The Buffalo Bills may just have saved the best for last as they defeated the Indianapolis Colts, the team with the best record in football, 30 – 7 despite blustery conditions at the Ralph. Temperatures hovered around zero degrees thanks to a stiff wind blowing in off Lake Erie and snow fell steadily throughout.
Though Indianapolis rested key players as the game wore on, the Bills looked solid throughout, even against the Colts’ starters in the first quarter. In spite of the near whiteout conditions, Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for three touchdowns – including a 41 yard completion to his favorite target Terrell Owens. Fred Jackson was phenomenal racking up 212 yards on the ground and eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career.
With the final game in the books, the season’s statistical leaders look quite a bit different from what most of us might have predicted at the year’s start:
- Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 1422 yards, 9 TDs, 10 interceptions, 55% completion rating, and a QB rating of 63.3 ( Trent Edwards – 1169/6/7/60.1%/73.8 )
- Fred Jackson led all rushers with 1,062 yards for an average of 4.48 yards per carry and 2 TDs. ( Marshawn Lynch – 450/3.8/2 )
- Terrell Owens was the primary target with 829 yards on 55 catches for an average of 15.1 yards per catch and 5 TDs ( Lee Evans 612/44/13.9/7 )
- Paul Posluszny led with 99 total tackles, Aaron Schobel led with 10 sacks, and Jairus Byrd led with 9 interceptions.
Although the game was meaningless on paper, the occasion should give Bills fans some hope that next year can be better as the Bills move into the off-season. After missing the playoffs for the tenth consecutive year, frustrations have begun to peak among a traditionally patient and optimistic fan base. The biggest question is who will coach the Bills next season; Mike Shannahan and Bill Cowher will both be courted heavily and Perry Fewell will likely be considered as well. Of course, there are many needs that the Bills will look to address both offensively and defensively through the draft and free agency.
Be sure to stay tuned to BLD throughout the playoffs and the off-season for the latest news and rumors surrounding the Buffalo Bills headed into next season. There was a lot that we, as Americans would like to forget in the first decade of the new millennium and there was a lot we, as Bills fans, would like to forget too. Here’s to a new decade and a chance to start fresh. Cheers!