The Buffalo Bills hosted the New England Patriots for their first home game on Monday Night Football in 10 years. Their last game on MNF was 9 years ago on the road against the Patriots where the Bills blew a 24 to 13 lead with 5:32 left in the game thanks to a Leodis McKelvin fumble. The Patriots leveraged the mistake into a game winning touchdown for a 25 to 24 final score. I'm still trying to get over that loss. I think I will have properly dealt with it in 30 years when I reach retirement age.
Speaking of retirement age, the Derek Anderson led offense struggled for a second straight game. The Bills were only able to keep the game close with an outstanding defensive performance. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the score was just 12 to 6 in favor of the Evil Empire but by the end of the game, their evilness had spread like flu virus on a cruise ship with the final score expanding to 25 to 6.
The Bills opened up the game with some quirky and interesting offensive play calls designed to make the Patriots think hard, like a Kardashian trying to figure out which day of the week it is. It got me excited for a moment but it was gimmicky and wasn't enough to move the ball forward into field goal range so the Bills would punt on their opening drive.
One of my favorite plays of all-time happened in this game when Lorenzo Alexander completely lit up Tom Brady on a play in the backfield in a collision that totaled 76 years of old human bones. You can check it out below but you may have to redirect to youtube as the NFL protects their videos better than they protect their own players' health.
After the Patriots took a 3 to 0 lead on a field goal, Marcus Murphy would fumble the ensuing kickoff causing me to scream several F-bombs at the television and my blood pressure to rise to new heights. After a review, Muprhy was properly ruled down allowing me to settle down but I could not undo the physical toll those moments of uncertainty took on my health. Sure it was an overreaction, but I was not ready to have the Bills, who were down 3 to 0, fumble away another game on national television to the Patriots.
Later in the game, Tremaine Edmunds showed a snippet of what he is capable of when he anticipated a play perfectly and took down a Patriots player well in their own backfield. The Patriots would still manage a field goal on the drive extending their lead to 6 to 0.
On a Bills punt, Corey Bojorquez fumbled the snap but was able to pick up the ball and get off a 26 yard punt. Still, it looked much better than his prior "fake field goal" non-fake from earlier this season. The Bills offense is punting so much this season that every last member of Bills Mafia will be able to pronounce Bojorquez perfectly by seasons end. Each team would exchange field goals before half making the score 9 to 3 in favor of the cheaters.
In the second half, a Micah Hyde punt return would give the Bills favorable field position. On the drive, Derek Anderson would fumble a snap, pick it up, and then nearly get sacked before throwing an incomplete pass. The Bills managed to advance just one yard. Luckily, Steven Hauschka was there to save the day again making the score 9 to 6. The dreams began to swell up in my head. Could the Bills really beat the Patriots today? They just need to hang around a bit longer. They could do this!!! And then reality set in...
Shortly before the end of the 3rd quarter, Gostkowski would make it 12 to 6 Pats. The Bills would punt on their next possession and the Patriots responded with a 10 play 85 yard drive that ended on a 1 yard touchdown to make it 18 to 6 after a failed two point attempt.
The Bills were trying to keep it close but there was only so long they could hold-off their division rivals. Devin McCourty returned an 84 yard interception for a touchdown ripping the rug right out from under the Bills and my heart right out of my chest making the score 25 to 6 which is how the game would end.
The final score looked nasty, kind of like Tom Brady in Ugg's. But unlike Tom Brady, in actuality, it was not really as bad as it seemed.