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Bills Lose To Bengals 23-20
Team no longer unbeaten after blowing halftime lead.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 4
Bills  
Bengals  
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
You live by the comeback, you die by the comeback. Mike Nugent hit a 43 yard field goal as time expired to lift the Bengals to a 23-20 upset win over the Bills giving Buffalo their first loss of the season. This game was the opposite of the last two as the Bills opened up a 17-3 lead at the half before the Bengals roared back after halftime. The Bills gained the lead on a Bryan Scott interception return for a score and a Fred Jackson one yard touchdown run. The Bengals took control in the second half and closed the gap on a 17 yards touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Jermaine Gresham. They tied the game with 4:09 to go on a Dalton QB keeper. Three pivotal replay reviews went against the Bills and deflated them at key points in the game.

The Turning Point:
The 2nd big replay review: Stevie Johnson thought he caught a third and short pass for a first down as the Bills were still up for by a touchdown and looking for more. It was ruled incomplete and replay upheld it. That play was one of many that deflated the Bills.

The Big Drive:
Will take the tying TD drive by the Bengals as the drive of the game after the Johnson controversial incompletion. They went 80 yards in 10 plays to Dalton's tying score. Gresham caught two passes for 42 yards on the drive.

Stat of the Game:
The Bills gave up 458 yards to one of the weaker offenses in the league. There are definite problems on the defense.

What You Don't See On The Stat Sheet:
How easily the Bengals got huge chunks of yardage running the ball and the Bills tackling horribly.

Quick Slants:
- The refs definitely let them play as there were two questionable non calls on deep passes by the Bills early. There was a deep pass to Jackson on the Bills second series forcing a punt and again on deep pass to Jones on the last play of the first quarter.
- The tuck rule hurt the Bills in the 2nd quarter. Andy Dalton was sacked by Chris Kelsay and fumbled. Bryan Scott recovered and ran it in for an apparent TD. It was ruled incomplete after review.
- The third replay review that killed the Bills. On the Bengals winning FG drive a stop of Dalton made it 4th and inches but replay gave them the first down.
- Scott would finally get his first TD of his career when the ball bounced off of the receiver's foot and he plucked it out of the air and ran down the sidelines for the score.

My Take:
The NFL is a humbling league. The Bills were flying high undefeated and leading an apparent weaker foe by two touchdowns and lost. Now we know how the Patriots and the Raiders feel. Was there a hangover from last week? Did the Bills fall to the dreaded trap game? I think both are somewhat true but the bottom line is they were thoroughly outplayed and didn't deserve to win.

What's Ahead:
It doesn't get any easier for the Bills. They come home and lick their wounds as Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles come to town and they will be upset as they blew a lead of their own to lose to San Francisco.

Gameballs

  • Brian Moorman - He averaged 51.6 yards on eight punts and did a good job getting a bad snap down for the Bills second field goal.
  • Rian Lindell - Hit both field goals and both extra points.
  • Bryan Scott - He scored twice as many TDs as the offense but only one counted.


  • Goats
  • Leodis McKelvin - He was beaten for two long passes.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick - Struggled in this game and the offense was out of sync all game long.


  • Player Of The Week
  • Brian Moorman - When the punter wins this honor that says it all.


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




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