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Bills Upset Defending Champions 23-20
Alonso's second interception thwarts Ravens comeback.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 4
Ravens  20
Bills  23
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
Kiko Alonso picked off Joe Flacco putting an end to the Ravens comeback hopes as the Bills pulled off a 23-20 upset win over the defending league champions. Alonso had two of the five interceptions the Bills defense had against Joe Flacco. The Bills played a stellar first half in opening up a 20-7 lead thanks to a 42 yard touchdown pass from EJ Manuel to Robert Woods and a 16 yard touchdown run by Fred Jackson. The Ravens fought back with a touchdown and two late field goals to pull within three. They got the ball back and moved past midfield before the biggest turnover of the game. Aaron Williams also had two interceptions for the Bills.

The Turning Point:
Alonso's 2nd Interception: Kiko Alonso made a great diving interception, the fifth pick thrown by Flacco and it was the clincher as it allowed the Bills to hold on for the win.

The Big Drive:
First TD Drive: The Bills went 70 yards in five plays to the 42 yard touchdown pass to Woods. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson each had runs of eight and six yards on the drive.

Stat I Did Like:
Bills Run Defense: The Ravens had zero first downs rushing and only nine runs for 24 yards on the day.

Stat I Didn't Like:
Manuel's INTs: He was picked off two times but that is nick picking.

Quick Slants:
- The Bills faced a defending Super Bowl Champion for the first time since 2005.
- The Bills did a sort of muddle huddle instead of the no huddle to start the game. They definitely slowed down their offense.
- Three crucial reviews went against the Bills but the fourth one went with them and wrapped up the upset with Alonso's interception. They lost a touchdown and an interception by the league's having control rules.
- The Ravens didn't run the ball in the second half until there was under 5 minutes to go in the game.
- Fred Jackson moved into third place on the team's all-time rushing list.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
WR Stevie Johnson vs. CB Lardarius Webb: Winner: Webb. Johnson had just one catch for -1 yards.
C Eric Wood vs. NT Haloti Ngata: Winner: Ngata. He was quiet but bad day for Woods with two bad penalties.
CB Justin Rogers vs. WR Torrey Smith: Winner: Smith. He had a 26 yard TD catch against Rogers.
LB Manny Lawson vs. RBs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce: Winner: Lawson. No running game to speak of for the Ravens.

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Third Down Efficiency: Success! The Ravens converted just 3 of 16 while the Bills converted 5 of 18.
2. Launch The Ground Game: Success! The Bills ran for 203 yards.
3. Protect The Corners: Success! The DBs had three picks and were helped by constant pressure from the front seven.

My Take:
I never thought they would hold on to win this game but maybe it is a new era after all. In the past they lose this game, the Ravens started coming back but the defense really made plays when it counted. Manuel only completed 10 passes but managed the game properly and let his defense and running game win it. That is a nice blueprint for success in the early stages of the new generation Bills.

What's Ahead:
The Bills have a quick turnaround as they will be in Cleveland on Thursday for a prime time matchup with the Browns.

Gameballs
  • Kiko Alonso - Two picks and got five tackles. Having an unbelievable rookie season.
  • Marcell Dareus - He had seven tackles and two sacks.
  • Aaron Williams - Had some bad plays but the good outweighed the bad with two interceptions and a couple of good pass breakups.
  • Robert Woods - Had four catches for 80 yards and one score. Almost had a second one but it was overturned by review.
  • Fred Jackson - Had 87 yards on just 16 carries and a touchdown.


  • Goats
  • Corey Glenn - Had two bad penalties and botched an easy fumble recovery.
  • Eric Wood - Had two very costly penalties.
  • Stevie Johnson - Had a very poor game with just one catch, a few drops but a very critical fumble recovery.


  • Player Of The Week
  • Kiko Alonso - Saved the game.


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




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