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Bills Rumble By Bengals 49-31
Buffalo comes from 21 points down for huge comeback win.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 11
Bills  49
Bengals  31
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 316 yards and four touchdowns while Fred Jackson ran for two as the Bills pulled off a huge comeback 49-31 wild victory in Cincinnati. It was their 10th straight win over the Bengals and second straight overall. The Bills fell behind 28-7 early in the second quarter thanks to two Fitzpatrick interceptions, one that was returned for a touchdown. The Bills came back and outscored them 42-3 the rest of the way including 35-0 in the second half. Stevie Johnson caught three touchdown passes after halftime. Drayton Florence returned a fumble for a score and picked off a pass as the Bills used three second half takeaways to rumble by the Bengals.

The Turning Point:
There were so many but the main turning point had to be the Bills first defensive touchdown of the season. Marcus Stroud knocked the ball out of Cedric Benson's hands and Drayton Florence picked it up and rumbled 27 yards for a touchdown to pull the Bills within three points at 31-28 just 5:06 into the second half. It was there second touchdown in the half on their way to five and it showed that it was a brand new ball game.

The Big Drive:
I could have chosen the opening drive in the second half because if they don't score there, the comeback doesn't happen probably. I will choose the drive after George Wilson picked off a pass in the end zone and returned it 56 yards to the Bengals 49. The Bills got into the end zone in eight plays to take the lead early in the fourth quarter to get them the lead that they wouldn't relinquish. Newly signed Jehruu Caulcrick ran for two yards to convert a third and one. Johnson caught an 11 yard TD pass on a beautiful fade route. Fitzpatrick also had a big 11 yard design roll out and a 15 yard pass to David Martin.

Stat of the Game:
Takeaways: The Bills had three second half takeaways, one was returned for a touchdown, the other two led to touchdowns.

What You Don't See On The Stat Sheet:
The Bills were the first team in NFL history to win by 18 or more points when trailing by 17 or more points at the half.

Quick Slants:
- Both teams combined for 222 yards on 29 plays in the first quarter. It ended with the Bengals being two yards away from taking a 14-7 lead.
- The Bills decided to play sides instead of head to head against T.O. and Ochocinco. Owens owned McKelvin lining up on his side on Cincinnati's 2nd TD drive.
- Owens owned McKelvin and got in his head as well. Terrence McGee replaced McKelvin at corner late in the second quarter.
- The referees gave the Bengals three free points just before halftime. The Bills had a goal line stand going and ran out the clock but the refs said forward progress was stopped, a timeout was called, and the whistle blew in time to give them one more second and the field goal.

My Take:
Many cynics will say that all the Bills did with this win was hurt their chances at getting Andrew Luck or whatever quarterback they are dreaming of with the top pick. I say this type of character building win goes further than a chance at a possible bust with the top pick. The team never gave up despite being down on the road by three touchdowns with just one win. It shows that this team does not quit and they fun to watch despite being outmanned by most teams. They will scratch and claw to the end and they let teams know that they will have to play their best to beat the Bills. They may not get the top pick in the draft but they may get much more, respectability.

What's Ahead:
The Bills try to keep the momentum going as they come home to take on the Steelers. Ralph Wilson Stadium will be half filled with fans from Pittsburgh so it will be a neutral site game at best.

Gameballs

  • Stevie Johnson - Had 8 catches for 137 yards and three touchdowns .
  • Fred Jackson - Great second half finishing the game with 2 TDs and 116 yards rushing, including a 30 yard exclamation point touchdown.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick - His two first half interceptions notwithstanding, he came through in the second half throwing four touchdowns and for 316 yards on 21 of 34.
  • Drayton Florence - Returned a fumble for a score and picked off a pass.
  • Marcus Stroud - Forced a fumble, knocked down a pass, and was a menace on the line.
  • George Wilson - Had a huge pick and return that helped put the game over the top. Also, knocked down another pass.
  • Chris Kelsay - Had a sack and two quarterback hits. Was very active in the backfield.


  • Goats
  • Leodis McKelvin - Was owned by T.O. and mentally taken out of the game before he was physically taken out of the game.
  • Rian Lindell - He missed a 33 yard FG and had a kick off out of bounds that gave the Bengals three points before halftime.


  • Player Of The Week
  • Stevie Johnson - He is officially the go to guy for Fitzpatrick.


  • Positional Breakdown and Grades
    NFL.com Gamebook
    Bengals Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage




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