Allegany Communications Sports­­

Did you see Ty Johnson shoot himself from a cannon early Sunday evening on national television? Yup, that was Ty giving the Buffalo Bills an enormous boost with his 28-yard touchdown from quarterback Josh Allen, and as it was pointed out on X, formerly Twitter, it was likely the first time a player not named Josh Allen did that much work on a Josh Allen touchdown.

Sounds familiar. Yeah, that’s the guy.

The play, a jet-sweep play-fake on fourth-and-one from the New York Jets 28 (did we mention it came against the New York Jets?) came as such a burst that it seemed to surprise Jim Nantz and Tony Romo in the CBS booth, as within seconds, Ty was tight-roping it down the right sideline into the end zone to extend the Bills’ lead to 22-6, which then became a much-needed 32-6 victory.

Hey, how long have we been saying this? Since Ty graduated from Fort Hill High School to play for the University of Maryland, that’s how long we’ve been saying it: All you have to do is give him a chance, and he’ll see to it you’re happy you gave him the chance. And as we saw on the CBS national telecast moments after the touchdown, first-week Buffalo offensive coordinator Joe Brady was very happy he gave Ty Johnson the chance, as Ty had three catches for 47 yards and, with his 4.40 speed, remains uncatchable in the open field.

Um, this isn’t the reason many of us chose to do this type of work for a living (though it is one of the top reasons), but the last time Ty Johnson was mentioned here, I believe it was moi who said the day after he signed with the Bills in late August, “Who’s to say how this will turn out, but if it’s solely on the shoulders of Ty Johnson to determine how it turns out, as I’ve been saying since he was a sophomore in high school, I wouldn’t bet against him.

“I never have. And I’ve always won.”

Guess what? I win again. We all win again, including the Buffalo Bills. Most of all, Ty continues to win, as he played in 33 games for the Jets in 2021 and 2022 before being released in April after he tore a pectoral muscle working out and then had the surgery he did not want to have, but had because the Jets told him to have it. Have I ever told you I never cared for the Jets?

Ty recovered by mid-August, which we knew he would, and he signed with the Bills, which we were delighted he did, and after spending the first six weeks on the Buffalo practice squad, he played his fifth game on the active roster on Sunday.

“It feels good, man. It was a surreal moment,” he told the Buffalo News. “It was just being present in the moment. You always think you’re going to get that opportunity, but you just don’t know when you have a great running back room like we have.

“They called my number for the play,” Johnson said, “and I was like, ‘All right! Be present, execute, take it from there.’ ”

The Bills used jet-sweep motion before the snap to draw the Jets cornerback to the left side of the field. Allen faked a handoff to Ty, then ran a bootleg to the right and threw him a dump-off pass, leaving just one defender on Ty’s side of the field. And guess what?

“It’s a normal rollout to the defensive left,” Johnson said. “They let me run free, clean catch. Drop step, great transition and good from there. You get out (of the backfield) as fast as possible. You know it’s a rollout, so you’ve got to get your head around quick. You see it every week at least once from every team, a rollout, especially in the red zone. But we called it fourth and one, which was obviously a critical down. Gotta have it.”

And he got it, just like old times. It’s like he never left.

Yeah, that guy Ty Johnson’s on your roster.

Joe Brady noticed. He gave him a chance, and Ty made him happy he did.

One day somebody will listen to us.

Ain’t the beer cold!

Mike Burke writes about sports and other stuff for Allegany Communications. He began covering sports for the Prince George’s Sentinel in 1981 and joined the Cumberland Times-News sports staff in 1984, serving as sports editor for over 30 years. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBurkeMDT