Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson said he was ”just having fun” when he mocked being shot in the thigh after a touchdown catch Sunday. He recognized after a 28-24 loss to Plaxico Burress and the Jets that his celebration hurt the Bills.
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Actually, though, the Bills wide receiver was penalized 15 yards for another celebration following his 5-yard scoring catch that put Buffalo ahead 14-7 in the second quarter. Johnson drew the flag for going to the ground while imitating the Jets’ ”flight” celebration at the other side of the end zone.
”I was just having fun and part of having fun ended up being a penalty and a touchdown for the Jets,” Johnson said. ”It was a stupid decision by myself.”
The penalty forced Buffalo to kick off from its 20-yard line. Dave Rayner, a substitute for injured kicker Rian Lindell, mis-hit the intended squib kick and it bounced off the Jets’ Emmanuel Cook, who recovered at the Buffalo 36. New York scored on a 14-yard pass from Mark Sanchez to Burress with 1:03 remaining in the half to make it 14-14.
Burress, of course, served 20 months in prison for shooting himself in the leg in a nightclub in 2008 while he was with the Giants.
Asked if his demonstration was meant as a personal knock at Burress, Johnson said ”not at all.”
”I can’t be doing that,” he added. ”I cost my team seven points. I feel I cost our team a win.”
Burress, who made a spectacular catch on the Jets’ late drive for the winning touchdown, said he wasn’t aware of what Johnson did.
”I’ve seen worse, and I’ve heard worse,” Burress said. ”So, it doesn’t bother me at all. The result I’m looking at is we won the football game … and he turned around and dropped three wide-open balls to lose it for his team.
”I mean, I’ve already been through the wringer with that whole situation, so I’ve dealt with it accordingly and put those things behind me. You’re going to see things, you’re going to hear things, or whatever it may be, but it doesn’t bother me at all.
”He’s a young player and I like him a lot. I think he’s a great young talent and is going to be a great player in this league.”
Although Bills coach Chan Gailey said he didn’t see what action drew the penalty either, he criticized his team for a lack of maturity.
”One of the things today was a lack of discipline and we have got to get that straightened out,” Gailey said. ”We need that kind of emotion without those glaring errors.”
Gailey told Johnson immediately after the penalty, ”You can’t do that stuff, it hurts the team.”
Johnson also had a key drop near the Jets’ goal line as Buffalo drove downfield in the final moments. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said it came on a play ”we drew up in the dirt … in the huddle.”
Johnson was wide open on the pass from the New York 47 and got both hands on the ball inside the Jets 25. But he couldn’t hold on.
”I didn’t react fast enough,” he said. `It could have been a touchdown.”
Last year, Johnson’s drop cost the Bills a potential winning TD in overtime against Pittsburgh. He was inconsolable after that loss, but not quite so devastated Sunday.
”We’re human and we’ve got to learn,” Johnson said. ”If we stop learning, what’s the point of living?”