Bills Fall In Final Minute 15-12 Bills find a way to lose another winnable game. by Steve Saslow
For the second time this year the Bills lost a lead in the final minute at home to a mediocre opponent and went down to defeat. Sam Bradford ruined another solid performance by the Bills defense when he hit Brandon Gibson with a 13 yard touchdown pass with :48 left to give the Rams a 15-12 come from behind win over the Bills. The Bills had a 6-0 lead at halftime thanks to field goals from 35 and 40 yards out by Rian Lindell. Stephen Jackson scored from one yard out on the opening possession of the third quarter to give the Rams the lead. The Bills responded with a 75 yard drive to their only touchdown of the game, a 2 yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Lee Smith. The offense stalled the rest of the way and the defense wilted on the final drive leaving any lingering playoff hopes shattered.
The Turning Point:
Chan Gailey Gets Scared: Early in the fourth quarter with the Bills clinging to a 12-7 lead, Chan Gailey sent out the field goal unit to attempt a 52 yarder. He initially thought it was a 50 yard attempt and when he saw it was two yards longer he called timeout and punted. Lindell was visibly upset when they decided to punt. Gailey said after the game he was scared they would snap it so he wasted a timeout instead of taking a delay of game penalty and punting. This play really showed the team was scared to win and so they didn't.
The Big Drive:
The Rams Winning Score: The Bills defense was awesome until they allowed an 84 yard winning touchdown drive in 14 plays in just 4:07. Bradford completed a 15 yard pass on 3rd and 10 and a 9 yard pass on 4th and 1. George Wilson dropped two game ending interception attempts.
Stat I Did Like:
Run Defense: They held their fourth straight opponent to under 90 yards as the Rams ran for just 78 yards for a 2.9 yard per carry average.
Stat I Didn't Like:
Spiller Touches: The most dynamic player the Bills have only touched the ball 8 times including only one touch after back to back 13 yard runs in the third quarter.
Quick Slants: - The Bills wore their throwback uniforms wearing white on white with the standing red Buffalo. First time they wore this configuration since 2009. - The Bills also lost to the Titans in the final minute and Wilson had a chance to end that game as well but dropped an interception that would have clinched that game as well. Three dropped picks this year by Wilson have cost the Bills two wins. - A questionable holding penalty on Kyle Moore took away an interception return for a score late in the first half by Stevon Gilmore. It didn't take away his first career pick though. - The Bills didn't get seven after that pick but got three. They had plenty of time to get into the end zone but got very conservative.
Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article: RT Sam Young vs. LDE Chris Long: Winner: Long. He only had four tackles and a half a sack but he was constantly in the backfield and had three quarterback hits. RBs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson vs. MLB James Laurinatis: Winner: Laurinatis. He only had three tackles but he and his teammates shutdown the Bills running game holding them to a 3.1 yard average. LDE Mario Williams vs. RT Barry Richardson: Winner: Williams. He had a sack, quarterback hit, tackle for loss, and a forced fumble. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. CB Janoris Jenkins: Winner: Fitzpatrick. He had a solid day before the last second interception.
Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out: 1. Overcome OL Injuries: Failure! Fitzpatrick was under siege most of the day although the line performed better in the second half. The Rams had five sacks and 11 quarterback hits. 2. Use The Weather Advantage: Failure! When the rain came the Rams took over the game. 3. Stop Their Jackson: Success! He did score a touchdown but was held to 64 yards on 19 carries.
Another lost season. The Bills lost another winnable game against a team they should have beaten at home in December. It was not only winnable but they should have won this one and the Tennessee game. If they won both of those we would be talking about a playoff run. Instead we are talking about the offseason. Another depressing year to be a Bills fan! Bah Humbug!
The Bills begin to play out the string in Toronto against the surging Seattle Seahawks.
Ryan Fitzpatrick - Had a solid game hitting 25 of 33 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown. He couldn't finish it off though.
Scott Chandler - Had five catches for 71 yards.
Chan Gailey - Another loss many more questionable calls. I really think he has lost it with his gameday decisions and now I fear he has lost the team.
George Wilson - If he makes one of two interceptions that hit his hands the Bills would have won and be a game out of a playoff spot. He single handily has cost the Bills two games on the year.
Shawn Powell - His punting was weak with a 39.1 yard average and he let an extra point snap go through his hands.
Fred Jackson - He lost his fourth fumble of the season and that kept the Bills from taking control of the game in the first half. He finished with 30 yards on 14 touches.
Player Of The Week
Ryan Fitzpatrick - Not saying much since they only had one touchdown drive.