Game 6: Bills Go Down In Baltimore 20-6
Bledsoe's five turnovers kill Bills chances.
by Steve Saslow
So much for the momentum gained by their first win of the season last week. Drew Bledsoe turned the ball over five times including two interceptions in the red zone and an interception return for a score by Deion Sanders killed the Bills chances for a road win. The Bills dominated the game from a yardage standpoint but that many turnovers on the road spells disaster as the Ravens beat the Bills 20-6.
The highlight of the game for the Bills happened the second play of the game when Aaron Schobel got around Jonathan Ogden for a sack and forced fumble that Jeff Posey recovered. Bledsoe then hit Mark Campbell for a first down at the 6. You could have turned off your TV sets then as things went downhill. The mistakes started with a false start against Mike Williams causing them to settle for a Rian Lindell 24 yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.
The Ravens marched down the field for a Matt Stover 24 yard field goal to tie the game at 3. That drive was aided by a roughing the passer penalty on London Fletcher. The Bills then made their first turnover and biggest of the game. A screen pass to Willis McGahee was tipped by one of many Ravens defenders in the backfield and picked by Sanders and returned untouched for a touchdown to give the Ravens a 10-3 lead.
The way the offense was playing that was an insurmountable lead. The defense would give up another touchdown on Baltimore's next series on a nine play, 83 yard drive to make the score 17-3 at the half.
The defense knew they couldn't give up anything else, and shut them down in the second half, holding them to -11 yards passing, and 17 total after the intermission. They played inspired football in the second half as the only three points given up in the second half happened after a long interception return on one of Bledsoe's red zone picks. The defense even stiffened then, holding them to a field goal after Eric Moulds saved a touchdown with a tackle on the 93 yard return by Williams.
Moulds was the only one doing anything offensively, the two headed monster at running back struggled most of the game. Henry started, but gave way to McGahee in the second quarter and only saw limited action until late in the fourth quarter. McGahee struggled except for one nice run in the second half when it appeared the Bills may be able to mount a comeback. You felt that they could comeback on several occasions only to have Bledsoe turn the ball over, and over, and over...
The Bills did manage one field goal in the third quarter when another Bills drive stalled at the three and the coaches didn't have the guts to go for it on fourth down when they needed a touchdown in the worst way. Instead a field goal would just be a drop in the bucket in this game.
The loss had to be disheartening for the defense that completely shut down the Ravens in the second half only to watch the offense squander opportunity after opportunity and set up scoring chances for Baltimore. The smashmouth offense never materialized as the team gave up the running game for long stretches and the result was a zero touchdown game and pathetic play in the red zone by the offense.
The gameballs actually outweigh the goats because Bledsoe was the main factor this team lost today. Here are our exclusive gameballs and goats from the loss: