ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP)— Sam Darnold one-upped his fellow rookie quarterback Josh Allen, rallying the Jets to a 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Elijah McGuire scored on a fourth-and-goal run from the 1 with 1 minute 17 seconds remaining to cap a drive during which Darnold completed three of five passes for 52 yards. He particularly showed off his deft touch on a 37-yard pass to Robby Anderson, who made an over-the-shoulder catch up the right sideline.
It was Darnold’s first career fourth-quarter comeback and came in his first game back after missing three with a strained right foot.
He finished 16 of 24 for 170 yards with a touchdown and interception. The Jets (4-9) snapped a six-game losing streak, bouncing back after squandering a 16-0 lead in a 26-22 loss at Tennessee.
Darnold, drafted third overall, got the edge on Allen, who was selected with the seventh pick. Allen went 18 of 36 for 206 yards and two interceptions, both picked off by Trumaine Johnson, including one on the Bills’ final drive.
Allen did finish with 101 yards rushing to become the second quarterback in N.F.L. history to top 90 yards rushing in three consecutive games. Tobin Rote did it with Green Bay in 1951.
In a matchup of rookie quarterbacks, the Jets’ Sam Darnold led his first N.F.L. game-winning drive to best Josh Allen of the Bills.
Buffalo dropped to 4-9 in what proved to be a sloppy game.
The Jets won when their embattled coach, Todd Bowles, gambled after Darnold was stopped at the 1 on third-and-goal from the 4.
McGuire scored by taking a handoff and running to his right before finding a crease to squeeze into the end zone. He finished with 60 yards rushing in relief of the starter Isaiah Crowell, who left with a shoulder injury in the second quarter.
The Bills were eventually down to their final running back, Marcus Murphy, after Chris Ivory was sidelined by a shoulder injury in the second half.
Buffalo squandered a 14-3 lead, and was undone by a special-teams unit that allowed Andre Roberts to return five kickoffs for 176 yards. Roberts’s 86-yard return set up Trenton Cannon’s 4-yard run, which cut Buffalo’s lead to 17-13 with 6:31 left in the second quarter.
It was the first touchdown scored by the Jets’ offense in 24 possessions, dating to the first quarter of a 27-13 loss to New England two weeks ago.
The Jets’ special teams also blocked Stephen Hauschka’s 49-yard field-goal attempt at the end of the first half.
The Jets trailed until Darnold capped an 11-play, 85-yard drive by hitting Anderson for a 7-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 20-20 with 12:06 left.
The Bills responded, with Hauschka hitting a 36-yard field goal with 2:31 remaining.
Allen scored on a 7-yard run, and Isaiah McKenzie also scored on a 15-yard run for Buffalo.