Well, to be honest, I never thought the Bills were going to win this one against the Patriots. For starters, the Bills never win (at least in the last few years) in Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots offense is just so hard (for the Bills) to stop. So going into the game, I was content to put my feet up, get comfy on the couch and watch the game with zero expectation to win.
But, in true Buffalo Bills’ fashion, they actually made it close enough to get my heart pumping and my voice raising throughout the game. The Bills could have won this game. Although there were two outrageous calls against them by the refs (more on that in a minute), the Bills’ shot themselves in the foot with costly mistakes that resulted in a loss.
I have to place blame where blame should be placed: squarely on the team for racking up 119 penalty yards in the first half alone (the most, by the way, since 1995 in the entire NFL!). False starts, delay of game, intereference and holding calls, you name it, the Bills did it in this game. Rookie special team-er Ron Brooks cost the Bills 15 yards when he ran out of bounds without trying to get back inbounds quickly enough.
The Bills are just not good enough to be able to overcome giving up that many penalty yards, 148 in all, which is the second-most in Bills’ history.
However, they almost surprisingly still pulled out a victory when Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an interception at the end of the game, missing T.J. Graham in the end zone (which would have been the game-winning touchdown). It is unclear whether Graham ran the wrong route, or Fitz just missed him, but either way, the interception was thrown, costing the Bills the game.
According to www.nfl.com, “actions that do not constitute pass interference include but are not limited to…:
…Contact that would normally be considered pass interference, but the pass is clearly uncatchable by the involved players.”
Ok, so that’s the rule.
The two calls, one against George Wilson and one against Stephon Gilmore, were on clearly uncatchable passes. In fact, with the one against Gilmore, the pass sailed out of the end zone so high that when watching the replay, you can’t even see the ball in the frame. Unless the receiver was superhuman and could stretch his arms about three feet long, that pass was uncatchable. The call placed the ball 37 yards forward to the 1 yard line, and of course, the Patriots easily scored from there.
I’m going to the next game, Thursday night against the Bills’ rival Miami Dolphins. The AFC East is still technically up for grabs, so this is an important game for the Bills. The Dolphins are no Patriots, so if the offense can fire on all cylinders like they did on Sunday, they have a good chance to win. And if not……I guess the Bills are on their way to another good draft pick.