By Brad Carroll
The New York Jets suffered one of their most embarrassing defeats in a long time Sunday against the Bills, not so much because of the final score, but because of what it meant for the franchise's future. The 43-23 loss dropped the Jets to 1-7, effectively ending the season at the midway point and bringing back memories of years past where horrible seasons were the norm.
We have plenty of coverage of the loss, from our thoughts on the quarterback situation and what must happen for the Jets to prosper in the future at the position, to why general manager John Idzik must be fired at year's end, as this whole mess is his fault, and finally to our game wrap-up, discussing the keys to victory and how it went so wrong on the field.
But here we hand out our Game Balls and Game Falls from the loss against Buffalo.
Geno Smith: He was so bad Sunday against the Bills, even Rex Ryan, one of his biggest supporters, finally saw the light and benched Smith after just four series. All it took was for Smith to throw three terrible interceptions in about 10 minutes. Smith may have started his final game ever for the Jets. He went 2-for-8 with five yards passing and three picks, registering a quarterback rating of 0. The three interceptions brings Smith's career total to 31 in just 24 starts. Read more about why Smith should never start a game again for the Jets here.
Michael Vick: The backup turned starter didn't play well either against Buffalo, fumbling four times, losing two of them, and throwing an interception. He also turned the wrong way on at least a couple running plays, showing he was out of sync, or not as prepared as he should have been to play. He did pass for 153 yards and ran for another 69, leading four touchdown drives. But it wasn't enough to lead a comeback in a game the Jets trailed by just seven at halftime.
Antonio Allen: Seemingly every week Allen shows up in this space, even though he gets somewhat of a pass for being misused all season long because of the lack of players in the secondary. But, remember, he's making a heck of a lot more money than you or me to play football for a living. Allen allowed two touchdowns against Buffalo, getting consistently beaten once again on the field.
Calvin Pryor: The first round draft pick looks like another mistake by general manager John Idzik. He had just two tackles in the game and had no positive plays to mention, which has become a common occurrence for the over-hyped, under-talented safety.
Sheldon Richardson: He had nine tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage, and a half-sack. He was one of the few Jets players who actually had a positive impact on the game.
Quinton Coples: While Smith likely threw his career with the Jets away this week, Coples may have rescued his. Coples had the best game of his season, collecting 1.5 sacks to go along with seven tackles, including one for a loss of yardage. The linebacker spent most of last week's game on the bench, so this was a nice bounce-back performance.
Saalim Hakim: For some reason the wide receiver was playing defensive back (thanks Idzik), but in this one instance it actually worked for the best, as Hakim caught Sammy Watkins from behind on an 84-yard reception that should have been a touchdown. Watkins slowed down and raised his finger in the air at around the 10 yard line, allowing the speedy Hakim to catch him after a full-out dive and trip him up. It was Hakim's only defensive play of the game and it was one of the highlights in a game full of lowlights. (We won't even mention officially the Bills scored a touchdown on the drive anyway).