The Buffalo Bills have had their struggles and heartbreaking losses this year. For Buffalo fans, last week’s overtime loss to the Bengals weighed heavy on our hearts. The following text messages bombarded my cell phone during the post-game letdown period:
“I’m convinced the Bills are trying to give me a stroke.”
“So close, but so far away.”
“I think Buffalo is going to give me ulcers!”
Hurt no more fellow Bills’ fans! Yesterday, Thad Lewis scored his first victory as a starter, helping Buffalo squish those slippery Miami Dolphins in a 23-21 win. Was it easy? It never is, but here are some key plays that secured the Bills’ first divisional victory this season.
Playmakers: Bills’ defense shines
Buffalo’s first touchdown came off of a Ryan Tannehill interception, snagged by Nickell Robey. Robey ran 19-yards to give the Bills some needed seven points. When your starting quarterback E.J. Manuel is out, the defense needs to step it up a bit by making some key plays. Buffalo had the momentum from the beginning of the game.
Mario Williams. “Super Mario” Williams showed what he is made of, his sack on Tannehill with under three minutes left in the game forcing a fumble. Kyle Williams pounced on the bouncing ball, which lead to Buffalo kicking a 31-yard field goal. Those three points were enough to win. However, Tannehill almost made magic during the last play of the game.
What appeared to be another Ryan Tannehill sack almost burned Buffalo. Somehow, Tannehill managed to extricate himself from the pack, throwing a long “Hail Mary” pass to the endzone. The Bills’ defense saved the day, denying Tannehill from a miracle touchdown connection that would have won the game for the Dolphins.
Thad Lewis hangs tough
While Lewis threw one pick and was sacked four times, he stayed confident, making some key third down plays at crucial moments. Lewis connected with Stevie Johnson on a third-and-eleven play in the third quarter. Johnson picked up 17-yards. Lewis was able to move the offense down the field in the second half, which gave Buffalo a pair of Dan Carpenter field goals. Even though Lewis had zero touchdown passes, he threw for 202 yards and completed 65.6 percent of his passes for the day.
Sometimes, a win does not have to be pretty and spectacular, just a win.
I’ll take a messy win, especially on the road. The Buffalo Bills are still in the running for a playoff wildcard spot. The Jets win over the Patriots yesterday does not really help the Bills, but at least Tom Brady was knocked down a couple of pegs.
Can Buffalo take their winning momentum to New Orleans? Next week, they will take on Drew Brees and the Saints.
I will pray for a beautiful upset.