ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Matt Forte scored three touchdowns and Ryan Fitzpatrick finally solved Rex Ryan's defense, leading the New York Jets to a 37-31 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night.
Forte's 3-yard run put New York ahead 27-24 with 2:12 left in the third quarter. He sealed the win by patiently waiting for a seam to open before scampering into the end zone from 12 yards to put New York up 37-24 with 4:02 left in the fourth quarter.
Forte finished with 100 yards rushing, and the off-season free-agent addition became the 13th New York player to score three rushing touchdowns in a game.
The Jets (1-1) bounced back from a season-opening loss to Cincinnati and snapped a five-game skid against their AFC East rivals.
Fitzpatrick finished 24 of 34 for 374 yards and a 5-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker.
In beating one of his former teams, Fitzpatrick also overcame the stinging memories of last year's season finale, a 22-17 loss at Buffalo that eliminated the Jets from playoff contention. Fitzpatrick closed the loss by throwing interceptions on each of the Jets final three possessions.
The Bills (0-2) are suddenly reeling in Ryan's second season as coach, and two years after being fired by the Jets.
Their offense sputtered in a 13-7 loss at Baltimore on Sunday, and now it was their defense that showed cracks against the Jets.
New York finished with 493 yards offense, 28 first downs and had seven drives cross midfield.
Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor rebounded five days after he was limited to 111 yards passing against the Ravens.
He went 18 of 30 for 298 yards and three touchdowns. Marquise Goodwin scored on an 84-yarder catch, Greg Salas scored on a 71-yard catch and running back Mike Gillislee made it close, by catching an 18-yard touchdown pass with 1:17 remaining.
Brandon Marshall caught Dan Carpenter's onside kick.
The Jets scored on each of their first four possessions to build a 20-7 lead. Forte scored on a 1-yard plunge, Fitzpatrick found Decker on the 5-yarder and Nick Folk hit a pair of field goals.
The Bills rallied back to score on three straight possessions spanning halftime.
Dan Carpenter began the run by hitting a 39-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in the second quarter.
Then Buffalo scored twice in a span of 2:07 to go up 24-20. After Salas scored, Bills safety Nickell Robey-Coleman returned Jalin Marshall's fumble 36 yards for a touchdown on the Jets next possession.