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Ugly First Half Costs Bills Game 26-16
The Defense was awful once again and the Offense couldn't make big plays.
by Steve Saslow
Oct. 24, 1999
The first half was a nightmare for Wade Phillips and the rest of the Bills. A 54 yard return of the opening kickoff was a bad omen as the Seahawks then marched 38 yards in 5 plays to an early 7-0 lead. The offense struggled all game as the receivers dropped six passes and Doug Flutie threw several bad passes as the Bills fell behind 23-3 at the half. The large deficit again forced the Bills to give up on the running game as the backs combined for only 19 carries and Flutie led the team in rushing with 48 yards.
Jon Kitna led Seattle to two field goal drives following Bills punts in their next two possessions to go up 13-0. Flutie then threw the first of two interceptions. The first one bounced off of the shoulder pads of Peerless Price who had 106 yards receiving but could have had much more as many catchable balls got by him. The Seahawks upped their lead to 20-0 when Derrick Mayes burned Antoine Winfield on a deep pattern over the middle for 43 yards and a touchdown. A 42 yard field goal by Peterson made it 23-0 with just :17 left in the half. That was enough time for Flutie to hit Kevin Williams for 26 yards to setup a Steve Christie field goal and close the gap to 23-3.
The Bills were hoping that the last second field goal would carry over into the second half and it did to some extent as they played better football in the second half. The Seahawks defense did hang tough and forced a punt on the opening series of the second half but on their second possession of the half the Bills had a great 84 yard drive in 15 plays to Price's first NFL touchdown to close the gap to 23-9. Christie never got the extra point off as the snap was bobbled. This was one of many mistakes by the Bills special teams. Another Peterson field goal in the fourth quarter put the game away at 26-9 before Jay Riemersma made the final score respectable with a touchdown reception.
The first half was a complete breakdown by all three units for the Bills. The Seahawks offense moved the ball up and down the field at will. The Bills offense couldn't establish a running game and Flutie was being pressured a lot. When he wasn't being pressured he was either throwing the ball terrible or having receivers drop perfect passes. The second half was a little better as the Bills moved the ball better but not good enough to come from way back on the road against a good team. Next week the Bills travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens in what will be a must win for the Bills. A loss will drop them back to .500, they cannot afford that especially since their two game losing streak drops them from First place to fourth place in the AFC East.
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