Bills-Jets game notes [7:19 AM]
D and C reports: 'No shows...Bills special teams: Horrendous. Pathetic. Pitiful. Pick a word and it fits for this group. There isn't enough space in this newspaper to chronicle the foul-ups the Bills had in the kicking game, so if you didn't see the game, take our word for it. Bad coverage, turnovers, penalties, a blocked field goal, forgetting to go on the field, it all happened. And amazingly, this came against the Jets, a team that also has been terrible on special teams this season.'
Jets' Big Play Sets Up a Big Game
New York Times reports: '"It was a better 7-point lead," Coach Al Groh said. "The math reads the same but it was better for our heart."'
Winning Together by Pulling Together [7:17 AM]
New York Times reports: 'An ever-growing confident tribe that spun Buffalo for a loop, 27-14, yesterday at Giants Stadium. A tribe riddled with questions that so far has produced answers. With a 3-0 record, the Jets thus far are fulfilling a role rarely seen in sports. Off-season turmoil and chaos plus a new head coach nearly always mean slow, sluggish and meandering starts. The Jets, instead, have hit the ground in a peppy and productive stride. They have won three games in a style and manner that indicates the depth of their mentality, their fortitude. Apparently, a true tribe.'
Two Footballs for Kevin Williams [7:16 AM]
New York Times reports: 'Is this the touchdown ball or the game ball?" Kensil asked. "That's the touchdown ball," Williams said. "I've got the game ball here in my bag." "Give me that one, too," Kensil said.'
Jets' Ascent Reaches 3-0 [7:15 AM]
New York Daily News reports: '"That's ridiculous," said Bills coach Wade Phillips, who watched the 6-2 Coleman outjump three defenders in the back of the end zone. "We should've had everybody back on the goal line. They should be waiting for the ball instead of jumping for the ball. We just relaxed and it cost us."'
Al's Confidence Continues to Groh [7:14 AM]
New York Daily News reports: '"It wasn't about me," Groh would say when it was over and the Jets had won 27-14, shutting out the Bills in the second half. "I didn't do anything." Sure he did. He coached his team the way he has coached it from the start, as if he has been coaching it for a long time.'
Coleman Gets Good Jump on 'Hail Mary' TD [7:13 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Coleman outleaped three Buffalo defenders to haul in a 45-yard floater from Vinny Testaverde on the last play of the first half yesterday, playing the same role Johnson once did in Hail Mary situations. The only difference was, it worked. "I think over in my career, I've only completed one Hail Mary pass and that was on the 2-yard line," Testaverde said. "This was the first time I completed one for a touchdown."'
Jets not lost without Key [7:12 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'If anything, the Jets have proven, in the short term at least, they can win without Johnson. The long term is a story yet to be written. But the Jets can at least play against Johnson with a little swagger knowing they have not crumbled without him and have started 3-0 for the first time since 1966.'
Back to feeling special [7:12 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'There are two ways to look at the Jets' special teams performance in yesterday's 27-14 victory over the Bills. Either they really took a step up after two disappointing weeks or they finally met a special teams unit that's worse.'
Key: Call Me Magic Johnson [7:11 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'On the surface, the Jets seem to have overcome the loss of Keyshawn Johnson. But at least one person begs to differ. That person is named Keyshawn Johnson.'
Jets' report card [7:10 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Special Teams: A+...A day of redemption. The stars were Kevin Williams (97-yard kickoff TD) and Chris Hayes (forced fumble, recovery).'
Gang green blitzes Bills [7:09 AM]
New York Post reports: '"Our confidence is pretty high," Jets' cornerback Ray Mickens said. "I'd be lying if I said it was anything else. We've shown we can win on the road, at Lambeau, we've shown we're a tough team."'
Well, isn't that special? [7:08 AM]
New York Post reports: 'The Bills, playing all day like a kid sticking its hand in the fire, got burned, 27-14, in a contest decided largely by the kicking game.'
Hail Mary rips the heart out of the Bills [7:07 AM]
New York Post reports: 'All touchdowns are worth six points on the scoreboard, but in the heart, clearly some are worth more than others. Marcus Coleman's Hail Mary on the final play of the first half yesterday lifted the Jets' spirits and ripped out the Bills' guts in a 27-14 Gang Green win at Giants Stadium. Coleman's 45-yard TD with no time on the clock sent the Jets into halftime with a 21-14 lead, and gave them all the momentum.'
Bills: we gave it away [7:06 AM]
New York Post reports: '"That's what's most frustrating; it's between the ears. If you get your butt whipped, [that's one thing]. But when you don't play well, that's the toughest thing," said defensive end Marcellus Wiley from Columbia, who saw his team allow a 97-yard kickoff return to Kevin Williams, get a field goal blocked, lose their first three fumbles of the season, and give up a 45-yard Hail Mary to defensive back Marcus Coleman on the final play of the first half.'
