So, since I am now without DirecTV, I attempted to watch the game using the PS3 Sunday Ticket app for the first time. This took forever to load, then it was slow and it kept cutting out to buffer. I missed several key plays on NE’s first touchdown drive, which was kept alive by a stupid Buffalo penalty.
Technology was failing me and the Bills were shooting themselves in the foot and appeared headed towards another epic defeat at the hands of Tom Brady and Bill Bellicheck. As the Bills fell behind 21-0, it looked as if I was headed towards a very frustrating afternoon. There was no way in hell we were going to come back and get the win for the 2nd straight week.
Then, something happened. The PS3 app settled down and it was just like streaming a Netflix movie. And the Bills didn’t roll over and die. They showed an unbelievable amount of resolve and toughness. And they made a game out of it. I thought “well, they’re not going to get the win, but at least they’re tough enough to come back and challenge.”
Then, something else happened. Something that’s never happened before. The Bills got in Tom Brady’s head WITHOUT hitting him. He started making mistakes. Stupid, amateur, JP Losman/Trent Edwards/Rob Johnson type mistakes. And the Bills made them PAY.
I kept waiting for the soul-crushing collapse. That epic last-minute failure like the Music City Mirage or the MNF collapse against Dallas in ’07 or the ’08 opener against NE. But it didn’t come. This team is just too mentally tough, despite the lack of experience and the unheralded way that many of these guys made it to the NFL.
And, we ended the streak. We did the impossible and came out on top in a shootout with the Patriots. I was convinced that we wouldn’t beat them again until Brady and Bellicheck were long gone, but it was OUR day. Tequila shots and Black Label all around!
-Ryan Fitzpatrick is proving to be the real deal. He had his misses and his bad moments, but he was never phased. And he kept going back to Donald Jones despite some early miscues by Jones (one of which led to an INT when the ball bounced off his hands). It was a poised, veteran game.
-Fitz did make a huge mistake on that INT in the endzone on the last drive. He got bailed out by the penalty. But, that’s the risk you take with having a gunslinger QB.
-I don’t think I can say enough good things about Fred Jackson. What a find.
-Chandler had another nice game despite the penalty.
-Wood is a good player but he didn’t have his head in the game in the first half.
-The unsung hero of the offense is Andy Levitre. Just focus on him sometimes, particularly on screen plays. He buries guys.
-I hated the call to go for it on 4th and 14 in the first. If there was no penalty on the prior play and it was 4th and 1, then going for it would have been the right call. But the percentages are just too low. That call wreaked of desperation.
-I loved the way that Gailey played it at the end of the game: killing the clock instead of punching in the TD. It was the right move. Brady is too good and our secondary is bad and beat up. The BEST part of the entire game was seeing Bill Bellicheck go ape-shit screaming at the refs at the 1:43 mark when he knew he was being outsmarted by Gailey and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it.
-Merriman had one good pressure but was a no-show other than that.
-Kyle Williams gets off the snap so fast it’s ridiculous.
-McKelvin came through with a big INT but also struggled at times.
-No one on this team can cover Wes Welker.
-Wilson came up with a big INT, but I really got tired of him doing his Donte Whitner impression attempting to cover Gronkowski.
-Like Wood, Barnett is having a great season but he made some key mistakes in the first half, particularly the two penalties.
-The personal foul call on Barnett was the correct call. The personal foul on Byrd was complete BS. It wasn’t helmet-to-helmet- Byrd’s head was actually to the side of Welker and he hit him with his shoulder pad. It was the “Wes Welker’s too exciting for the league to let him get injured” penalty.
-Kelsay is actually having a decent season.
-This team still lacks pass rush.
-I hope Aaron Williams is ok, because he is starting to look like a pretty good player. This secondary was hurting with him and will be even worse without him.
-The DL was well-coached with the way they were jumping and putting their hands up when they couldn’t get the pressure. It caused at least 2 of Brady’s four INT’s.
-On Florence’s TD, Brady was running toward him but completely backed off without attempting to make a hit. There was another Bills player running with Florence and Brady likely would have gotten smacked if he attempted to make the tackle. It was a gutless move by a prima donna QB.
-Brady threw 4 INT’s today (did I mention that yet?). He only threw 4 in all of last SEASON. I think I speak for us all when I say, “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!”
-S/T came to play. The kickoff and punt coverage was very good, Moorman was booming them and Lindell came through when it counted most.
-The Buffalo Bills scored a mere 34 points- their lowest total of the season. They are leading the NFL in scoring. And they sit alone atop the AFC East after the Jets’ choke job against the Raiders and Miami’s inexplicable loss to Cleveland.
-The slow starts at home are frustrating.
-The second half comebacks are exhilarating.
-After the game, we met some friends at a local dive bar to watch the Ravens. I had my Kelly jersey and throwback Bills hat on. At least 3 Ravens fans shook my hand and said positive things about the Bills. It probably helped that the Ravens were up 30-0 at the time, but the hatred of the Patriots is universal amongst non-Boston football fans.
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