Game 11: Bills Blow Out Seahawks 38-9
Bills pull off most lopsided road win since 1992.
by Steve Saslow
The Bills knew the secret to winning on the road, but they couldn't execute it. They knew they had to score early, stop making stupid penalties, and to avoid turnovers. Well, two out of three was more than enough as the Bills beat the Seahawks 38-9 in their most lopsided road win since 1992.
They did get out to a great start, as they drove 60 yards in 10 plays to the first of four touchdowns by Willis McGahee on the opening possession. They held back from making too many penalties, although two of their six penalties led to Seattle's only meaningful scoring drive of the game. Turnovers, well Drew Bledsoe threw his typical three road interceptions. The difference was, that he offset them this time with some solid play as he threw for 275 yards. Those picks only kept the score from being even worse as the Bills totally dominated the Seahawks. Bledsoe may have been having pity on the team from his home state on those picks, as they were the only things that went wrong on this day.
The opening drive was marred by an injury to Travis Henry as he broke his fibula, effectively ending his season. The Bills had come out in the no huddle and the injury temporarily halted the momentum but the Bills scored as McGahee beautifully bounced off the middle of the line and ran to his left into the end zone on third and goal to give the Bills a 7-0 lead that they wouldn't relinquish. It was the third third down conversion on the drive as the Bills converted 9 of 15 third down attempts and that was a key to the big win.
The opening score set the tone, as the Bills knew they needed to strike early. The defense held the next two series as the stops were sandwiched between the first of Bledsoe's picks. After the second stop, the Bills moved down the field to a Rian Lindell 25 yard field goal to make it 10-0.
The Seahawks tried to get back into the game and moved the ball down the field in a ball control drive early in the second quarter. This may have been the biggest point of the game as the Bills had a goal line stand from the three. A Shaun Alexander run was stuffed for one yard, he struggled all day against the vaunted Bills defense. Matt Hasselbeck, who was game all day despite his thigh injury, threw an incomplete pass. On third and goal the Seahawks spread the defense and Hasselbeck tried to run it in but was stuffed by Pat Williams and Rashad Baker at the one. The Bills stuffed a good play call and the Seahawks went conservative and settled for the chip shot field goal to make it 10-3.
The field goal actually gave the Bills momentum as it was a huge stop but Bledsoe quickly gave it back after a bomb for the end zone was overthrown and picked off for his second interception. The stingy Bills defense was most impressive after the turnovers as they stopped the Seahawks and forced a punt.
That setup probably the best offensive drive of the season. Bledsoe in the no huddle drove the Bills 74 yards in 12 plays in just 2:53 seconds. The drive ended on a 3 yard touchdown pass to Lee Evans with :03 to go in the half to give the Bills a 17-3 lead at the intermission. It ended a fantastic first half for Evans in which he gained 85 yards in total offense including several third down conversions. He also had another run called back because of a penalty. The touchdown ended a drive where the Bills used their timeouts at questionable times and a sack would have cost the Bills from getting points before the half.
They were aggressive in that case and kept the aggressiveness when the second half started despite having the lead. They executed a perfect onside kick to start the second half that Lindell recovered himself. That momentum could have been lost by Bledsoe's third interception but the Bills defense got the ball back one play later when Terrence McGee picked off a Hasselbeck pass that was tipped by Jabari Greer.
The Bills would put the game away. Lindell would miss on another aggressive play. The Bills attempted a 53 yard field goal that was wide left but a costly leaping penalty gave the Bills another chance and a first down. The Bills responded as McGahee scored three plays later to give the Bills an insurmountable 24-3 lead.
They wouldn't turn the ball over again the rest of the game and added two more McGahee touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The first one was real pretty. Lindell actually hit a 47 yard field goal but it was blown dead as the Bills had called timeout from the sidelines to talk over whether or not they wanted to go for it on fourth and inches. They decided to go for it and if they were stuffed there would have been some second guessing since Lindell had hit the kick that would have given the team an extra cushion.
The play call however was one of many perfect calls by the Bills coaching staff. Bledsoe faked a sneak then tossed it out to McGahee who had the Seahawks defense totally confused as he ran down the sidelines for 30 yards and the touchdown. He did a nice job keeping the ball inside the pylon for the score to make it 31-3.
His next score made it 38-3 and came after J.P. Losman replaced Bledsoe and was promptly called for a delay of game call. Losman was the third quarterback but got his second game action of the season when the game was out of reach.
The Seahawks would get a touchdown but London Fletcher picked off the two point conversion attempt giving the game the final score of 38-9.
So, the Bills now know how to win on the road with a very impressive win against a playoff contender in their building. With a relatively weak schedule the rest of the way the Bills should make a run at respectability. They may be 5-6 but nobody wants to play this team as they are one of the hottest team's in the league and now they are more dangerous because they have a road win behind them.
Here are our exclusive gameballs and goats from the win over the Seahawks. Obviously, there are many more balls than goats:Gameballs