DON’T GET ME STARTED succeeded in stifling the yawns for 3 quarters in the 6th game of the NFL season as the Buffalo Bills evened its record at 3-3 with a fortunate 19-16 overtime win over the Arizona Cardinals.
The teams went to overtime after Jay Feely booted a 61-yard field goal in the waning seconds of regulation. In the OT, after a Bills punt, Arizona had the ball but J. Skelton was intercepted by Jarius Byrd – his second of the game. He ran it deep into Cards territory where Rian Lindell booted a 25-yard field goal to win the game.
After Feely’s 61-yarder, he had a chance to win the game on the last play of the contest but his 38-yard attempt ticked off the left upright – no good to give life back to the Bills as they went into OT where they prevailed.
As a result of the victory, Buffalo is tied with the other three AFC East teams for the lead at 3-3 when the Patriots were beaten by Seattle while the Jets and Miami both won their games. However, the Bills have lost two division games and need to make them up.
I don’t know how Arizona managed to be 4-1 entering the game. I do know that the Bills played horribly in the two previous games against the Patriots and the 49ers. And it is a game that the Bills should have lost.
Consider that with a 16-13 lead, and with Arizona’s starting quarterback Kevin Kolb injured and replaced by backup Skelton, the Bills “D” – the worst in the NFL coming into the game allowed the team with the worst offense, the Cardinals, to move the ball for the tying field goal and the potential for the winning FG that wasn’t made.
It was strange that Feely should miss the easy one after connecting on a pair of 49-yard field goals and the 61-yarder earlier in the game.
Buffalo won the toss in the OT but couldn’t move and Arizona took over on its own 20. The Byrd pick led to Buffalo winning the game.
The inconsistency of Ryan Fitzpatrick continued. He is becoming a mystery. Right now he is battling Tony Romo of the Cowboys for tossing most intercepctions through he wasn’t picked off in the game. Brad Smith threw the Buffalo interception in the 4th quarter.
Some good things came out of the game. Mario Williams got two sacks – his first multi-sack game of the season and also generated some pressure on Kolb. Chris Kelsey got the safety when he brought down Kolb in the end zone. The Bills “D” registered 5 sacks in the game.
One thing continues to be evident and critics of Ryan Fitzpatrick certainly will be puffing their chest. It’s not that Fitzpatrick didn’t come out the winner; he continued to be erratic with his passes at times. Stevie Johnson would have had a field day if the passes were on target. As it was, Johnson had 6 catches for 82 yard. When Fitzpatrick was off target, he was bad. On target, his short passes allowed the receivers to gain additional yardage. Here’s how Fitzpatrick fared:
In the first half, the Bills had a total of 107 yards of offense. For the game Fitzpatrick was 18 of 32 but for only 141 net yards. Spiller helped move the chains with 88 yards on 12 carries.
Buffalo was 4 of 13 on third downs, punting 8 times in the game when Fitzpatrick couldn’t move the team. Arizona outgained Buffalo 332 to 306.
The Bills can control their own destiny in the final 10 games of the season – but certainly they have to improve offensively and the defense has to stiffen more than it has up to shi point of the season. Here’s how the game developed.
After the opening kickoff, Freddy Jackson ran to his own 28 and fumbled the ball. The Bills held forcing the Cardinals to boot 49-yard Jay Feely kick.
After Buffalo punted to the Arizona 13, Kolb tried to pass from the end zone but Chris Kelsey, playing in place of Anderson tackled him for a safety to make the score a baseball like 3-2.
The Cardinals booted the ball to the Bills 18 where Leodis McKelvin gathered in the pigskin and brought it back to the Arizona 49. The team marched down the field to the Cardinals 10-yard line where C.J. Spiller burst around the left side into the end zone to give Buffalo a 9-3 lead.
The teams began to exchange punts as neither team was effective in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Fitzpatrick continued to show a lack of accuracy while Kolb couldn’t move his team at all.
In the second quarter on one drive, Fitzpatrick completed two passes = both for a loss. forcing yet another punt. Taking over on his own 33, Kolb needled some effective passes, alternating with running back Williams Powell to move the ball to the Bills 9. Kolb calmly went back to pass and hooked up with Larry Fitzgerald for the touchdown that gave the home team a 10-9 lead.
After Fitzpatrick went 3 and out in a listless possession, Arizona started at its own 13 Kolb moved his team into Bills territory but Mario Williams, applying the pressure, put a halt to the drive forcing a punt to the Bills 20. A sack of Fitzpatrick ended the first half with the Bills trailing by a point 10-9.
How did Fitzpatrick perform? If you say 9 completions in 15 attempts is good – check out the yardage. Those 9 tosses gained only 44 yards with not touchdowns. Jackson carried 8 times for 29 yards while Spiller had 27 yards on 6 carries….and the only TD of the first half.
For the Cardinals Kolb was at 50%, 8 of 16 for 76 yards and a TD pass. Powell led the rushers with 7 carries for 35 yards as the second half is about to be played.
After Mario Williams got his second sack forcing yet another punt, Buffalo couldn’t move as Fitzpatrick managed a first down but threw a couple of incompletions to start the second half. The Bills punted……..again.
Arizona then mounted the best drive of the game, so far, marching downfield behind the passing of Kolb and the running of Powell to reach the Bills 31 where the 12 play, 44 yard drive stalled. In came Jay Feely to kick a 49-yard field goal to extend the Cardinals lead to four points – 13-9.
Finally, the Bills answered the Arizona drive with its best drive in 3 games that began with a short pass to Stevie Johnson who ran for 23 yards to the Bills 43. Then it was C.J. Spiller time. First came a 7-yard burst followed by a pretty 33-yard run to set up Buffalo at the Arizona 7. A couple of plays later Jackson went up the middle from a yard out to give Buffalo the lead 16-13.The running back broke up the middle with just a few seconds left in the third quarter.
Kolb began a good drive in the 4th quarter but Jarius Byrd intercepted the pass, allowing Buffalo to mount a drive. Brad Smith, operating out of the Wildcat fired the ball. The Bills gave the ball back when Brad Smith passed out of the Wildcat, picked off at the 6-yard line giving the Cardinals another chance.
Kolb moved the team inside the Bills territory……and with seconds left to play, Jay Feely kicked a 61-yard field goal to tie it 16-16.
In overtime, Jarius Byrd intercepted a Cardinals pass, ran it back deep into Arizona territory and Rian Lindell kicked the winning 25-yard field goal to end the scoring and the game.
Filed under: Don't Get Me Started