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What we learned: Forte, Fitzpatrick lead Jets to win

Three New York receivers topped 90 yards apiece to lead the Jets to a 37-31 shootout victory over the Buffalo Bills in a wild Thursday night game chock-full of big plays and momentum swings. Here's what we learned:

  1. Reminiscent of last week's loss, the Jets controlled the game even if defensive miscues forced them to keep one eye on the scoreboard throughout the contests. With a scorching Ryan Fitzpatrick riddling the Bills' secondary with well-placed heat-check passes downfield, New York dominated first downs (28-15), time of possession (39:12-20:38) and total yards (493-365). Fitzpatrick's 10 completions of at least 15 yards were tied for the third-most in the past 10 seasons.

Fitzpatrick told the CBS broadcast team that this year's Jets offense boasts more talent than any team in his 12-year career. With the addition of Pro Bowl tailback Matt Forte as a dual-threat workhorse and the emergence of Quincy Enunwa as a dangerous complement to the dynamic duo of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, Fitzpatrick stands a good chance of bettering last season's career year. Essentially replacing the tight end in Chan Gailey's offense, Enunwa was picking on respected cornerback Stephon Gilmore as Fitzpatrick's most productive receiver prior to a third-quarter rib injury.

  1. The Jets received a gift from the football gods when Marshall missed just a few plays after suffering a left knee injury in the second quarter. Marshall's knee twisted awkwardly beneath his body when Gilmore brought him down by the facemask on a tackle that was penalized inside the red zone. The veteran wideout was writhing in pain, often a sign of a torn knee ligament. Although Marshall had a bad third-down drop in the third quarter, he deserves credit for not only returning, but for making plays down the stretch in a tight game.

"Scary. It was very scary. It didn't look good," Fitzpatrick said about Marshall's injury after the game. "It was such a relief to see him get back into the huddle."

  1. If the Jets have an obvious weakness through two games, it's a secondary that is vulnerable to big plays. Noticeably missing his recovery speed, Darrelle Revis was the victim on Marquise Goodwin's 84-yard touchdown bomb. Even if Revis attributes that gaffe to peeking in the backfield early in the play, his obvious lost step is a concern after A.J. Green dog-walked him around the field last week.
  1. For the second consecutive week, Tyrod Taylor's offense was lacking a sustaining element as he missed too many throws and had little feel for the pocket. The Bills' respectable offensive numbers were skewed by Goodwin's long touchdown, busted coverage on Taylor's improvised 71-yard connection with Greg Salas and a garbage-time scoring drive. It can't help Taylor's confidence or rhythm that the Bills are needlessly fooling around with EJ Manuel as a bizarre short-yardage specialist.
  1. The officials were criticized for allowing Cam Newton to stay in the season opener after taking a series of blows to his helmet. With that in mind, it's worth noting that Ed Hochuli's crew sent Taylor to the sidelines in the third quarter for a concussion test. To be fair to Hochuli, though, this is nothing new. He pulled Mike Vick from a game last season when it turned out that the quarterback simply had dirt in his eye.
  1. Gilmore and Ronald Darby may have been among the league's stingiest cornerback duos last season, but they were beaten soundly by the Jets receivers Thursday night. Fitzpatrick was 13 of 19 for 226 yards and a touchdown versus Gilmore and Darby, per Pro Football Focus. Rex Ryan expressed frustration to CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson at halftime, indicating that his cornerbacks need to come down with the contested passes they were losing to Marshall, Decker and Enunwa.
  1. Early in the game, the Bills' linebacker trio of Jerry Hughes, Preston Brown and Lorenzo Alexander picked up where they left off in Week 1: flying around the field and wreaking havoc near the line of scrimmage. Once Fitzpatrick started dominating time of possession with long drive after long drive, though, Buffalo's front seven ran out of steam and lost its disruptive first-quarter form.
  1. Sammy Watkins told Wolfson before the game that his foot injury was all about pain management. He managed just two catches for 20 yards and was noticeably absent on the Bills' late fourth-quarter scoring drive. Considering Buffalo's lack of quality depth at wide receiver, Watkins is the most important player on the team. If the injury lingers all season, this offense is a sinkhole.
  1. It's safe to say the Forte signing is paying huge dividends for the Jets. Although the 30-year-old left some yards on the field when presented with big holes, he was extremely proficient in the red zone. Through two games, he's averaging 132 yards on 29.5 touches to go with the three red-zone scores versus the Bills.
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