How about those Bills, nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills or any other Bills cliché you can think of; please insert. The streak against the division rival New England Patriots, though the rivalry has been one sided for the past decade is over with the Buffalo Bills thrilling 34-31 victory in Sundays game at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The Buffalo Bills withstood a furious offensive attack lead by Tom Brady and Wes Welker who finished the game with 17 catches and well over 200 yards in receiving. The Buffalo Bills coming into Sunday’s game was in the midst of a 15 game losing streak to the hands of the New England Patriots that has stretch over 8 years. Ryan Fitzpatrick bounced back from throwing 2 early interceptions and ended with 369 yards passing and 2 touchdowns along with the go ahead scoring drive. For the second straight week the Bills have been down by more than 2 touchdowns in the first half only to come back and win the game on the final possession.
During the contest the Bills and the Patriots had their moments, both teams took the others best punch and was able to counter each time with a score or a momentum stopping play on defense. Tom Brady enjoyed success throughout the game against the Bills secondary, however at times he did look like the 6 round pick from the 2000 NFL draft with 4 interceptions that was thrown in pivotal times in the game. The Buffalo Bills came out firing on all cylinders in the 3rd quarter for the second consecutive week with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Steve Johnson hooking up for the 1st Bills TD. Buffalo Bills defensive backs made big plays in the game none bigger than CB Drayton Florence who intercepted the 4th and final interception from Tom Brady, returning it for a TD. This gave the Bills their 1st lead in the game 31-24 and from there the elephant in the room of the Buffalo Bills not being able to compete with the upper echelon teams would get smaller and smaller.
When the game finished Fred Jackson would no longer be the leading rusher in the NFL, but he would make plays that showed he is a big time performer in the league with a 40 yard catch and run that placed the Bills at the 1 yard line with 2 minutes remaining in the ball game. That particular play allowed the offense to kneel down for the rest of the series until Rian Lindel was called out for the game winning field goal. Now looking at the offense, the game plan was simple for Coach Chan Gailey to spread the WRs out in 4 and 5 receiver set, and let the Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick work on the weak Patriots defense that has been brutalized by its 2 former opponents, AFC East division rival Miami Dolphins and the San Diego Chargers. Defensively the Bills was unable to bring Tom Brady to the ground with no QB sacks in the game, but with little to none ground game from the self-proclaimed law firm of Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead of the Patriots the Bills secondary was able to primarily focus on the passing attack.
When a team is leading the NFL in scoring with over 37 points per game and undefeated through the first 3 games one might ask what the area of need for the team is. I have been able to identify a selective few areas that with hard work could have the Bills in contention for the remainder of the season. The acquisition of Brad Smith was supposed to give the Bills their wildcat specialist who could at any time run or pass from under center, leaving the opposing defense guessing on the ways he would be utilized when he enter the game. To this point the most work Brad Smith has seen was short yardage gains with the exception of one errant throw towards the end of the Kansas City Chiefs game in week one. The Bills should allow Brad Smith more time with the receiving core especially with the loss of Roscoe Parrish for the remainder of season allowing his 6’2 frame to attack opposing defense and much smaller defensive backs. The team has endured early deficits in games that could potentially be a cause for concern as well, as it has been documented the Bills have had to battle back in the last 2 games for the win. I’m sure Coach Gailey will stress to his team the importance of being in the game from the beginning to the end, versus putting all efforts forward for miraculous 2nd half comebacks.
Sundays game has shown the resurgence the Buffalo Bills has went through since ending last season, those close games that the Bills were losing last season, this year has transpired into victories. Defeating the Patriots was a statement game the Bills needed, not only for themselves but for the critics who may not be impressed with the fast start. The Bills has also arrived on the national media spotlight as they’re featured on this week cover of Sports Illustrated magazine and the players have been making their rounds on various networks speaking of the start of the season. The infamous music producer and mogul Sean P. Diddy Combs wrote on his verified twitter page @iamdiddy tweeting “the Bills look strong.” I would gladly say the Bills have impressed many with their strong plays and comebacks myself included!
Next Sunday game is versus the Cincinnati Bengals who currently stand 1-2. The Bills will go on the road looking to go 4-0 for the 1st time since 2008, this game I would considered a trap game. A game in which the Bills could take the Bengals lightly and find themselves in another early deficit. The Bills will need to keep focus in being disciplined in this game for this impressive start to continue.
Hope you enjoy this week post as always please feel free to leave comments and feedback.
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