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Week 5: Buffalo hits rock bottom in loss to Cleveland
Special Teams gift wraps another game away
by Ahmed Dhorajiwala
October 14, 2009

I think Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News put it best, you really donít hardly know where to start anymore with the Buffalo Bills. When you thought rock bottom came last week at the hands of division rival Miami, the Bills turned around this week and went further down by losing 6-3 to the Cleveland Browns at home.

The first drive of the game for the Bills pretty much set the tone for bad, and undisciplined football on Buffaloís part. After a nice 11 yard run by Marshawn Lynch, Demetrius Bell was flagged for a false start penalty. On 3rd and 14, Geoff Hangartner received an unnecessary roughness penalty that wiped out a Fred Jackson 8 yard reception. The Bills defense forced another Cleveland punt, after Derek Andersonís pass went incomplete on 3rd and 3. On 2nd and 8, Trent Edwards threw down the middle for a nice eighteen yard completion to Terrell Owens for a first down. Edwards threw the ball to Owens again on the same drive for a six yard completion on third down, it ended up being just shy of the first down marker by 2 yards.

After a three and out series by the Browns, Roscoe Parrish took the Cleveland punt 22 yards to the Bills 47. This series was important, because Buffalo received great field position. On the first play of the drive, Lynch ran for a four yard gain, and Edwards found Owens for seven yards to the Cleveland 42. The Bills got down to the Cleveland 33, and on third and short, Buffalo was whistled for a false start penalty. Then Trent could not find Josh Reed on third down, and the Bills were forced into a fourth down situation. Dick Jauron went for it, and strayed away from being conservative, but the pass resulted in a incompletion.

On the first play of the second quarter, the Bills defense took another major hit by losing Kawika Mitchell for the game. Neither team could get anything going offensively, as the penalties on the Buffalo offensive line piled up. Billy Cundiff connected on a 24 yard field goal with seven and half minutes left in the half to put the Browns up 3-0. On the next Bills drive, Buffalo was moving the ball as they got Owens and Lynch involved in the offense. Terrell caught a key 13 yard pass to take the ball inside the Browns 20. The drive was stalled when on fourth down, Edwards could not connect with Owens, and the ball was turned over on downs.

On the first drive of the half, Edwards completed a key 35 yard pass to Lynch down the middle to the Browns 26. The drive stalled after Edwards ran for a six yard gain to the Browns 18. Rian Lindell kicked a short field goal to tie the game at 3. A key point in the game came toward the end of the third quarter, the Bills had a 2nd and 11 at the Browns 40 yard line. Trent had Owens open down the left sideline for what could possibly have been a big gain, but he under threw the ball, and was intercepted by Eric Wright. Both team did not get much going for most of the 4th quarter, and the way the game was going, everyone knew whoever made the first error in this quarter would be in good position to win. With just under 3 minutes remaining, the Browns punted the ball, and as Roscoe hesitated on what he should do, it lead to a fumble off his hands, and Cleveland recovering. The Browns ran the clock down to 23 seconds before kicking the game winning field goal. The Bills had one last chance, but lateral was stopped by the Browns to end the game at 6-3.

This performance was a low point for the Bills franchise. The season has quickly gone downhill, with questions surrounding Dick Jauronís job. Trent Edwards still has not shown that he is capable of being a franchise quarterback that this town has looked for since Jim Kelly. It will be interesting to see what Ralph Wilson does this week, and if there are any changes made. The road gets very difficult as the Bills travel to the Meadowlands next week to take on a ferocious New York Jets football team lead by head coach Rex Ryan.

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