Dec 22, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (22) celebrates a touchdown during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills and nobody can tell me the Buffalo Bills aren’t heading to a perfect season in 2014 until they actually lose a game. It has been fun thinking about how the Bills might find their way to an 8-0 record to start the season.
Games 9-12 on the schedule provide the Bills with the opportunity to avenge some of their most painful losses from 2013. Everyone remembers the Bills kicking the tar out of the Kansas City Chiefs for four quarters and still finding a way to lose at home. The whole country watched the E.J. Manuel knee injury in Cleveland and the team’s second half collapse against the Browns. On the way to 16-0, the Bills will need to seek vengeance for those losses.
Bills 26, Chiefs 24
The Bills completely outplayed the Chiefs in last season’s match up everywhere but the scoreboard. This year it will be different as neither team clearly dominates the game and scoring is back and forth. Jamaal Charles is tough to stop and he gets solid yardage and two TDs against the Bills in the first 30 minutes. Manuel fumbles on a sack early and then throws a pick in the second quarter. The Bills look a bit lifeless coming out of the bye and trail 14-6 at halftime. They find the spark they need right away in the second half when Marcus Easley returns the opening kickoff for a TD. Spiller has a strong third quarter and extends the lead to 20-17 at the end of the third. Alex Smith puts together a strong drive to give the Chiefs the lead. Once again, Manuel shows an air of “clutch” leading his team to a take-the-lead field goal with under 2 minutes to go and the defense closes the job.
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Bills 23, Dolphins 3
This game belongs to the defense with Mario Williams picking up four sacks and forcing Ryan Tannehill to throw multiple picks. The Dolphins can’t run or throw with much success and the Bill take a 20-0 lead into halftime thanks to an Aaron Williams TD, a Manuel to Chandler TD strike and two field goals. The Bills continue to shut the Dolphins down in the second half and add just a field goal in the fourth. The win puts the Bills at 10 and 0 and all but guarantees them a playoff berth.
Bills 34, Jets 23
This is the point in the season when a not-so-good Rex Ryan coached Jets team finds ways to win and keep their season alive. The Bills come out strong with an opening TD drive that features multiple Manuel to Robert Woods tosses and a nifty reverse to Marquise Goodwin for the score. Mike Vick plays better than in the previous matchup with the Bills and hits David Nelson, Eric Decker and then runs for a TD in the game. The Bills are just too much though, finding a TD for Fred Jackson and Sammy Watkins and also score on a McKelvin punt return. With the score 31-23 Bills and 4 minutes on the clock, Vick drives the team down but fumbles on a scramble play. Brandon Spikes recovers and the Bills move to 11-0.
Bills 28, Browns 17
Bills fans with their doubts about E.J. Manuel were intrigued to see if the team might surprise everyone and draft Johnny Manziel in April. The Bills passed on Manziel and moved up to take Watkins. Feeling a need to justify the move, the Bills go for broke with a deep route on the first play of the game and Manuel tosses a bad pick down the middle of the field. Manziel capitalizes with a TD drive and for a second, even at 11-0, Bills fans feel a bit panicked. It proves to be just an aberration as Manuel shakes it off and puts together a great showing as he completes 25 of 34 attempts for 273 yards and three scores (Woods, Jackson and Chandler). Manziel has moments but can’t sustain drives. A 4th quarter Kyle Williams sack puts the game out of reach.