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Bills Shutout Eagles 26-0
Defense dominates weak Eagles Offense in victory.
by Steve Saslow
Sept. 27, 1999
As a fan you like to have a couple of games like this each year. This was a good old fashion laugher as the Bills dominated this game from start to finish in routing the Eagles 26-0. The game wasn't even as close as the final score indicated as the Bills continued to struggle in the red zone settling for four Steve Christie field goals. Three of them were when drives stalled inside the five yard line. The defense dominated their second straight game as the club has outscored their opponents 43-3 in the last two games. The shutout was the first one for the club in over 7 years.
The running game picked up right where it left off last week rushing for 191 yards behind the duo of Antowain Smith and Jonathan Linton. The two backs split time almost evenly as Smith carried 16 times for 64 yards and Linton added 57 yards on 15 carries. The first drive was all Smith and the offensive line who opened up gaping holes on two successive carries for big gains that set up the first field goal. This drive stalled at the three yard line when Doug Flutie hit Andre Reed at the three instead of going to the end zone where Jay Riemersma was wide open.
Flutie missed open receivers downfield on a number of occasions during the game and he wasn't very sharp throwing the football on a consistent basis. He did complete 18 of 26 passes for 175 yards plus an interception to go with a beautiful 15 yard touchdown pass to Riemersma in heavy traffic just before the half. His main flaw in the game was constantly coming up short in the red zone as the Bills had to settle for three short range field goals before the Riemersma touchdown gave them a 16-0 lead. Flutie drove the club inside the 20 to set up Christie's fourth field goal of the game as the half expired, giving the Bills 10 points in the last two minutes of the half to give them a 19-0 lead and put the game away. Smith added his score in the third period on a four yard jaunt to end the scoring as the Bills offense was on cruise control for much of the second half.
The defense however, kept up the pressure not giving the pathetic Eagles offense anything. Everytime the Eagles started to move the football the Bills D came up with a big sack or turnover as Phil Hansen recovered two fumbles that led to 10 points. The Eagles were held to 169 total yards offensively including only 22 on the ground. Their leading rusher was backup QB Donovan McNabb who had 10 yards on his one scramble. The defense managed only two sacks but put constant pressure on Doug Pederson all day long as the secondary covered the receivers well, but got help from many dropped Eagle passes when there were breakdowns in coverage.
The Bills did what they had to do and won the game easily, but questions remain, most notably with the red zone offense. They got out of the game relatively healthy with two players suffering injuries. The defense has been dominating against two weak offensive teams, and the offense has not been in high gear yet. Next Monday night in South Florida will go a long way in seeing how good this team is.
TBD Gameday Review - My position by positon breakdown and grades.
NFL Gamebook - Most complete game statistics available including play by play from NFL.com.
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