The Skinny: Jairus Byrd's interception of John Skelton in overtime set up Rian Lindell's game winning 25 yard field goal to lift the Bills to a 19-16 overtime win in Arizona. The win evens their record at 3-3 along with the rest of the AFC East. Byrd picked off Skelton, who was in for the injured Kevin Kolb, on a third down pass on their first possession of overtime. He returned it 29 yards to the six yard line. Byrd also picked off a pass in the fourth quarter that should have allowed the Bills to hold on to win in regulation. A mundane game got very interesting late when Jay Feely tied the game with a 61 yard field goal with 1:09 left but then missed a 38 yarder at the buzzer that Alex Carrington got a hand on to send the game to overtime. The Bills had taken a 16-13 lead into the fourth quarter on a one yard plunge by Fred Jackson. The Bills used a very conservative attack offensively that almost cost them the game but the defense played aggressively as Mario Williams and Nick Barnett each got two sacks. Chris Kelsay had a sack in the end zone for a safety. C.J. Spiller had 88 yards rushing on 12 carries including a 10 yard touchdown run after the safety to give the Bills the lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Turning Point:
Byrd's second interception: He picked off a third and 10 pass by Skeleton at the Cardinals 35 and returned it 29 yards to the six yard line. Fitz took a knee after centering up the ball and Lindell won it.
The Big Drive:
The tying drive was impressive by the Cardinals. It was a10 play, 42 yard drive to the game tying 61 yard field goal. The drive was kept alive on a 17 yard completion by Skelton to Larry Fitzgerald on 4th and 11 that kept the drive and the game alive. It was his first completion.
Stat I Did Like:
Five Sacks: The defensive line got a lot of pressure and this time the linebackers got into the act.
Stat I Didn't Like:
Yards per pass: They averaged just 4 yards per pass play as they had just 141 net yards passing on 33 pass attempts.
Quick Slants: - The Bills wore royal blue pants in a game for the first time since 1984. -Fred Jackson did not wear a brace for the first time since injuring his knee. - The Bills needed a fast start but didn't get one when Jackson fumbled the first play from scrimmage. The defense held and the Cards had to settle on the first of two 49 yard field goals Jay Feely would have in this game. - The refs blew a call on a measurement. It was a chain link short but they called a first down. The replay showed he didn't get it and they didn't overrule it. The Cards went down the field for their only touchdown. - The Bills converted three straight third downs on their 59 yard TD drive in 10 plays in the first quarter. -Kyle Williams was the lead blocker on Jackson's two yard TD run late in the third quarter.
Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article: DE Mario Williams vs. RT Bobby Massie: Winner: Williams. He had two sacks and was all over the field. RG Chad Rinehart or Sam Young vs. ILB Daryl Washington: Winner: Washington. He had 14 tackles and a forced fumble but didn't get much pressure on the QB. CB Stephon Gilmore vs. WR Larry Fitzgerald: Winner: Fitzgerald. It was close though as he only caught six passes for 93 yards. WR Stevie Johnson vs. CB Patrick Peterson: Winner: Johnson. He had six catches for 82 yards.
Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out: 1. Get Early Lead: Failure! The fumble by Jackson gave the Cardinals in early lead but the Bills would gain the lead by the end of the first quarter. 2. Get Pressure On QB: Success! Five sacks and seven QB hits. 3. Help OL: Success! Fitz was sacked twice but had time to throw and there were holes for the running game.
They didn't play well and almost lost it in the end of regulation. Some will say they got lucky because Feely missed the 38 yard kick but Carrington did get a finger on it. I say they were snake bit when Feely hit the 61 yarder. The bottom line is the team showed some mental toughness in battling back many times in the game but they did let their foot off the pedal too often. They need to be more consistent if they are going to challenge. Lucky the AFC East is looking very mediocre with everyone at 3-3 so I will take the win.
The Bills finally return to the Ralph and finally play not one of the top teams in the league. The Titans come to town for a 1pm start on Sunday. They have 10 days to prepare after upsetting the Steelers on Thursday night.
Jairus Byrd - Two interceptions and four tackles.
Mario Williams - He had two sacks and several other pressures.
Chris Kelsay - He has seven tackles and a sack for a safety.
Nick Barnett - Six tackles and two sacks. He did give up the TD pass to Fitzgerald but he has no business covering him.
Ryan Fitzpatrick - Just seemed to have lost all confidence as he struggled mightily.
Chan Gailey - Even though they won, his conservative play calling almost cost them the game.
Player Of The Week
Jairus Byrd - Was the main reason they won this game.