'Hail, Marcus' just warmup for Keyshawn' [7:05 AM]
New York Post reports: 'There aren't supposed to be 78,000 fans wildly cheering the Jets, but there are. New York isn't supposed to be going ga-ga over Gang Green, but it is.'
Hayes' hustle a huge factor [7:04 AM]
New York Post reports: 'One of the unsung Jets heroes yesterday was special teams ace Chris Hayes, who had a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a special-teams tackle. He was a catalyst for a special teams unit that entered the game much maligned.'
Ready for Some Hype? [7:03 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'The Jets not only beat the Buffalo Bills yesterday, 27-14, they stunned and demoralized a team that had been tied with them for first place. They ran over and around them, with Kevin Williams' thrilling 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. They duped them, leaving five of their players lying silent and in a heap in the end zone after Marcus Coleman's 45-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass from Testaverde broke a 14-14 tie.'
Marcus' Big Play Hails NFL's Past [7:02 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'You know, he who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it.'
Extra Special Victory [7:01 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'Yesterday, in an impressive 27-14 victory over Buffalo, the Jets' special teams were masters of mayhem. "Special teams aren't about individuals," Hayes said. "It's a team. It's about hustle plays."'
Too Much Smashmouth for Bills [7:00 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'Though Washington and Williams combined for 10 unassisted tackles and five assisted ones, they could not stop the Jets when it mattered most.'
Not the '98 Vinny, But Not Bad [7:00 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'Once again, it was the Vinny of now instead of the Vinny of '98. And once again, it was good enough.'
Far from their best, but they're still unbeaten [6:59 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'The football gods are finally smiling on the Jets after spending a year showering them with enough misfortune to last a decade. Maybe it's payback for taking quarterback Vinny Testaverde away from them less than two quarters into last season and striking down several more players with injuries. Maybe it's payback for taking Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick and Keyshawn Johnson away from them in one fell swoop last off-season. Maybe, just maybe, it's because the Jets haven't had much to cheer about since their 1969 Super Bowl victory.'
Keyshawn fires shots at Groh [6:58 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'Keyshawn Johnson last night said Jets head coach Al Groh need not extend his hand to him to exchange pleasantries because he won't shake it and he said comparing Jets wide receiver Wayne Chrebet to him is like comparing a flashlight to a star. Also, Johnson said he has nothing against quarterback Vinny Testaverde, who said in the aftermath of the trade that Curtis Martin, not Johnson, was the most valuable player on the team.'
Thoughts turn to Bucs ... not to mention an ex-teammate [6:57 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'The Jets were still toweling themselves dry from their postgame showers yesterday after defeating the Bills, 27-14, at Giants Stadium when their attention was already turning toward their next game this Sunday in Tampa, Fla. Need we tell you? That's when the 3-0 Jets will go at it with their former Pro Bowl wide receiver, Keyshawn Johnson, and the undefeated Buccaneers.'
Guy in Parcells' shadow has it made in the shade [6:57 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'That's not to say the Jets are headed to the Super Bowl by virtue of this 27-14 verdict over the Bills, or that Groh will one day match Parcells with two championship rings to his credit. But this was the most impressive victory for Groh's team to date, against by far the best team it has faced. And his Jets have responded to Groh at every turn. All this with quarterback Vinny Testaverde yet to play worth a damn.'
Coleman scores one for the defense [6:56 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'Finally, Marcus Coleman, a defensive player since his days at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, lined up as a wide receiver. He then ran through the Bills defense and into the back of the end zone, making a leaping catch that gave the Jets a 21-14 halftime lead and completely changed their fortunes.'
A remarkable return even without the TD [6:55 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'One huge block sprung him past the 15-yard line, a hard stiff arm carried him across the 30. Kevin Williams crossed midfield, made a quick move to his left and then followed rookie linebacker John Abraham into the end zone.'
Stalled running game doesn't stop 3-0 start [6:54 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'The Jets' running game managed 91 yards and one touchdown on 36 carries yesterday. Buffalo, with a defensive line anchored by nose tackle Ted Washington (6-5, 330 pounds), entered the game yielding just 46.5 yards rushing per game. "We just tried to run it at them," Jets tackle Jason Fabini said. "It was tough going, but we got the yards when we needed them."'
Jets fly off to best start since '66 [6:53 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'They are 3-0 for the first time since Weeb Ewbank coached Gang Green in 1966. They are in sole possession of first place in the division earlier than any season since 1987. And after vanquishing the Bills (2-1), they take a full head of steam into a matchup with the unbeaten Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their loquacious former teammate, Keyshawn Johnson.'
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