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Midnight Madness
FFL: Offseason | NFL: Superbowl

Jets close season with 13-6 win over playoff-bound Bills

Sun Dec 29 4:24pm ET
By JOHN WAWROW
AP Sports Writer

Players: Frank Gore, Cole Beasley, John Brown, Matt Barkley, Jamison Crowder, T.J. Yeldon, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Devin Singletary

Buffalo Bills running back T.J. Yeldon (22) hurdles New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams, bottom, during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/David Dermer)


New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder (82) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Buffalo Bills' Dean Marlowe (31) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)


New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/David Dermer)


Buffalo Bills cornerback Levi Wallace (39) is carted off the field during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/David Dermer)


New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) reacts after missing a field goal during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Sam Darnold hit Jamison Crowder for a 1-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, and the New York Jets avoided finishing their fourth consecutive season with double-digit losses in a 13-6 win over the Buffalo Bills' backups Sunday.

The Jets missed the playoffs for a ninth consecutive season, but finished at 7-9 under first-year coach Adam Gase for their best record since going 10-6 in 2015.

The playoff-bound Bills had very little to play for while resting most of their starters, including quarterback Josh Allen after the first quarter. Buffalo dropped to 10-6 - still its best finish since going 11-5 in 1999 - and entered the game already locked in as the AFC's fifth seed.

The Bills will travel to play AFC South champion Houston Texans in the wild-card playoff round next weekend. The Texans were assured of the No. 4 seed after Kansas City defeated the Los Angeles Chargers.

Otherwise, the game between the Jets and Bills was a defensive struggle that befitted the sloppy conditions, with a persistent drizzle falling for most of the afternoon.

With the score tied at 3, and following Jets kicker Sam Ficken missing two of his first three field-goal attempts, Darnold oversaw a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, which he capped by hitting Crowder cutting across the middle on second-and-goal with 13:31 left.

The touchdown was Darnold's 19th of the season, and 36th of his career. The 2018 first-round draft pick fell one touchdown passing short of matching Joe Namath's record for most by a Jets player in his first two seasons.

Darnold and the Jets had a better finish to the season than their start. Beginning by squandering a 16-0 third-quarter lead in a 17-16 season-opening loss to the Bills, New York opened 1-7 during a stretch that included Darnold missed three games due to mononucleosis.

Darnold closed strong by going 6-2 in the second half of the season, in which he combined for 13 touchdowns passing and just four interceptions. Against Buffalo, he finished 23 of 36 for 199 yards, with an interception. He was sacked twice by Trent Murphy.

Allen lasted two series before backup Matt Barkley and the second stringers entered the game late in the first half.

Barkley was 18 of 35 for 232 yards with two interceptions and a lost fumble. In Barkley's defense, he was overseeing an offense that opened the game minus starters John Brown and Cole Beasley, and with just three active receivers, all backups.

The lack of chemistry showed on Barkley's second interception with 5:17 remaining. After gaining 45 yards on three plays, Barkley lobbed a pass directed toward T.J. Yeldon only to have the running back turn the wrong way, with the ball easily intercepted by Arthur Maulet.

The turnover led to Ficken hitting a 47-yard field goal to put the Jets up 13-3 with 2:05 left.

The Bills were unable to avoid injuries.

Starting cornerback Levi Wallace was carted off the sideline with a right ankle injury. He was hurt when his cleat got caught in the turf in intercepting Darnold's pass that caromed off the back of teammate Taron Johnson's helmet.

Bills right tackle Ty Nsekhe was also carted off the sideline after hurting his ankle on the opening drive of the third quarter. Nsekhe had just returned to the lineup after missing five games with an ankle injury.

ALEXANDER FAREWELL?

In what could be his final home game, Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander stood with his family on Buffalo's sideline while his daughter, Zoie, sang the national anthem. The 36-year-old Alexander has said he intends to retire after completing his 13th NFL season.

The Bills also called timeout before the Jets second series to allow Alexander to come off the field for one final time on defense.

GORE MILESTONE

Buffalo Bills running back Frank Gore played his 226th career regular-season game, tying Emmitt Smith for most by a running back in NFL history.

Gore was coming off his first career game in which he had no yards from scrimmage. Starting in place of rookie Devin Singletary, the 36-year-old Gore was limited to playing the first half in which he finished with six carries for 26 yards and three catches for 16.

UP NEXT

Jets: season over.

Bills: AFC wild-card playoff at Houston Texans.

