Bills-Jaguars – 10 Things I Think

Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s)

It’s only two games. It’s only two games. I keep telling myself, it’s only two games. It’s a long season. There are a lot of good teams. It’s only two games.

Two wins in two weeks against two playoff teams. What else can you ask for? Yes, it was the banged-up Seahawks from a weak division and it was the banged-up Jaguars. Still, it’s two wins in two weeks against two playoff teams.

Friends, we have a football team. We’ve waited for years for the right pieces and for the pieces to come together. It’s happening.

1. The Bills look like winners. This was an easy game to quit on, to throw in the towel and fly back home one-and-one, but winners don’t do that. After controlling the first half, the Bills gave up the TD on a long drive to open the second half, and then had the two plays the likes of which broke the Bills backs in year’s past. The recovered onside kick and the Edwards fumble. What happened? Two field goals. A touchdown might have put the game away, but the Bills defense said “NO.” Then the offense had the resiliency, the heart and the players to get the TD to go ahead.

It was simply a quality win on the road, the kind of games winners win.

2. And then, after the go-ahead TD and after the defense completely shut the door on the Jags, it was Roscoe’s turn to do his thing. Sooner or later teams will simply stop kicking to him, and that will be too bad, because it sure is fun when they do! This one clearly goes to the special teams, because Roscoe had a lot of open space to operate in. What I liked best was seeing Whitner in the middle of the field, about to make a block when he realized Roscoe had already passed him!

3. You believe in Youboty? You better. Seems like he’s always in position on the pass. He’s become an effective pass rusher (I think he missed Garrard once). The play I like the best was on third down, and his man in the slot went into the flat behind the wide-out. Ashton swung around Jabari and got there to make the tackle short of the first down. It was great recognition, great closing speed, and a solid tackle. He looks like he was worth waiting for.

4. Was it Wendling who committed a split second too early on the onside kick? He turned downfield to block and couldn’t get back in time to make a clean play on the ball before the Jags arrived. It was a great call at that time, but you know that April will make a point of making sure guys stay home next time.

5. Kevin Faulk has made a living catching balls out of the backfield for the Pats. Hello, Freddy Jackson. Talk about adding a new dimension to the offense. Seven catches, 83 yards. He’s a serious threat out there.

6. The offensive line stood out. The Jags were one of the best against the run last year, and they showed it today. There wasn’t much room for Marshawn and Freddy (except on Marshawn’s touchdown. Inside the 10, Marshawn is money.) But the pass protection was really solid. Trent took nice drops, set up, and had time to look and lanes to throw through. Jason the Prodigal Son Peters looked a little helpless on Trent’s fumble, but those plays will happen. And Butler and Fowler got completely outplayed on one sack. Still, the offensive line ought to get a game ball, because the passing game won it for the Bills, and the line made the passing game go.

7. Did someone say passing? Tough to complain about a 120 passer rating. Trent threw a couple of balls behind guys, where tipped balls could have resulted in interceptions. He threw into double coverage once or twice. But 20 times he found the right receiver and gave him a catchable ball. The long ball to Evans – who also starred today – was simply a great play. Lee ran a great route, Trent recognized the opportunity, and the line gave him the time to wait for Lee to get open. The pass was perfect.

The TD to Hardy wasn’t perfect, but the reason you want a 6’5″ receiver is to erase mistakes. What Trent did do correctly on that play was read the coverage and throw the ball where the defender had no play. Hardy’s catch was sure-handed, and his footwork superb.

8. Is this team that took no chances last year? Twice on the Bills final drive they passed when last year they would have run. The first was a critical first down to Schouman; the second was Trent’s last sack of the day. Even the sack was evidence of how much better this team has become. The coaches trusted Trent back there, Trent recognized his problem and nearly escaped, and Trent didn’t fumble or throw an interception. The Bills stay in field goal range, and they added on the important three points. (Nice hold, Brian.)

9. Two more takeaways. Bad, bad throw by Garrard to end the first half, and Terence was ready. The game-clinching fumble recovery was sweet – all about the pursuit that Perry Fewell preaches. There were a lot of Bills around that ball.

10. Hats off, again, to the coaches. Got this team ready to play a good team in a tough environment, called a good game, and came out with a win.

Back home for the Raiders. Another big quarterback, another good running back.

Back home for BRRRUUUUUUUUCE!!!!!! On the Wall of Fame, where he belongs.

The Ball Burglar – Bills fans helping kids – is paying over $265 for every takeaway the Bills get. That’s a good start, but not nearly where we want to end up. Fans around the country soon will be talking about the Ball Burglar, about how thousands of Bills fans came together, each paying only a dollar or two per takeaway, to do something really special for their team, for kids with serious illnesses and for western New York. Add your buck today.