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Blog Entry

Bills continue to be pleasant surprise

Posted on: September 18, 2011 7:47 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2011 11:15 pm
 
D. Nelson caught the game-winning TD pass in Buffalo's win (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

One of the biggest surprises of last week was the Buffalo Bills. They dominated the Chiefs on the road, winning by 34. They got wonderful quarterback play from Ryan Fitzpatrick (if you saw him as Carson Palmer’s backup in Cincinnati, that was downright shocking), and they showcased one of the underrated running backs in the league with Fred Jackson.

But these are, after all, the Bills, and even though they were at home vs. the Raiders, it seemed like a pretty good bet that Buffalo would return to normalcy. And after falling behind 21-3 at halftime, that’s exactly what I thought had happened.

Coach Chan Gailey had made the organization better, but he’s not a miracle worker. It’s not like the Bills’ stay at the top of the AFC East would last more than a week. And then Fitzpatrick went to work. And so did Jackson. And so did Buffalo’s offensive line.

And when Jason Campbell’s last-second Hail Mary attempt was intercepted in the end zone by Da’Norris Searcy, the Bills’ comeback attempt was complete. This week, Fitzpatrick went 28 of 46 for 264 yards, three touchdowns and an interception; Jackson rushed 15 times for 117 yards and two scores; and Buffalo’s stay in the AFC East penthouse will last at least another week.

"That was an amazing gut-check by our football team,” coach Chan Gailey said after the game. “What they did coming out of halftime was amazing. I was really proud of it.

While last week was a laugher the entire way in Kansas City, this week’s performance was even more impressive.

After falling behind by 18, the Bills had five offensive possessions in the second half. They scored five touchdowns. It’s not like the Raiders shriveled up; they kept answering with touchdowns of their own, but eventually, Buffalo got the lead. Only to give it back, which set up the last drive, perhaps the most impressive of the game.

After Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell -- who had a pretty good game in his own right -- hit Denarius Moore for a 50-yard touchdown to give Oakland the 35-31 lead with 3:41 to go, the Bills didn’t panic. They went back to work, and Fitzpatrick started targeting David Nelson.

Already, Fitzpatrick had completed three passes to Nelson -- who recorded 10 catches for 83 yards (both career highs) and a score -- on the final drive, and on third and 10 from the Oakland 15 with 27 seconds to play, Fitzpatrick found him again for a nine-yard gain, setting up the fourth and one with 18 seconds remaining.

Then, Fitzpatrick let Nelson win the game for him. With Nelson lined up on the left side of the line, he took advantage of a busted Oakland coverage (both Raiders defenders shadowed the slot receiver on Nelson’s inside), Nelson worked his way to the post and caught a wide-open 6-yard touchdown to seal the come-from-behind win.

It was, according to Rapid Reporter Mark Ludwiczak, the result of smart play-calling. According to him, the same play was used earlier in the game, but instead of Fitzpatrick throwing the ball to Nelson, he went to tight end Scott Chandler in the slot instead.

This time, of course, Fitzpatrick went the other way.

“I think they were all keying on (Chandler)," Nelson said. "They saw the similar play and I just slipped right underneath."

The Bills have done the same thing, slipping underneath the radar thus far. At 2-0, they’re still a surprise, and if they can actually compete with the likes of the Patriots and the Jets, that would be an even bigger shock. But there’s no question that the Bills have a different attitude this year. And if they can blow out one team and make a nice comeback on another, who’s to say Buffalo can’t continue to surprise all year long?



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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:52 am
 

Bills continue to be pleasant surprise




Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 25, 2011 1:38 pm
 

Bills continue to be pleasant surprise



tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 7:06 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator



Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 23, 2011 3:35 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: May 25, 2007
Posted on: September 18, 2011 10:32 pm
 

Bills continue to be pleasant surprise

*fitzpatrick



Since: Sep 18, 2011
Posted on: September 18, 2011 7:53 pm
 

Bills continue to be pleasant surprise

Please stop calling Fitzpatrick Fitzgerald. It really highlights a) your ignorance, and b) your inability (lazy?) to even get the most basic of facts corrected.  What a pathetic (and semi-insulting) writeup...



Since: Oct 27, 2007
Posted on: September 18, 2011 7:52 pm
 

Bills continue to be pleasant surprise

Halfway through the article you start saying Fitzgerald instead of Fitzpatick, you should probably change it before someone takes offense.



Since: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: September 18, 2011 7:49 pm
 

Bills continue to be pleasant surprise

His name is Fitzpatrick, not Fitzgerald. Keep up the good work.


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