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Bills Beat Colts 30-7
Bills win in the snow against Colts backups.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 17
Colts   7
Bills  30
Gameday Grades
Recap
The Skinny:
Fred Jackson ran for 212 yards and caught one of three Ryan Fitzpatrick touchdown passes as the Bills beat the Indianapolis Colts subs 30-7 at snowy, windy, and frigid Ralph Wilson Stadium. Fitzpatrick hit Jackson for an 11 yard touchdown pass, Lee Evans for a 21 yard score, and Terrell Owens for a 41 yard touchdown all in the first half. Fitzpatrick threw for 155 yards and threw no interceptions. Rian Lindell braved the snow covered field and wind to hit three field goals in the rout.

The Turning Point:
When Peyton Manning left the game with the score tied 7-7. It coincided with the playing conditions getting much worse as the snow came down harder about that time and the Bills took control of the game like they did in these conditions in the old days.

The Big Drive:
It was a short one but one that put the game away. The Bills went 50 yards in two plays as Fitzpatrick hit Terrell Owens for a 41 yard touchdown pass after a nine yard run by Jackson to put the game away at 21-7 late in the second quarter.

Stat of the Game:
212 Yards: Jackson needed 150 yards to get to the 1,000 yard mark for the season and it was a huge goal for him and his linemates leading up to the game. It was supposed to be a tall order but he made it with ease going over 200 yards before the third quarter was over.

What You Don't See On The Stat Sheet:
It looked like old times as the Bills definitely looked more comfortable playing in blizzard like conditions than the opponent from a dome stadium. I know it was the Colts backups but they wanted no part of this game.

Quick Slants:
- Former Bills Frank Reich and Pete Metzelaars are on the Colts coaching staff and took the same field they were on 17 years ago to the day in leading the Bills to the greatest comeback in NFL history.
- The Bills won the toss and received this may have been one of the only times I would have deferred because of the weather conditions. Bills went three and out.
- Exactly a third of the way through the game, Jackson was exactly a third of the way to the 150 yards he needed for a 1,000 yard season by halftime he was over 100 yards and doubled that in the third quarter.
- The weather conditions were awful but that didn't stop Jim Kelly from hanging out on the sidelines and Marv Levy from attending to see his fellow Coe College alum have his day in the sun...err. snow.

My Take:
Yes it was against the JV squad of the Colts for three quarters. Yes the weather was so awful the Colts backups couldn't do anything. Yes it may have cost the Bills a spot or two in the draft order. It doesn't matter because the long offseason is upon us and it was nice to forget about the nightmare of a season for three hours and watch the Bills win a game easy. It was even nicer to see a real good guy in this league hit a huge milestone. We have all offseason to figure out how to fix the awful season but for one day they weren't that bad against the best team in the league even though Indy was disinterested and would have rather stayed home to prepare for the playoffs.

What's Ahead:
The NFL has the longest offseason in professional sports. It will be a long but busy and interesting offseason for the Bills. They have already hired the general manager and now will need to hire a new head coach. That coach will need to form his staff. Players will come and go in great numbers. We will be here to keep you updated all offseason long.

Gameballs

  • Fred Jackson - Ran for a career high 212 yards as he sledded past the 200 yard mark as he carried the ball 33 times and caught a touchdown pass.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick - Threw three touchdown passes and looked pretty good in the bad weather conditions.
  • Rian Lindell - Bad weather doesn't bother him as he was a perfect 3 for 3 on field goals and 3 for 3 on extra points.
  • Chris Kelsay - He had four tackles and a fumble recovery.
  • Cary Harris - Had his first two career interceptions.


  • Goats
  • None - It was a perfect day in a terrible season.


  • Player Of The Week
  • Fred Jackson - His race for a 1,000 yard season completes an incredible journey for his career and it couldn't have happened to a more standup guy.


  • Positional Breakdown and Grades
    NFL.com Gamebook
    Game Recap
    Colts Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage




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