The Bills played well for the first five minutes of the game but then the same thing that killed them in Miami, a red zone interception, sent the Bills into a nose dive as they were whipped by the defending champions today at snowy Ralph Wilson Stadium 35-7.
A five minute span of the first quarter epitomized the season the Bills are having. J.P. Losman hit Lee Evans for 58 yards to get everyone excited. They then had two false start penalties, a no yard gain, an incompletion, and then a pathetically thrown interception on third and goal from the 22.
That deflated the Bills, and allowed the other side of the Bills problems this year to rear its ugly head. The defense collapsed and allowed an easy 8 play, 80 yard drive to a touchdown to make it 7-0 on a Tom Brady three yard scramble. Was there anybody who didn't think the game was over at that point?
The Patriots dominated the Bills from then on out, if Brady's sterling statistics weren't hurt by two interceptions the game would have been worse. While the offense couldn't stay on the field, doing nothing on third downs. The defense, besides the two picks, couldn't stop New England as they constantly converted third downs. That led to a whopping 42 to 18 minute lead in time of possession for the Patriots.
The Patriots went up 14-0 on a 12 yard run by Corey Dillon who found ample room up the middle and outside when Brady decided not to pass. It would have been worse at the half if it wasn't for a Nate Clements pick in the end zone.
After a three and out that took just one minute to start the third quarter, the Patriots moved down the field with ease until London Fletcher got his first interception as a Bill to stop a scoring threat. The defense didn't even have a chance to get the snow off their cleats as Losman gave the ball right back to them on an interception on the next play.
It was that kind of day, as a tired, and deflated defense allowed the Patriots to go right down the field to a 7 play, 76 yard touchdown drive to make it 21-0 as Troy Vincent couldn't stay with Troy Brown on a five yard scoring pass.
As the snow fell harder, the Patriots could then just tee off on the Bills and their anemic offense. Losman couldn't do anything through the air except for two big plays. Willis McGahee couldn't do anything on the ground. It wasn't all their fault, the offensive line was awful. When they weren't being called for false start penalties they were either opening no holes for the running game or the door for the Patriots to tee off on Losman.
Losman deserves his share of the blame too, he needs to learn how to play in the winter in Western New York quick or else he will have a short career here. He looked like a high school quarterback with his inaccurate reads and throws throughout the game.
How bad was it?
- Losman completed just 10 passes on the game for an inflated 181 yards and three interceptions. He threw for just 47 yards if you take away the 58 yard pass to Evans, a 51 yard run after the catch touchdown by Josh Reed and a 25 yard catch and run on the last play of the game by Reed. Both those plays were in garbage time.
- They only had 8 first downs in the whole game while the Patriots had 32.
- It wasn't just the passing game, Losman was actually the leading ball carrier with 7 yards on 1 carry! That was half of the team's 14 yards rushing in the game!
- On defense they gave up 329 yards passing to Brady and 102 yards rushing to Corey Dillon.
The Patriots added two fourth quarter touchdowns. Christian Fauria caught a short touchdown pass and then the icing on the cake was Losman's third interception of the day. It was deflected by Tedy Bruschi and intercepted by James Sanders and returned for a score. Reed finally got the Bills on the board with a nice run after the catch in garbage time to help inflate Losman's dismal statistics.
The team was suppose to look forward after a dismal week. They must have looked forward to Monday when Eric Moulds returns, because they didn't show up for this game. It was a team that has definitely run for the bus and is no longer playing for their beleagured head coach who had the team totally on his side last season. What a difference a year makes. More bad news... there are still three excruciating games to go before this lost season comes mercifully to an end.
Here are our exclusive gameballs and goats from the Bills game against the Chargers: