Maybe the Bills were just running a bit low on magic this week.
Buffalo found itself in a nail-biter for the fifth straight week Sunday against the New York Giants, but this time the turnover battle went to against the Bills as Buffalo fell to the Giants 27-24.
The two key plays in the game – two very similar Ryan Fitzpatrick interceptions – will be discussed ad nauseum by Bills fans for the next few weeks. On both plays, Stevie Johnson appeared to have Giants CB Corey Webster beat deep down the sideline. On both plays, Fitz badly underthrew the ball and Webster picked it off. The second one really hurt, as the Bills were driving for the go-ahead score with four minutes to play.
Fitz is hardly the only one who deserves blame for this loss however. CB Drayton Florence had a particularly brutal game, getting flagged for three big pass interference penalties and getting torched by Giant receivers all game long. Florence wasn’t the only one who struggled on defense, as the Bills simply couldn’t generate a pass rush or stop RB Ahmad Bradshaw, who piled up 104 yards and three touchdowns.
Offensively, the Bills hit for two big scores early. After the Giants scored to make it 7-0, Fred Jackson immediately responded with an 80-yard TD jaunt, continuing his incredible season. Shortly afterward, Naaman Roosevelt caught a slant and midfield and shockingly took it all the way to the house for a 60-yard score, giving the Bills a 14-7 lead.
Sadly, after that the Bills were held largely in check. Jackson only had 41 yards aside from the long touchdown. Fitzpatrick hit Stevie Johnson for a fourth-quarter TD but couldn’t complete anything down the field.
This one hurts – it always sucks to lose a winnable game – but let’s keep things in perspective. The Bills were really beat up and missing two of its top defenders. They didn’t play well. They were on the road against a good team that was desperate…and Buffalo had a chance to win the game at the end. The Bills are 4-2 with two tough 3-point losses to good teams on the road. Buffalo is legit. They’re gonna hang around the playoff chase all year.
That said, I’m very glad there’s a bye week coming up. This team desperately needs some time to get healthy. Let’s hope the rest pays off and the Bills are very ready to take on Washington in Toronto two weeks from today.