Estimated reading time: 4 minute(s)
Losing by one point on a long field goal in (literally) the last second of a football game after leading for the entire game (or most of it) is just plain wrong. It’s too much for a football team and their fans to take. But how about two times in five weeks?
There are no words to describe it. It’s just unbelieveable.
Some will say that they knew they Bills would lose this game. (If you listen to our show, you know that I am one of those “some”s.) But what you will not hear is that this Bills team, who is now 1-4 are without a doubt a much better team than their record indicates. I know, I know, everyone makes excuses, but you can not tell me that the Bills looked bad out there on the field under the Monday Night lights.
Despite putting together some nice long drives, and Trent Edwards again looking very efficient, the Bills offense receives most of the blame for losing this game. There was only one 3-and-out series the entire game. Unfortuantely it came when we needed first downs the most. The Bills had just intercepted another Tony Romo pass, and thwarted a sure scoring drive for the Cowboys, and just needed to churn out some first downs. They did not.
Third downs were also a major problem. Both for the offense, and the defense. On the offensive side, the Bills converted only 3 of 13. That’s just unacceptable. Defensively, the Bills allowed 9 of 15 conversions. Not bad, but not good. Also, although Edwards was efficient (23/31 passing) and made very good decisions as he has so far this season, he did take three sacks (one was definitely his fault) and of course threw the interception that may have cost the Bills the game. (That can certainly be blamed on the coaches there as well, but Edwards did make the throw.)
With only 66 yards for Marshawn Lynch, and a total of 81 yards rushing (which includes Brian Moorman’s 10 yards scamper on the fake punt) the Bills just had absolutely nothing on the ground all night. Lynch had a couple nice runs, and one great play through the air, but was not nearly enough to sustain more drives. And the most telling stat in the passing game is the 2.0 yard average per pass play. Ouch.
The performance by the offense—and the not spectacular one by Trent Edwards—does make for an interesting dilemma for the Bills coaching staff over the bye week. Assuming JP Losman is healthy, and ready to go, do they put him back in the starting lineup? Losman has not led as many productive drives for the Bills offense this year. (Edwards has had lots of long, sustained drives in his three games.) But points are what matter, and there are not many points being scored by the offense this season. Only three in the game last night. As I said, it’s an interesting decision.
This game will be remembered by some Bills fans as a colossal collapse. Never trailing until the last second of the game. Allowing the TD drive, allowing them to recover the on-side kick. Colossal collapse. However, the team who was favored to win by so many points was shell-shocked by the performance of this anonymous defense. George Wilson incercepts the first pass for a TD??? John DiGiorgio saves the game with the FIFTH interception of the game??? And who in the world are Jeremetrius Butler and Bryan Scott???
Defense and special teams came to play. Special teams always does for Buffalo, so that was no surprise. It was nice to see Terrence McGee get his first TD return of the season. He’s been close on a few. Maybe Brian Moorman should be in on more plays for this team. Even on the on-side kick by Dallas, it was just a great play by the other team, not really a mistake by the Bills. But I am still so impressed by the defense who was supposed to be shredded by the Cowboys, and instead played with such passion and incredible heart… only to lose because of no support from the offense. How sad.
But the Bills press on. They enter the bye week beaten and battered at a lowly 1-4 overall record. Certainly some positive things to be taken from the first five games, but also most certainly a very large hole to dig out of. Even with a three game winning streak, they only get themselves back to .500. That’s not where you want to be. They do however continue the home streak with a game at the Ralph against Baltimore coming up on October 21st, and then another two weeks later against the Cincinnati Bengals. Four out of five games at The Ralph. So far, they are 1-1.
The bye week will allow the Bills to heal up, and return with a much deeper roster. Week eight will see the likely return of JP Losman, Ryan Denney, maybe even Coy Wire and Ashton Youboty. Assuming the Bills can muster the same level of emotional energy they had for Monday Night’s game (Willis McGahee is making his return to Buffalo…) the Bills stand a very good chance of finally dominating a game—and winning it.
Bills fans are depressed today. But this team showed that they have heart, and character, and talent, and determination. Much more than anyone gave them credit for.
Now if we could only do something about the coaching…