Well, everyone knew coming into this game that the defense would have to step up to the challenge of stopping Drew Brees and the Saints offense. If they could do that, they would have a chance to win. Perry Fewell had his guys ready for this game, unfortunately for Buffalo, the offense was non existent in what turned out to a be an embarrassing showing for that unit.
The Bills won the coin toss, and Coach Jauron stayed with his pattern of deferring on the opening kickoff. This time it didnít work as Brees completed key passes of 12 and 32 yards to his big receiver Marques Colston, and he also hit his other receiver Devery Henderson for 20 yards taking the ball down to the Buffalo 12. Lynell Hamilton took the ball in a few plays later to put the Saints up 7-0.
The Bills got the ball on their first possession and completed nice looking passes to Derek Fine and Josh Reed to get the Bills near midfield. The drive stalled at the Bills 47 when Fred Jackson was tackled short of the first down. As the Saints drove down to the Bills 28 on their next possession. At this point in the game the defense was having difficulty stopping the Saints offense. However, on a critical 4th down and 2 play, Reggie Bush was tackled for a no gain, as the Buffalo defense made a huge stop early in the game.
The Bills offense moved down the field and were faced with a 3rd and 8 play, Trent Edwards avoided the rush and found Reed for a beautiful looking 18 yard pass completion. A key roughing the passer penalty on Anthony Hargrove aided the Bills as they took the ball to the Saints 25 yard line. The Bills were faced with a 4th down, and brought Rian Lindell on for a field goal. As the ball was snapped, Brian Moorman took the ball and started running to the left, and hit a wide open Ryan Denney for a 25 yard touchdown pass. Ralph Wilson Stadium erupted as Bobby April , and Dick Jauron pulled a rabbit out of their hat. Unfortunately for the Bills, they would not be able to keep the momentum going . The defense was doing admirable job as they forced Brees to fumble, ruining a Saints drive deep in Bills territory.
With just over six minutes left in the half, Roscoe Parrish fumbled a punt return, and the Saints recovered. The defense held New Orleans to 3 points. The score would remain 10-7 going into the half. At this point Edwards was having trouble finding receivers down the field, and they Bills were getting penalized a lot, and the offensive line was having issues handling Gregg Williams exotic blitz schemes.
Jackson started the Bills first drive of the second half with runs of 6 and 11 yards. On 2nd down and 10 on the Bills 41, Edwards went deep to Terrell Owens, and overthrew him down the sideline. This was going to be one of two missed opportunities for Trent, because Owens was open, and ball was not thrown properly. The Bills defense held strong for most of the quarter, but the key play of the game would come with just over two minutes left in the third. The Bills drove down deep in Saints territory and Edwards got intercepted on a tipped ball. The pass was intended for Owens, but was tipped into the air and intercepted by Will Smith. The offense did not even come out with three points on that drive.
The Bills had another huge opportunity with the game still being at 10-7 in the fourth quarter. On third down and three at their own 28, Edwards went deep for Owens again, and the ball was overthrown. Terrell was open on this play, and a perfectly thrown ball might have gotten the game tied, and judging by the reaction on Trentís face, he knew it as well.
The next drive the Saints took the ball, and ran over a tired defense, Pierre Thomas fresh off coming back from a injury, ran off left tackle for a 34 yard touchdown to increase the lead to 17-7. The Bills offense had nothing going for most of the day, and still could not muster anything even with a 10 point deficit. The Saints tacked on another field goal to make it 20-7.
The next Buffalo drive the protection broke down a couple of times and Edwards was sacked. On 4th and 23, the Bills were running out of time, and had to go for it, but they only got half the yardage back on a dump pass to Fred Jackson to gain 12 yards. Thomas took the ball in the endzone for another touchdown, and the Saints sealed the game 27-7.
The Bills are going to need to do a much better job of getting the ball to their playmakers. If your top two receivers are completely taken out like they were today, that means Alex and Dick are going to need to sit down this week and devise a gameplan for Miami to get Lee and Terrell more involved. Its going to be a tough week at One Bills Drive, because judging by the post game press conference, Owens is not happy at all. This game against Miami is a critical game early in the season for the Bills playoff hopes, because a loss this week puts Buffalo at 1-3 and 0-2 in the division, which is a big hole for a team that has not made the playoffs in a long time.
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