“It seemed like it hung in the air forever,” the Buffalo Bills wide receiver 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.”
Evans tugged the ball away from Jets rookie cornerback Darrelle Revis and zipped into the end zone for an 85-yard touchdown with 3:38 left to help lead the Bills to a 13-3 victory over New York on Sunday.
“We both kind of had it,” Evans said. “I figure once it’s in my hands, it’s mine. I tried to be as strong to the ball as possible.”
The TD was the longest, and by far the most exciting, play of an otherwise incredibly dull game.
Losman led two scoring drives in relief of starter Trent Edwards and Rian Lindell kicked two field goals, including a 40-yarder with 10:06 left that gave Buffalo a 6-3 lead. The Bills (3-4) have won three of their last four.
“It’s a terrific win for us,” Buffalo coach Dick Jauron said. “If you’re going to be a team with any chance, you’ve got to stack wins. To come in here and be able to win was a huge project for us. It was ugly at times, but they did it.”
New York (1-7) has lost five straight, a slump that started with a 17-14 defeat against the Bills. It’s the Jets’ worst start since opening the 1996 season 0-8 en route to a 1-15 finish under Rich Kotite. New York last started 1-7 in 1989, when it went 4-12 under Joe Walton.
“They did a good job,” quarterback Chad Pennington said. “They had a great game plan and really stuck it to us.”
With the Bills on the Jets 15 and leading 6-3, Losman spotted Evans down the right sideline and Roscoe Parrish zipping down the left side.
“Roscoe or Lee, I had to take a pick,” said Losman, who came in for Edwards late in the third quarter. “I picked Lee. He went up and made a great play.”
Revis got his hands on the ball, but safety Abram Elam hit into him and Evans wrestled it away and streaked into the end zone.
“We both had the ball in our hands, I got knocked off by the safety,” Revis said. “I thought I at least knocked it down, but he had it and I looked up and he was scooting down that sideline.”
Edwards left with 5:07 left in the third quarter with a sprained right wrist after he was hit on an incomplete pass to Robert Royal.
“The X-rays came back negative,” said Edwards, whose wrist was wrapped. “We’ll reevaluate it tomorrow.”
Losman, the starter before he sprained his left knee in Week 3 and was replaced by Edwards, came in and led Buffalo on two straight scoring drives.
“J.P. came in and did a great job,” Edwards said. “He got the ball to Lee Evans, our playmaker.”
Edwards was 14-of-21 for 130 yards and an interception, and Losman finished 3-of-5 for 113 yards and the touchdown to Evans. The Bills managed just 342 yards total offense, but the Jets had only 216 in a matchup of two of the worst units in the league.
The Jets also changed quarterbacks as Pennington was replaced by Kellen Clemens with 3:32 left to a chorus of cheers from those remaining at Giants Stadium. Pennington, 13-of-20 for 106 yards, couldn’t get the offense going. Clemens finished 5-of-12 for 67 yards and two interceptions.
The benching will re-ignite the debate over whether Clemens should be the starter.
“Whatever decision coach decides to make, that’s his decision,” Pennington said.
The Jets had a scary moment with 7:41 left when Laveranues Coles jumped up to catch a pass from Pennington and was immediately hit in the middle of the back by Bills cornerback Terrence McGee. Coles’ chest and head slammed to the turf and the wide receiver remained face-down near the Bills sideline for nearly five minutes as trainers looked at him.
He sat up after several minutes walked off the field under his own power. The nature of the injury was unclear.
“I’m all right,” he said after the game. “I’m going to go in the back and get checked out and the team will be able to tell you more a little later.”
When asked if he slammed his head against the turf, Coles said simply: “Yeah, I guess so.”
Buffalo scored on its opening possession with a 30-yard field goal by Lindell that capped a 16-play, 64-yard drive that took 10:07 off the clock.
New York came right back on its first series, getting a 27-yard field goal by Mike Nugent 4:42 into the second quarter. The Jets held the ball for 9:25 on a drive that spanned 15 plays and 78 yards.
Revis’ interception of Edwards in the second quarter was the first of his career. … Bills running back Marshawn Lynch finished with 80 yards on 21 carries after missing a few minutes in the first half to have his hip checked out. … Jets rookie linebacker David Harris, starting after Jonathan Vilma was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury, had 17 tackles, including 10 solo, and a sack.