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No Hail Mary In 31-27 Loss
by Buffalo Bills Insider Chuck Abshagen
October 22, 2000

While the Buffalo Range and Buffalo Bills Insider upgrade their server, we are printing some of their articles here on Bills Daily. Here's one from Bills Insider Chuck Abshagen.

Despite the best game that the Bills, as a team, have played all season, there were no miracles for Buffalo as the Vikings kept coming from behind to steal a win. Flutie had led the Bills to an 11 point lead in the third quarter and looked as if Buffalo just might put the game away. But the Bills defensive secondary broke down late in the game as the Vikings came out on top 31-27.

Offense: After starting off slow in the first quarter, Bryson and Morris had a combined 103 yards rushing and Moulds had 135 yards receiving giving the three their best game of the season. Blocking seemed to improve for most of the game, but at times broke down although allowing only one sack for eight yards. One big problem for the receiving end were the dropped passes by McDaniel and Price that could have kept the team in it more. A huge improvement overall, but still needs work in blocking and catching areas that might turn things around completely for this unit. GRADE: B-

Defense: Did a pretty good job on getting pressure on the quarterback and held the Vikings offense to 97 yards total rushing, which was the 4th time they held an opponent to less than 100 yards on the ground. The secondary basically held the short and medium range passing game in check. The biggest problem is the coverage on the long throws down field that actually cost the team the win. Their should be no excuse for that many blown coverages no matter how good the receiver, especially when you know that they will go long. That has been a big problem all year and needs to improve a great deal and needs to improve before the next game. GRADE: C+

Special Teams: On the return side, Watson had two good run backs of 20 and 35 yards giving him an average of 19.2 for the game. Still needs work, but gets better as the weeks go along. The coverage units allowed only 75.5 yards and 9.4 yards average among four players, giving them less than Watson alone. They allowed one good return for about 35 yards, so there is room for improvement. But overall, did a good job for this game. GRADE: B-

Quarterback: Flutie came out and did a good in replacing Johnson, throwing for 294 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions. Many thought there might be a little Flutie magic for this game, but it was not to be. He gives the position a little more than what defenses can expect, and makes them adjust to that. Most of his passes were on target and looked to like a recharged team because of his play making ability. GRADE: B

Kicking: Christie had to come out and be perfect, and did so going 2-2 on field goals and 3-3 on extra point conversions. Mohr however did poorly. He had a low 40.2 yard average on only 4 punts. This is not what is needed to get an opponent deep in their own territory. GRADE: D

Coaching: Most everyone will say that Flutie made them look good. But you have to have a good game plan, and that's what they came up with. Now, what they need to do is start getting the players to realize the fundamentals on deep coverage routes and holding on to the ball. Overall, a better effort by the coaching staff. GRADE: B-

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