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Bills Fall Short 31-25
Heartbreaking defeat as Bills had a chance to win at the end.
by Steve Saslow
Week 9
Bills  25
Seahawks  31
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
Raise your hand if you knew this game would be a shootout? That's exactly what we got as the Bills fell short in a heartbreaking 31-25 loss to the Seahawks. The Bills got inside the 10 yard line in the final minute before two sacks forced a 4th down pass from the 15 that fell incomplete in the end zone. On the play Richard Sherman tackling Walter Powell in the corner of the end zone. There was no call as the referees were absolutely awful in this game. Jerry Hughes blocked a punt to setup a Tyrod Taylor three yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the game. Taylor also threw a touchdown pass to Justin Hunter as the Bills are the first team in six years to score two first quarter touchdowns against Seattle. Unfortunately the Bills had no answers on defense in the first half as Russell Wilson just picked apart the Bills with a passing game Tom Brady would have been proud of. He finished 20 of 26 for 282 yards, two touchdown passes and a touchdown run. Taylor was 27 of 38 for 289 yards in the crushing defeat.

The Turning Point:
The wacky situation at the end of the first half: Sherman jumped offsides and ignored the whistle while nailing Dan Carpenter. They called a five yard penalty and not a 15 yard roughing penalty. Meanwhile, Carpenter had to be attended to by trainers and was forced to leave the game for a play while nothing happened to Sherman. This league obviously cares nothing about player safety. The Bills then spiked the ball with Garrison Sanborn snapping it to Jonathan Williams. There was still :01 left in the half and Carpenter came back on and hit a 48 yarder but the Bills were called for delay of game when it looked like the play clock was not reset. Then in a typical Bills way, Carpenter missed the 53 yarder.

The Big Drive:
There are so many big scoring drives to choose from but we will choose the Seahawks two minute drive before the half to go up 28-17. They took just 1:19 to go 68 yards in six plays. It ended with the second one handed touchdown grab of the game by Jimmy Graham. Jermaine Kearse caught a 20 yard pass on the drive and Graham had a 14 yarder to go along with his 18 yard touchdown.

Stat I Did Like:
Third down conversions: They had 12 of them on 17 attempts, their most since 2010.

Stat I Didn't Like:
Sacks: Taylor was sacked five times for 26 yards in lost yardage.

Scene Setters:
- The Bills entered the game on a five game MNF losing streak with their last win coming in 1999. Seattle has the best winning percentage on MNF with a lifetime 22-8 record heading into this game. Both those streaks continued in the Seattle win.
- Former Bills Drew Bledsoe, Rian Lindell, and Andre Reed were on hand for this game. Bledsoe was seen talking to Russ Brandon and the Pegulas before the game. Lindell played for both teams but was wearing Bills gear on the sidelines before the game.
- The Bills captains for this game were: Percy Harvin, Jerry Hughes, EJ Manuel, Jonathan Meeks, and Jordan Mills.
- After losing the toss for the first time all year last week, the Bills were back to winning the coin toss this week. They deferred like they have every other time they won except once.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
CB Stephon Gilmore vs. WR Doug Baldwin: Winner: Baldwin. The Bills corners were awful in this game and Baldwin made his share of plays.
LT Cordy Glenn vs. DE Cliff Avril: Winner: Avril. He actually lined up against Jordan Mills most of the game and owned him. Avril was constantly in the backfield.
S Corey Graham vs. TE Jimmy Graham: Winner: Jimmy Graham. He was a big part of the Seahawks potent offensive attack.
RB LeSean McCoy vs. MLB Bobby Wagner: Winner: McCoy. He ran well throughout the game despite being on a gimpy hamstring until late in the game when he struggled.

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Get Early Lead: Success! The blocked punt setup a touchdown less than two minutes into the game but it didn't hold up.
2. Communicate Well: Failure! They were called for two delay of game penalties in the first half and had to waste two early timeouts.
3. Red Zone Success: Failure! They scored two early touchdowns in the red zone but on a third trip they were forced to settle for a field goal and with the game on the line they turned the ball over on downs. On the other side of the field the Seahawks were a perfect 4 for 4 in the red zone all in the first half, all touchdowns.

My Take:
While everyone is buzzing over the debacle at the end of the half costing the Bills the game they still had a chance to win. For a second time on national TV this year the Bills defense was embarrassed in the passing game. Rex Ryan's defensive genius title has taken a severe hit since coming to Buffalo. The Bills offense moved the ball surprisingly well early to make this game fun. The well-coached Seahawks made adjustments and started shutting down the Bills offense in the 2nd quarter while the Bills had no answers defensively in the first half. To the Bills credit they fought to the end but once again when Taylor had a chance to win a game with a fourth quarter comeback he failed again. He had his best passing game as a pro but franchise QBs finish games.

What's Ahead:
The Bills get a well needed bye week to lick their wounds from three straight losses and to recover from all the injuries and other bumps and bruises they have. After the bye they stay on the road and head to Cincinnati to play the Bengals who have been a bit disappointing this season.

  • Tyrod Taylor - Had a solid game throwing for 289 yards but couldn't get the win when it was there for the taking.
  • Jerry Hughes - He had a sack and a blocked punt.
  • Robert Woods - Had 10 catches for 162 yards.

  • Goats
  • Stephon Gilmore - He has been one of the worst corners in the league this year.
  • Ronald Darby - He has also been a huge disappointment in 2016. He ended up getting benched.
  • Nickell Robey-Coleman - He added to the disappointing play of the cornerback.

  • Player Of The Week
  • Robert Woods - Had the best game of his career with some great catches.

  • Positional Breakdown and Grades Gamebook
    Seahawks Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage

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