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(Sunday, January 2nd)
Final Score: NY Jets 38, Buffalo 7
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Joe McKnight hit the century mark for the first time in his career with 158 yards on 32 carries as the New York Jets posted a 38-7 victory over Buffalo in the final regular-season contest for both teams at Meadowlands Stadium.
"I really want to tip my hat to Joe McKnight," said Jets head coach Rex Ryan of the Southern Cal product. "I said [to him on Saturday], 'You're going to carry this thing 40 times tomorrow.' I was mistaken, he only carried it 32 times."
Mark Brunell played three quarters, going 6-of-12 for 110 yards, two TDs and an interception for the Jets (11-5), who reached the postseason for the second straight campaign.
Kellen Clemens finished with one completion for six yards and rushed for a score. Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes each recorded a touchdown reception, John Conner posted a rushing TD and Marquice Cole added a 35-yard interception touchdown for the victors.
New York locked up the No. 6 seed in the AFC and will take on the No. 3 Colts, who won the South division. The game will be next Saturday at 8 p.m. (et) in Indianapolis.
"I felt great about the performance of our entire football team," Ryan gushed. "We got some pressure on their quarterback, forced a lot of turnovers. I think we had six turnovers today on defense. Obviously a tremendous performance, and we really got exactly what we were shooting for leading into the playoffs."
Brian Brohm was 10-of-23 for 106 yards and was intercepted three times for the Bills (4-12), who extended their franchise-worst record to 11 straight seasons without a playoff berth.
Fred Jackson was limited to 35 yards on 13 carries but Steve Johnson posted 72 yards on five receptions in defeat.
Nick Folk's 28-yard field goal proved to be the lone points of the first quarter.
The Jets went up 10-0 at the 5:53 mark of the second quarter when Cole out- jumped a Bills receiver to a Brohm offering and raced 35 yards to the end zone.
Brunell connected with Holmes on a 17-yard strike with 15 seconds left in the half and the home team was up 17-0 at the break.
Jairus Byrd picked off Brunell on the Jets first drive of the second half and rolled in for a 37-yard touchdown, but Brunell recovered two series later when he found Edwards for a 52-yard scoring strike.
Clemens took over under center in the fourth quarter and put the Jets up 31-7 on a 10-yard dash to the end zone on New York's second series of the period.
On Buffalo's first play following that score, Brohm was picked off by Cole again. Five plays later, Conner appeared to have the ball stripped away before he broke the plane, but officials called it a 16-yard touchdown. The call was upheld by review.
Dwight Lowery snagged a deep Levi Brown pass inside of four minutes remaining and the Jets managed to work off the rest of the clock with six more plays including a first down rush from McKnight.
"It hurts. That's not the way you want to finish," lamented Bills head coach Chan Gailey. "You play two division opponents and you want to try to see if you've made any progress, and we did not make progress. When you look at it evaluation-wise at the end of the year, I think maybe we have further to go than I thought we did."
New York has won five of its last six over Buffalo...Brunell's hookup with Holmes was the lefty's first touchdown pass since November, 2006...Normal Bills starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was inactive for the contest, fell two TD passes short of Jim Kelly and Joe Ferguson as the only two Bills QB's to have at least 25 in one season...Fitzpatrick did become just the second signal caller in NFL history to end a season with exactly 3,000 yards, with Minnesota's Tommy Kramer the first back in 1986.
01/02 21:22:38 ET
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