Player Notes
Tyreek Hill Jan 24 10:30pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill put together another strong performance on Sunday versus the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. Hill caught nine of his 11 targets for a team high 172 yards against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. Hill wasn't able to get a touchdown in this contest, but he was dominant nonetheless. Hill has had a phenomenal season and he will look to keep that going versus a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense in Super Bowl 55. He remains one of the best at his position and will be a top option for those participating in DFS.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Jan 24 10:23pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes completed 29 of his 38 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 24. WR Tyreek Hill had nine catches for 172 yards, and TE Travis Kelce had 13 receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns. WR Mecole Hardman had two catches for four yards and a score to go along with a 50-yard run and a lost fumble on special teams. RB Darrel Williams rushed 13 times for 52 yards and a touchdown and added one catch for nine yards. Clyde Edwards-Helaire had six carries for seven yards and a score. LB Frank Clark recorded a pair of sacks, and S Juan Thornhill broke up four passes.

From TheHuddle

Clyde Edwards-Helaire Jan 24 10:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire scored a touchdown in his return to action versus the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. The rookie player a minor role on Sunday with Darrel Williams being the featured back and Le'Veon Bell (knee) inactive. CEH picked up just seven yards on six carries and caught one of his two targets for zero yards, but it was good to see him return to action for the first time since injuring his ankle and hip in Week 15. Edwards-Helaire will now have two weeks to rest up before facing a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense in the Super Bowl and he should be avoided in DFS for that contest.

From RotoBaller

Darrel Williams Jan 24 10:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running Darrel Williams rushed the ball 13 times for 52 yards and a touchdown versus the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. Williams has performed well with Clyde Edwards-Helaire sidelined, but the rookie returned on Sunday and figures to play a bigger role in the future. Williams will also have to compete with Le'Veon Bell (knee) who was inactive on Sunday and could return for the Super Bowl. The Chiefs are a pass heavy team and will face a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense Super Bowl 55. That will make Williams a risky option in DFS.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Jan 24 10:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes helped lead his two to their second consecutive Super Bowl with a victory against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. Mahomes was his usual self and completed 29 of his 38 pass attempts for 325 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed the ball five times for five yards. Mahomes is now the only player in NFL history to reach three straight championship games before the age of 26 and will now go to his second straight Super Bowl. Mahomes is putting up legendary numbers in his young career and he will square off against Tom Brady and a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense for the chance to win his second Super Bowl ring in two weeks.

From RotoBaller

Travis Kelce Jan 24 10:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs tight end had a monster night versus the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. Kelce has been setting all kinds of records this season and he has now jumped Rob Gronkowski for the most receiving yards in a season that includes the postseason for a tight end. Kelce had 13 catches on 15 targets for 118 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Kelce remains the top option with wide receiver Tyreek Hill for the Chiefs and he should be expected to play a big role in the Super Bowl versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kelce remains the top tight end option in the league and he will be one of the safer options in DFS.

From RotoBaller

Mecole Hardman Jan 24 10:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman had himself a day versus the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. Hardman had a rough start to the contest by dropping a punt that would lead to a Bills touchdown, but salvaged his day by catching two of his three targets for a 3-Yard touchdown and four total yards on the evening. He also picked up 50 yards on his lone carry. Hardman is an exciting player, but remains a shaky play for managers with the Chiefs having so many options on offense. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins (calf) also sat out this contest and his return would factor into Hardman's snap count. Hardman is always capable of breaking a big play and he will look to do that versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55.

From RotoBaller

Travis Kelce Jan 24 8:53pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce went over 100 receiving yards in the third quarter of the AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills. He became the first tight end in NFL history with five postseason games of 100 or more receiving yards.

From TheHuddle

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jan 24 7:50pm ET

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense played another strong game in a 31-26 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game. Tampa Bay sacked Aaron Rodgers five times, forcing one interception and a fumble in the huge win. The Buccaneers' pass rush was fueled by two players- linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who had three sacks and four quarterback hits, and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who had two sacks. Rising star Devin White led the team in tackles with 15, as he was a thorn in the side of the Packers' offensive plans all game long. Tampa Bay's defense will have its hands full in the Super Bowl against either Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen, though this unit is playing some excellent football at the right time.

From RotoBaller

Rob Gronkowski Jan 24 7:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski caught just one pass for 29 yards in his team's 31-26 win over the Packers. Gronkowski went catch-less through three quarters before picking up 29 yards on a screen pass in the fourth quarter, setting up Tampa Bay for a field goal. The former Patriot has nearly been an every-down player for the Buccaneers in the playoffs but has done little as a pass-catcher, as he's taken a backseat to fellow tight end Cameron Brate. No stranger to the big game, Gronkowski will get a chance to redeem himself in the Super Bowl.

