EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- The New York Jets were penalized a franchise-record 20 times.
And cornerback Kyle Wilson was actually benched for a drive after a meltdown of penalties. He was flagged on four consecutive snaps (one was wiped away by an offsetting penalty). Overall, Wilson was flagged four times for a total of 49 yards in the game -- not including the one nullified by an offsetting penalty.
“I’m not going to comment on the officiating,” Wilson said afterward.
Wilson’s first penalty came in the third quarter when he was flagged for defensive pass interference on a first-and-10 at the Buffalo 48 when EJ Manuel attempted a pass for T.J. Graham. The penalty cost the Jets 24 yards.
On the second drive of the fourth quarter, Wilson could not stop committing penalties as Bills’ wideout Stevie Johnson started jawing with him and got to Wilson.
On a third-and-6 at the Bills’ 24, Manuel threw a pass for Johnson. Wilson was called for defensive holding but Johnson drew a taunting penalty for getting in Wilson’s face.
“He’s a Jets player, I’m a Bills player,” Johnson explained. “It’s that bad blood. They walk around like they are bigger than us and we are not going to have that. We were just playing football. It was nothing personal.”
Due to the offsetting penalties, the Bills had another third-and-6 and this time Wilson was flagged for illegal contact as Manuel threw to Johnson again. On the ensuing first down at the Bills’ 29, Wilson was flagged for a personal foul for five yards. Sheldon Richardson also was flagged for illegal use of hands but that penalty was declined. On the next first-and-10 from the Bills’ 34, Manuel completed a pass for 14 yards to Johnson. Wilson tackled Johnson but gave the Bills receiver an extra shove that drew a 15-yard personal foul.
Jets coach Rex Ryan had seen enough.
“Heat of battle, some things happen,” Ryan said. “We needed to get him out of there, sit back, think about it, calm down and that’s exactly what we did.”
The Bills would end up scoring a touchdown on that drive to tie the game at 20-all with 10:39 remaining.
“Every player just [said] a corner has to have a short memory,” Wilson said of what teammates told him. “I have to take a look at the film and see what I can do better.”
“Rex wanted to take me out and cool me off,” he added. “I played physical out there, that is all that was.”
It was an incredibly frustrating drive for the Jets.
“What can I say about that?” tight end Kellen Winslow said of all the penalties. “Especially that one drive. I mean come on. It was beyond ridiculous.
“The league needs to take a look at that because that can’t happen,” Winslow continued. “Let us play, ya know? Every play was like a call. It must have been six or seven calls. Come on, you got to let us play a little bit. I’ll leave it at that.”
Wilson cooled off and returned after being benched for one drive. He managed to avoid any more penalties and the Jets somehow overcame all the flags to win.
“Sometimes those things happen,” Ryan said. “And you can’t put your personal situation in front of the team’s and that’s what I think we had to remind him of. And Kyle came back and responded, played well after that.”