Rian Lindell’s 46-yard field goal made it 10-7, and two plays later, Jabari Greer stepped in front of a Pennington pass to give the Bills great field position at the New York 25. Lynch was stopped on third-and-goal from the one; Dick Jauron, mistakenly believing the ball was on the two, sent out the field goal team. He reconsidered that decision during a timeout, though, and was rewarded with Edwards’ strike to backup tight end Michael Gaines to extend the lead to 17-7.
Pennington again responded, completing five of eight passes in a drive capped off by Leon Washington’s eight-yard touchdown run to pull back to within three. The defense forced another Buffalo three-and-out just inside the two-minute warning, giving Pennington one last shot. But as they were nearing field goal range, with time running out, he lofted an ill-advised, poorly-thrown pass that Terrence McGee easily caught along the sideline to end the final threat.