Well usually the Bills have been pretty good the last few years from staying away from these types of blowouts. But Sunday’s game was abysmal from the start. The Bills were completely out classed 31-3 by Atlanta Sunday afternoon. Everyone was curious to see what Brian Brohm would do behind center for the Bills. Brohm was forced into action due to the Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick ankle injuries last week. The game started off very roughly for the Bills as they had a quick three and out on their first possession. Atlanta responded with a quick 42 yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Roddy White. Reggie Corner had very poor coverage on this play, as Ryan recognized the one on one match up and exploited it. Atlanta was very quickly up in the game 7-0.
The Bills were having a lot of trouble offensively in the first quarter, as Brohm did not have much time to throw because the Falcons were loading the box due to the Bills porous pass protection. On the Bills final possession of the first quarter, Fred Jackson gained 12 yards on second down. Then on the next play Brohm threw a deep pass to Terrell Owens, which was overthrown. Owens had a step on the defensive back, and a perfectly thrown ball would have gone for a huge gain. The Bills could not do much on this drive and were forced to punt the ball. Atlanta responded with a long drive to extend the lead on Matt Bryant 51 yard field goal, 10-0. The Bills defense had enormous amounts of difficulty stopping the run and pass on this drive. Jason Snelling had runs of 17 and 9 yards on this drive. Ryan connected with White on an 18-yard pass play, and found Marty Booker for a 22 yard pickup. Ryan dodged a bullet on this drive when he was sacked by Aaron Schobel, and lost the football. The football ended up bouncing right to him on this play, as he recovered his own fumble.
On the Bills second drive of the second quarter, Brohm threw a deep pass again to Owens, which was under thrown, and resulted in a interception. Owens again seemed to have a step on that play, where a perfectly thrown ball would have resulted in a touchdown. The only Bills highlight of the half was Owens getting his 1000th career reception with just over four minutes left. Just when it looked like something positive was going to happen at the end of the first half, the call was reversed on a George Wilson touchdown return on a blocked field goal. It was a wild sequence of laterals after the block, but instant replay ruled Corner down by contact before the final lateral.
In the third quarter, Atlanta had great field position with their second drive of the half. They got the ball at the Bills 27 yard line. The Falcons turned this into points very quickly in seven plays, as the drive was capped off by a 12 yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Booker. The big play on this drive was 14 yard pass to White. Then on the Bills next possession, Jackson fumbled the ball, and Lawrence Sidbury picked returned the fumble for a 11 yard touchdown. The Falcons were up 24-0. The Bills offense finally responded on the next drive as Brohm went 5 for 7 for 51 yards passing on the drive. The Bills could not connect on a third and short pass to Owens, and were forced to settle for a Rian Lindell 42 yard field goal to make the score 24-3.
On the Falcons first drive of the 4th quarter, they went right down the field in 12 plays taking over seven minutes, as the drive was capped of by a Ryan touchdown to White for 5 yards.
With the score an embarrassing 31-3, Brohm forced a throw on second down which was behind Lee Evans, and the ball was intercepted by Brent Grimes. Atlanta took over, and ran out the clock thankfully as the game finally ended.
I think after this game, it is safe to say Perry Fewell will not be coaching this team next year. The Bills were so thoroughly outplayed and out coached, that a full house cleaning at One Bills Drive should start after the season finale. Next week the Indianapolis Colts come into town to wrap up the season, in what should be a game where we will see lots second stringers for the Colts.
Positional Breakdown and Grades
Falcons Game Preview