EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Here are some initial thoughts on the New York Jets' 28-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills:
What it means: The Jets kept their playoff hopes alive with a crucial victory to improve to 6-5. The win for New York also snapped a two-game losing streak. The Bills played well for three-and-a-half quarters. But for all intents and purposes, Buffalo (5-6) was knocked out of the wild-card race with its fourth consecutive loss.
Sanchez comes through: New York starting quarterback Mark Sanchez struggled most of the game but came through when it mattered most. Sanchez led a key, 82-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter that put the Jets ahead for good. He threw a 16-yard touchdown to receiver Santonio Holmes to close the game. Sanchez received a lot of jeers throughout the game for his struggles. He completed 17 of 35 passes for 180 yards. But Sanchez also had four touchdown passes.
Johnson's TD celebration: The most controversial play of the day came in the second quarter when Buffalo Bills receiver Steve Johnson scored a touchdown over Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. Johnson, after scoring, did a touchdown dance and pretended to shoot himself in the leg, mocking Jets receiver Plaxico Burress. Johnson was flagged 15 yards for excessive celebration. But the move also wasn't in good taste, considering Burress spent years in prison for the incident. Johnson could be hearing from the league office this week.
Happy return: Former Jets receiver Brad Smith made his first return to New York since singing a free-agent contract with the Bills and had his best game of the season. Smith recorded a team-high 77 yards receiving on four receptions, including a 36-yard touchdown catch.
What’s next: The Jets will travel to play the Washington Redskins next week in another must-win game. The Bills will host the Tennessee Titans at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Buffalo hasn't played a home game since Nov. 6.