From RotoBaller

Cameron Brate Jan 24 7:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate played a key role in another playoff victory for his team. Brate produced just 19 total yards, though he caught a third-quarter touchdown that helped extend the Buccaneers' lead to 28-10. The Harvard product exceeded 50 yards just once in the regular season but has accomplished the feat twice in Tampa Bay's three playoff wins. Tom Brady clearly has a trust for Brate as a pass-catcher, something that appears likely to continue as Tampa Bay prepares to be the first team to host and play in the Super Bowl.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Whitehead Jan 24 7:33pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Jordan Whitehead (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury in the second half of the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers. He will have two weeks to recover before Super Bowl LV.

From TheHuddle

Scott Miller Jan 24 7:30pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Scotty Miller saw extended playing time with Antonio Brown (knee) sidelined and made the most of it. Miller caught two passes for 36 receiving yards and a touchdown in the NFC title game victory. He came up with a huge play at the very end of the first half, hauling in a 39-yard bomb from Tom Brady with just seconds left until halftime. Miller has shown a knack for making big plays when given the playing time, as he has three scores this year of 30 yards or more. His services may not be needed in the Super Bowl if Antonio Brown (knee) is healthy.

From RotoBaller

Chris Godwin Jan 24 7:20pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin enjoyed a strong game in Sunday's NFC title game win over Green Bay. Godwin hauled in five of a team-high nine targets for 110 receiving yards. He came up with a huge, 52-yard grab that led to a Leonard Fournette touchdown in the first half. Godwin has exceeded 70 receiving yards in four of his last five contests and has led the Buccaneers in targets in each of their three playoff wins. While Antonio Brown (knee) will have a good chance of returning in time for the Super Bowl, Godwin should remain Brady's top target for the big game in Tampa Bay.

From RotoBaller

Ronald Jones II Jan 24 7:10pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II was stifled by the Green Bay defense, though his team will still be advancing to the Super Bowl. Jones carried the ball 10 times but produced just 16 yards, as he failed to find any room to run on the Packers' front. He's taken a backseat to Leonard Fournette during the playoffs, though the coaching staff seems committed to keeping this backfield as somewhat of a split. Jones should be well-positioned for a bounce-back performance in the Super Bowl regardless of opponent, as both the Bills and Chiefs have had their struggles stopping the run.

From RotoBaller

Mike Evans Jan 24 7:10pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans caught three of eight targets for 51 yards and a touchdown. Most of Evans' production came in the first half, as he found himself free of Jaire Alexander's coverage on the first series of the game. He beat corner Kevin King in the end zone for a score, his 15th total touchdown of the season- including the playoffs. He did struggle with some drops, though he'll get a chance to rectify that in the Super Bowl. Tampa Bay will await the winner of the Chiefs-Bills game.

From RotoBaller

Robert Tonyan Jan 24 7:00pm ET

Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan caught four passes for only 22 yards in the team's 31-26 loss to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game. Tonyan led the NFL in the regular season, among tight ends, with 11 touchdowns but was held in check in this game. The Packers tried to get Tonyan on the run with some bootleg passes but the Buccaneers did an excellent job tackling on the edges. The 26-year-old enjoyed a breakout campaign but could be over-valued heading into the offseason due to touchdown-regression next season.

From RotoBaller

Leonard Fournette Jan 24 7:00pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette carried the ball 12 times for 55 rushing yards and a touchdown in a 31-26 win over the Packers. Fournette added five catches for 19 yards. The star back delivered a highlight-reel touchdown in the first half, bouncing a run to the outside and pulling off an impressive spin move en route to the end zone. He's been very productive for Tampa Bay during their playoff run- averaging 20.7 touches and 104.3 scrimmage yards per game along with three scores in three contests. Fournette should continue to operate as the 1a to Ronald Jones II's 1b when Tampa Bay plays in the Super Bowl.

From RotoBaller

Allen Lazard Jan 24 7:00pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard caught three passes for 62 yards in the team's 31-26 loss to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game. Lazard saw six targets in the game and made some nice contributions as the Packers played from behind most of the game. Lazard got off to a solid start this season but injuries prevented him from taking his game to another level. The 25-year-old finished the regular season with 33 receptions for 451 yards with three touchdowns. But the Packers head into the offseason still looking for a true complementary receiver to produce alongside star receiver Davante Adams. Whether Lazard can step into that role will depend on his development during the offseason.

From RotoBaller

Davante Adams Jan 24 6:50pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams caught nine passes for 67 yards with one touchdown in the team's 31-26 loss to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game. Tampa Bay did all it could to contain Adams and, for the most part, did a solid job. But Adams is too talented to be shut down for long and picked up his 20th (regular season and playoffs combined) touchdown of the season. The elite receiver was able to move the chains on some smaller receptions but was unable to truly bust out. Adams finished the regular season with 115 receptions for 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns.. He then backed that up with 18 receptions and two touchdowns in two playoff games. Adams will sit atop the fantasy charts among wide receivers heading into the offseason.

From RotoBaller