The Buffalo Bills faced off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past Sunday on a beautiful day in Orchard Park. The day was so nice, I decided it was best to stay inside on my couch drinking beer and watching football rather than venturing out into the light.
Tampa Bay started with the ball and was able to come away with a field goal on their first drive. The Bills answered back with a field goal of their own on their first possession. On the Bills series, Tyrod Taylor connected on consecutive plays to Jordan Matthews and Nick O'Leary. The throw to Matthews reminded me of what an NFL caliber wide receiver looks like in a Bills uniform.
The Bucs had the ball for most of the remainder of the 1st quarter. With 22 seconds left, Jordan Poyer made a huge breakup on a pass to Cameron Brate in the end zone. This breakup was so big that it's right up there with when Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston broke up.
After a 26 yard run on the first field goal drive, Tyrod Taylor racked up a 16 yard run on the Bills second drive and also converted a key 3rd and 5 with his feet which led to LeSean McCoy's first touchdown of the season giving the Bills their first lead 10 - 6 with 9:26 left in half.
On the next drive, Jameis Winston was strip sacked by Ryan Davis. Preston Brown made his best attempt to pick up the ball but it was more difficult for him to pick up than a seven-ten split in bowling. He bobbled the ball around multiple times and the Bucs almost recovered it but Leonard Johnson eventually fell on it and the Bills got the ball.
Buffalo was unable to turn it into points, however, missing a 41 yard field goal with about four minutes left in half. The teams would exchange punts after that. Tampa got the ball back with 46 seconds left. Bills rookie Matt Milano made a nice catch for an interception setting up Buffalo to get at least a field goal before the end of half but that's when it all went wrong.
The Bills used their last timeout on a completion to LeSean McCoy down to the Tampa 16 with 12 seconds left. Trying to squeeze in an extra play, they completed a quick out pattern to Jordan Matthews who got nowhere near out of bounds. The team watched the rest of the time tick off the clock while I sat at home cursing at the TV and nearly bursting a blood vessel.
1 Shot of Captain Morgan
1 blood vessel nearly popped
BUF 10 - TB 6
The Bills received the ball to start the second half. They ended up burning a timeout on their first drive. The Bills timeout usage was so poor in this game, one has to wonder whether Sean McDermott even knows how to properly send his own kids to timeout.
Their inability to save their timeouts didn't prevent the Bills from scoring though. Tyrod Taylor connected on a beautiful 22 yard touchdown pass to Logan Thomas to put the Bills ahead 17 to 6.
The Bucs came right at the Bills with a 53 yard gain which was called back due to holding. They didn't let that halt their momentum though. They drove down the field ending with a seven yard touchdown pass to O.J. Howard to make the game 17 to 13 in favor of Buffalo.
The Bills would get a field goal on the next drive to pull ahead by a touchdown, but that's when I realized there must be something about Buffalo that makes people named O.J. great at football (hopefully just football).
O.J. Howard got himself wide open catching a 33 yard touchdown pass from Winston to tie the game. He had himself a day with 98 yards and two touchdowns on 6 catches. It wasn't quite as good as when O.J. Simpson ran for 276 yards and two touchdowns in Detroit versus the Lions in 1976 but it was still a nice performance for the rookie.
Buffalo started to implode at this point with LeSean McCoy losing a fumble on the next drive, something he rarely does. Tampa Bay would punish the Bills for this mistake throwing a 12 yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans who beat Tre'Davious White to give them a 27 to 20 lead over the Bills.
Unlike in past years, this Buffalo team didn't fully implode though. It took the Bills just three offensive plays to even the score including a long pass to Deonte Thompson, who notched 107 yards on the day, and a second touchdown run for Shady McCoy which tied it at 27. It's not surprising that a recently unemployed person could have the second most yards receiving this year for the Bills after just one game with the team.
On the first play after the next kickoff Tre White would get his revenge. He both forced and recovered a fumble giving the Bills the ball at the Bucs 33 with 2:20 left in the game. Buffalo would hit a go ahead field goal with 14 seconds remaining giving them a 30 - 27 lead.
Tampa would get one more offensive play which involved laterals and lasted way too long. I nearly suffered a heart attack it went on so long. Much to my dismay, it gave me horrific flashbacks of the Music City Miracle, a.k.a the forward pass, but this time, the Bills were able to make a tackle and end the game with a victory to advance to 4 -2.
On the last play, Jordan Poyer hurt himself when a lineman fell on him. Earlier in the game Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines was also hurt. Both players are day to day at the moment and it's unclear if they can suit up versus the Raiders this week which is a bit of a concern for the secondary.
Just over a week ago, it seemed like a real possibility the Bills could be facing both EJ Manuel and Marshawn Lynch when they play the Raiders this week at home. With Derek Carr healing faster than anticipated and Lynch getting suspended for making contact with a referee, the Bills probably won't see either player. No matter what, I can't wait until Sunday because I'm all 'bout that action boss.
1 Shot of Captain Morgan
1 blood vessel nearly popped
1 end of game heart attack averted
BUF 30 - TB 27