Game 13: Bills Win Fourth Straight 37-7
Dominating Defense leads Bills to easy victory.
by Steve Saslow
The Bills offense continues to put up a huge number of points as they scored 37 or more for the fourth straight game, all Bills victories as was this 37-7 win over the Browns. The 37 points are impressive but this win was about a truly dominating defensive effort.
The Bills held the Browns to just 17 total yards in the game, 15 in the final series! If that wasn't enough, the unit rang up eight sacks and five turnovers as they put the offense in position to succeed all day long.
Their performance was needed as the offense struggled early, turning the ball over three times late in the first quarter to keep the Browns in the game early. Cleveland actually led 7-3 after one quarter but it could have been a lot worse thanks to a Nate Clements fumbled punt return, a Drew Bledsoe interception, and a Willis McGahee fumble on a botched handoff. The Browns only scored their touchdowns after two mistakes.
The Clements' fumble set them up and an offsides penalty on Aaron Schobel negated an interception and setup the Browns only score of the game.
That was all the Browns would do all day as the Bills defense suffocated the Browns shutting them down on the ground and getting pressure on almost every pass. The Browns had -12 yards in the air thanks to 79 yards lost on eight sacks. They came from everywhere. Sam Adams had two of the four linemen sacks. Chris Kelsay and Schobel had the others. Schobel forced a fumble that Kelsay recovered. Takeo Spikes, Jeff Posey, Troy Vincent and Lawyer Milloy also had sacks. The five turnovers included three fumble recoveries by Clements, the one by Kelsay, and Vincent. Clements and Vincent also had picks.
All those big plays helped pick up an offense that struggled some but didn't have to do much. They were effective when they had to. McGahee went over 100 yards for the sixth time this year, all wins. He had two touchdown runs that made up for two fumbles, only one was lost. His second touchdown was on a 13 yard draw play that gave the Bills a 17-7 lead before halftime. It came after Lee Evans scored on a seven yard crossing pattern early in the second quarter to give the Bills the lead. It was setup by Clements' fumble recovery.
A Rian Lindell 21 yard field goal early in third quarter put the game away as it ended an 83 yard drive in 13 plays that took up half the third quarter. It was the lone long drive by the offense and was keyed by a 48 yard run by Evans on a reverse.
The game was essentially over at that point especially since the Browns could do nothing offensively. The Bills would turn Clements' interception into seven more points as McGahee's six yard scoring run made it 27-7. It would become the Shaud Williams show at that point. Yes Shaud Williams. He made his NFL debut and made some nice runs on the final drive of the game, ending it with a four yard touchdown run, he gained 35 yards on the drive and showed he may have a future with this team.
The Bills showed that they are now one of the better teams in the league by beating a team they were a double digit favorite against, convincingly. They have won four straight for the first time since 2000, and now have won six of seven and seven of nine to incredibly go over .500. The playoffs remain a possibility but are still a long shot after the Ravens won again. Playoffs or not, if the Bills finish the season like they've been playing the last two months, optimism will be really high next year. Any shot at the playoffs starts in Cincinnati next week, a very tough assignment.
Here are our exclusive gameballs and goats from the Bills win against the Browns:Gameballs