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Buffalo at New York

Miller gets go-ahead score on kickoff return to lead Jets to win

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When Justin Miller started his high-flying act down the sideline, Buffalo looked on in disgust.

Miller scooted past every Bills player, speeding for a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 5:58 remaining to lift the Jets to a 30-26 victory Sunday. Ty Law sealed the win with his third interception of the game, helping New York (4-12) end the season with some dignity.

"We've been through a horrific season," Jets coach Herman Edwards said. "It's not fun for the players, it's not fun for the organization. We just kept fighting. That's something to say about those men in that locker room."

The loss, however, was most undignified for the Bills (5-11), who came into the game yielding 18.6 yards per kickoff return -- tops in the NFL. It was the first time they gave up a kickoff return for a score since allowing two in an overtime loss to the Jets to open the 2002 season.

"I never imagined we'd lose the game on a touchdown, the way our unit had been playing," linebacker Mario Haggan said. "We came in with high hopes but to give it up like that really hurts. Until we kick it off in 2006, this will be in the back of our minds."

Both organizations are probably happy the season is over. The injury-ravaged Jets must deal with a new round of questions on the status of Edwards, who affirmed his commitment to the team again Sunday despite speculation linking him to Kansas City.

Now that Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil has decided to retire, that link will probably keep gaining strength. Edwards, who makes about $2 million a year, might try to use the situation to lobby for a contract extension because he needs time to clean up the team.

As for Buffalo, coach Mike Mularkey, the subject of much criticism this season, is expected to stay but general manager Tom Donahoe could be out. Mularkey said he wasn't concerned with his job security.

"I haven't been to this point and I'm not going to start now," Mularkey said. "I'm going to approach this job full speed ahead. I'll talk to all the players and get a good feel for their state of mind."

Law also could be out of New York, and if he played his last game with the Jets, he went out strong. His three interceptions brought his season total to 10, setting a career high and a record for most interceptions by a Jets cornerback. He also moved into third on the team's all-time single-season list.

Though Law took a hit to the head in the third quarter and was woozy, he insisted on returning to the game after sitting out a few series. The team's lone Pro Bowl selection, Law is expected to become a free agent in the offseason because he is due $11 million to trigger the remainder of his contract. The 11-year veteran is proud he was able to return from a broken right foot to have one of his most productive seasons.

"There was a lot of doubt if I'd be able to come back," Law said. "If there's a chance, I'd love to play with these guys again. We all know this is a business, it's something you can't control."

After Buffalo went ahead 26-23 on Rian Lindell's 36-yard field goal, Miller took the ensuing kickoff and tiptoed down the sideline, finally providing the special teams score the Jets lacked all season. Buffalo had one final shot with 47 seconds left, but Law intercepted Kelly Holcomb's deep heave.

Miller said all he saw was "green and daylight. I saw all my teammates blocking and laying it on the line ... so it was my goal to get into the end zone."

Lindell had four field goals in all (21, 24, 52, 36), and Holcomb was 23-of-37 for 184 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.

Most of the first-half highlights came from the Jets defense, which got three interceptions. Law had two, and Mark Brown had the other, when the football landed into his arms after it bounced off fullback Daimon Shelton's shoes. Brown raced 33 yards for a touchdown to put the Jets ahead 17-6 early in the second quarter.

Though Buffalo came back, the Jets were able to hold on to end the season on a positive note.

"I don't want to be standing here next year talking about the character of the team," linebacker Jonathan Vilma said. "I want to be talking about winning and the playoffs."

Notes

  • Jets DE John Abraham had a sack, giving him 10.5 sacks this season, his highest total since 13 in 2001.
  • Buffalo had four sacks, including two from DT Sam Adams.
  • Willis McGahee had 22 carries for 113 yards and went over 100 yards for the first time in eight games.
  • Mike Nugent added three field goals (49, 25, 34) for the Jets.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Justin Miller bails out the Jets with the go-ahead TD on a 95-yard kickoff return.
 
Justin Miller bails out the Jets with the go-ahead TD on a 95-yard kickoff return. (Getty Images)
 

 

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Sun. Jan. 1Final
Buffalo
(5-11)
31010326
NY Jets
(4-12)
31431030
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
FGRian Lindell 21 Yd, 9:29. Drive: 8 plays, 53 yards in 3:38.
FGMike Nugent 49 Yd, 4:58. Drive: 6 plays, 13 yards in 2:31.
2ND QUARTER
FGRian Lindell 24 Yd, 14:12. Drive: 11 plays, 62 yards in 5:46.
TDCedric Houston, 3 Yd run (Mike Nugent kick is good), 13:31. Drive: 2 plays, 46 yards in 0:41.
TDMark Brown, 33 Yd interception return (Mike Nugent kick is good), 13:15.
TDEric Moulds, 22 Yd pass from Kelly Holcomb (Rian Lindell kick is good), 3:57. Drive: 10 plays, 67 yards in 4:52.
3RD QUARTER
FGRian Lindell 52 Yd, 11:52. Drive: 8 plays, 27 yards in 3:08.
FGMike Nugent 25 Yd, 5:26. Drive: 13 plays, 69 yards in 6:26.
TDRoscoe Parrish, 3 Yd pass from Kelly Holcomb (Rian Lindell kick is good), 0:36. Drive: 8 plays, 50 yards in 4:50.
4TH QUARTER
FGMike Nugent 34 Yd, 10:35. Drive: 12 plays, 55 yards in 5:01.
FGRian Lindell 36 Yd, 6:13. Drive: 10 plays, 47 yards in 4:22.
TDJustin Miller, 95 Yd kick return (Mike Nugent kick is good), 5:58.
Players of the Game

T. Law
Tk 2
Sck 0.0
Int 3
Fumb Rec 0

W. McGahee
Rush 22
Yds 113
Avg 5.1
TD 0
 
Buffalo
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
K. Holcomb23/3718424
RushingATTYDSTDLG
W. McGahee22113017
L. Evans139039
K. Holcomb4703
S. Williams3003
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
E. Moulds896122
R. Parrish423115
W. McGahee222019
L. Evans217010
M. Campbell31005
D. Shelton2605
J. Reed1505
S. Williams1505
New York
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
B. Bollinger11/2015300
RushingATTYDSTDLG
C. Houston1655110
D. Blaylock41406
B. Bollinger71208
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
L. Coles479043
J. Cotchery145045
J. McCareins21106
J. Sowell1707
J. Dreessen1606
C. Houston1606
D. Jolley1-10-1
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
STL 20 Final
DAL 10
WAS 31 Final
PHI 20
SEA 17 Final
GB 23
HOU 17 Final
SF 20
TEN 13 Final
JAC 40
NO 13 Final
TB 27
DET 21 Final
PIT 35
MIA 28 Final
NE 26
CHI 10 Final
MIN 34
CIN 3 Final
KC 37
ARI 13 Final
IND 17
BAL 16 Final
CLE 20
CAR 44 Final
ATL 11
NYG 30 Final
OAK 21
DEN 23 Final
SD 7