Week 1: Bills Lose Heartbreaker To Broncos 15-14
Last second FG scramble gives Broncos victory on opening day.
by Steve Saslow
The Bills almost stole a game on Sunday but when the clock hit 0:00 they ended up having the game stolen from them after leading for the entire game until Jason Elam's heroics. The result is a highly emotional 15-14 loss because of the heavy hearts the players had because of the injury to Kevin Everett. It was also gut wrenching as the Bills lost on the final play of the game on opening day for the 2nd time in four years (In 2004 Jacksonville scored a last second touchdown to defeat the Bills.)
If Elam didn't get the kick off it would have been a stolen 14-12 win for the Bills. They were thoroughly outplayed as Denver outgained them 470-184 yards. Denver was in Buffalo territory eight of 10 drives but thanks to the bend but don't break defense and two previous Elam misses the Bills somehow were in the lead the whole way and had many opportunities to put the game away.
On the Bills final offensive series they were facing a third and five and made a very controversial call to throw deep. If they threw a slant for five yards they had a chance to run out the clock which would have been easy considering the Broncos needed every second to win the game. The fact of the play though is that Lee Evans was wide open as it fooled the Broncos. A struggling J.P. Losman just overthrew him. He hits that pass more often then he misses it. If he hits it there, the game is over but he didn't and the Broncos got the ball back with 2:13 to play.
On the game winning field goal drive it shouldn't have come to that final crazy play. The Broncos faced two fourth and two plays and converted them both. A Jay Cutler scramble on the first and a slant pass to Javon Walker on the second. The Broncos were actually facing a 3rd and 23 early in the drive and hit a slant pass for 21 yards. That play was there all day for Cutler who threw for 304 yards to Losman's paltry 97.
If the Bills had won it would have been because of the running of Marshawn Lynch and the fantastic punt return by Roscoe Parrish. The offense just couldn't get things going in the passing game and the defense couldn't stop the Broncos one final time.
It was a devastating loss because of the last second heroics and all the injuries especially the one to Everett. The team is at a very early crossroads. They can use the loss and play for their fallen teammate and come out and play inspired football or they can feel sorry for themselves and struggle. It will be an important week of practice while everyone's hearts are with Everett.
Here are our exclusive gameballs and goats from the Bills game against the Broncos: