ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez did nothing to settle questions about his job security with another sloppy performance as the Jets ended their season with a 28-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Despite snapping a three-game skid with their first win in seven tries against New York, Buffalo still finished fourth in the division for a fifth straight season. Buffalo hasn’t made the playoffs for 13 straight seasons.
That’s led to questions regarding Gailey’s job status after going 16-32 in three seasons.
The Jets (6-10) and beleaguered coach Rex Ryan also enter an uncertain offseason after closing their second straight year with three consecutive losses. Since taking the Jets to successive AFC title games, Ryan has gone 14-18.
Sanchez, the 2009 first-round draft pick finished 17 of 25 for 205 yards with an interception — his 18th of the season — and a lost fumble. He also directed an offense that once more lacked finish, settling for two field goals on three trips inside the Bills 20.
It was Sanchez’s first start in two weeks after he turned over the ball five times in a 14-10 loss at Tennessee.
Sanchez was supposed to be on the bench on Sunday, and only got the start after third-stringer Greg McElroy complained of concussion-like symptoms on Thursday.
“I know I’m better than this,” said Sanchez. “I’m contracted to be here. And I want to be here.”
Time will tell on Sanchez, Sparano and that of backup quarterback Tim Tebow, who did little to justify the hype he received after arriving in New York in an offseason trade with Denver. Tebow was a nonfactor once again for New York, just as he has been all season. It likely was Tebow’s final game with the Jets.
Down 9-7, the Bills went ahead for good when Ryan Fitzpatrick dumped a short pass over the middle to Spiller, who split defenders and then outraced them into the end zone.
The Jets trailed 14-9 at the half despite gaining more yards than Buffalo (204-132), getting more first downs (13-4) and holding a whopping edge in time of possession (23:15-6:45).
On a cold, sunny afternoon in a half-empty Ralph Wilson Stadium, a foot of snow that fell this week was completely shoveled away only three hours before kickoff. And what happened on the field was overshadowed by the various changes that could be coming for both teams.
Gailey and general manager Buddy Nix are on the hot seat, particularly after a spending spree that brought defensive end Mario Williams for a $100 million contract.
It’s also possible that, like Sanchez, Fitzpatrick has appeared in his final game with his team.
This was not the finish anyone expected of the Jets. They opened the season with a 48-24 win over the Bills, and closed it by combining for 60 points in their final five games.
This is not the finish many expected for the Bills, either. They also opened the season with aspirations of being a bona fide contender after their defense was supposed to have been improved with the addition of high-priced defensive end Mario Williams.
“The win doesn’t change how the season went as far as reaching our team goals,” safety George Wilson said. “But, at the end of the day, we’re able to go into the offseason on a winning note.
(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)