East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - A spirited defensive effort was nearly outdone by a team-record 20 penalties, but the New York Jets won a battle between rookie quarterbacks after Geno Smith's third touchdown of the day was enough to down EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills, 27-20.
Smith, who was passed on by the Bills in this past April's NFL Draft in favor of Manuel, put forth his best performance as a pro, and needed to in order to overcome 163 team penalty yards. He threw for two touchdowns and added another on the ground, while completing 16-of-29 throws for 331 yards with a pair of interceptions.
The Jets' (2-1) receiving corps stepped up against a depleted secondary that Smith was routinely picking apart. Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill each caught long touchdown passes, with Holmes' 69-yard score with 9:23 left proving to be the difference. He ended with five catches for 154 yards, while Hill accumulated 108 yards on three receptions.
Manuel's life was made miserable most of the day, as the Jets' defense sacked the rookie signal-caller eight times. He completed just 19-of-42 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown, and the Bills (1-2) were forced to settle for four Dan Carpenter field goals on the day.