Jets lose grip on playoffs in season-ending loss to Bills

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three fourth-quarter interceptions, dooming the Jets (10-6) in a 22-17 loss to the Bills (8-8) that ruined New York's playoff hopes. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Same Old Jets. New York had the opportunity to qualify for the postseason for the first time in five years with a win, but they came out tight and never held a lead. They committed penalties, dropped passes, got called for personal fouls and burned timeouts. In short, they made Rex Ryan's chronically sloppy Bills team look civil and disciplined by comparison.

And just when the Jets appeared poised to take control in the second half, Ryan Fitzpatrick fell apart. The veteran quarterback -- who set the team's touchdown record earlier in the day -- threw a trio of fourth-quarter interceptions that decided the game. The crusher came early in the fourth quarter, an end-zone pick with the Jets trailing 19-17 and in field-goal position. It will be a throw that lives in infamy in Jets history.

The Steelers, meanwhile, beat the Browns in Cleveland, claiming the AFC's final Wild Card spot.

  1. Rex Ryan's first season in Buffalo was a failure, but he can always hang his hat on knocking his old team out of the playoffs. The Bills swept the Jets this season, ended New York's five-game winning streak and knocked Todd Bowles' team out of the playoffs. Cue the "Rex is still keeping the Jets out of the playoffs" jokes.
  1. Like DeAndre Hopkins before him, Sammy Watkins made Darrelle Revis look bad in a loss for the Jets. Watkins had no trouble creating space and Tyrod Taylor found his top wideout 11 times for 136 yards, with many of those catches coming with Revis in coverage. Revis remains a great corner, but we saw enough this season to conclude he can be exposed by certain playmakers. Revis is an all-timer, but he's also 30 years old.
  1. Not enough was made of Bilal Powell's absence entering Sunday. The versatile running back had emerged as the Jets' most important weapon on offense after Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Without him, the Jets tried to force-feed an overmatched Stevan Ridley, who hasn't made it back from reconstructive knee surgery. Curiously, Ridley got the start over the forever banged-up Chris Ivory. We'll see if there was more to that decision than simple strategy.
  1. The Jets were the best defense in football on third downs this season. They played against type at the worst possible time on Sunday. The Bills converted nine third downs into first downs, including the game-opening touchdown, a pretty piece of scrambling by Taylor. The Bills also converted twice on fourth down. The Jets had no pass rush in this game, a major culprit in the inability to get off the field in big spots.
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