Buffalo Bills Week One Recap: The Bills Make Me Wanna Shout!

Ready for this Sunday's home Opener! - Photo via   via buffalobills.com

Ready for this Sunday’s home Opener! – Photo via via buffalobills.com

Wow, Bills Nation! Just WOW! Talk about a statement game and proving your detractors wrong! Every prediction picked the Bears to win. Many people picked the Bears in their survivor pools; oops! The Bills went into the city of Chicago, a place they have never won a game before, and pulled out a stunning overtime victory! This was truly a team victory. All three phases did their jobs and made plays when they had to. Even the Bills new punter Colton Schmidt had a great day and is ESPN’s punter of the week! There’s nothing better than a Monday in Buffalo after a big Bills win! The air smells fresher; the sky is bluer; people are happier; and all is right in the world! Without further ado, let’s talk Bills!

What a week huh? -Photo via www.democratandchronicle.com

What a week huh? -Photo via http://www.democratandchronicle.com

The Bills were seven-point underdogs facing 2013’s 2nd best offense. Preseason had many Bills fans worried about our offense, because it was — well — terrible! Who knew what to expect come game time. To make matters worse, Stephon Gilmore, our best cornerback, was out due to a groin injury, leaving the Bills with undersized corners to cover the Bears’ towering receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey. Rookie linebacker Preston Brown was starting in place of Nigel Bradham who is serving a one-game suspension. As in many past seasons, the excuses to why we were going to lose were already mounting. Kickoff came, and the Bills were set to receive. CJ Spiller made his kick returning debut that ended up being a touch back. The first series for the Bills looked a lot like preseason as they went three-and-out. The runs barely gained a yard, Erik Pears blocking looked horrible, and on third down EJ missed Chandler on a crossing route, throwing the ball well behind him. The Bears needed just four plays to score on their opening drive, and I know I heard Bills nation say “game over.” Cutler threw to Alshon Jeffrey for a 44-yard completion on a perfect throw over Leodis McKelvin. On the following play, he hit his TE Martellus Bennett as Preston Brown fell on the play, leaving him wide open for the touchdown.

EJ scores a TD on the run! - Photo via Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

EJ scores a TD on the run! – Photo via Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

On their second series, the Bills got things rolling. CJ fielded the kickoff at the goal line and returned it to the 30. Robert Woods had a nice 15-yard completion on a misdirection play action pass, where it appeared to be a run to the left, but woods ran a shallow crossing pattern to the right following EJ’s roll out to the right. A few plays later, Woods made an awesome leaping catch over a defender on the sideline that he turned up field for a 34 yard gain that got the Bills inside the Bears 20. Woods reminded me a lot of DeSean Jackson in this game. On a critical 3rd down, needing four yards, EJ hit rookie Sammy Watkins on a quick five-yard out near the sideline. It was Watkins’ first NFL reception and resulted in a first down. A few plays later, EJ kept the ball on a read option run and beat the safety to the corner of the end zone for a two-yard touchdown. Check out the video highlight here.

Corey Grahams Clutch!

Corey Grahams Clutch! – Photo via www.timesunion.com

With the score tied at seven, each team’s defense stepped it up. After a few punts for each team the Bears began moving the ball with ease. With Forte, Marshall, Jeffrey and Bennett, it seemed it was pick your poison time for the Bills. Jeffrey and Marshall were making it look easy against McKelvin, towering over him like the Monstars in Space Jam. McKelvin was beat deep on a catch by Marshall, but he was able to strip the ball, and the fumble was recovered by Preston Brown. Check out the video highlight here. That turnover led to a Bills field goal and a 10-7 lead. On the next series, the Bears were on the move again, but Corey Graham made a huge play by intercepting a deep pass intended for Jeffrey and returning it inside the Bears’ 20. Check out the video highlight here. On the next play, the Bills scored again on a misdirection screen to CJ Spiller, who ran to the right untouched for the touchdown. Check out the video highlight here.

Alshon Jeffrey went down with a hamstring injury in the 2nd quarter, which was good news for the Bills as he had five receptions for 72 yards already. The Bills defense held the Bears scoreless after their opening drive, making it 17-7 at half-time. The second half, however, would lead Bills Nation to nail biting, edge-of-your-seat action. The Cardiac Kids, I mean Bills, would only score three points in the second half and lost Keith Rivers and Aaron Williams to injuries. Rivers left with a groin injury and Williams with concussion-like symptoms. The Bears would tie it up halfway through the 3rd quarter with a field goal and turnover. EJ’s pass to Goodwin was intercepted by the safety, which led to a game-tying TD pass from Cutler to Marshall.

Kyle Williams picks off Jay Cutler!

Kyle Williams picks off Jay Cutler! – Photo via bills.buffalonews.com

The next quarter and a half of football was a slobber-knocker. The Bills were forced to punt — a lot. The Bears seemed to move the ball at will with Forte doing most of the damage. Somehow the Bills defense would find a way to stop the Bears drives. With eight minutes left to play in the game Kyle Williams recorded his first career interception on an awesome heads-up play, dropping back into coverage on a broken play. Check out the video highlight here. Kyle’s interception led to a Bills field goal and 20-17 lead. The Bears would tie with 35 seconds left to play and the Bills would kneel on their own 20 to head to over time.

 

In overtime the Bears won the toss and elected to receive. Brandon Marshall injured his ankle but tried to tough it out. With the Bears now down their twin towers at receiver, the Bills could smell blood in the water, and the defense forced a punt. On the Bills possession, they had two clutch plays. On a 2nd and 10 from their 36, EJ found Mike Williams, who made a nice leaping catch in the middle of three defenders playing zone for a 20-yard gain to midfield. Then Fred Jackson took over. The oldest running back in the NFL at age 33 followed a tough five-yard run with an amazing 39 yard run down to the one-yard line.

He's a beast! 33 what?

He’s a beast! 33 what? – Photo via http://www.gettyimages.com

During the run Jackson stiff armed the Bears safety for 20 yards, eventually throwing him to the ground inside the five. Jackson almost broke the plane of the end zone but was tackled from behind, which forced him out of bounds just outside the end zone pylon. Check out the video highlight here.

The Bills were set for a game-winning field goal. Of course, nothing can be easy for the Bills as they were flagged for a delay of game penalty when Carpenter took too long to set up. He was trying to clean up chunks of grass from the spot where he was going to kick the ball. Regardless of the penalty, Carpenter made his third field goal of the game for the win. Check out the video highlight here.

What a game this was, Bills Nation! I know I experienced every emotion there is during this game. There’s just nothing like a good Bills victory! This team does seem different. Even when there were injuries and questionable penalties, someone would just make a play. The Bills never seem to waver unlike past years. You can usually tell when they throw in the towel or that they are just outmatched, but i didn’t notice that in this game. I really thought we had a shot even with Chicago coming back, winning the toss and moving up and down the field at will. Corey Graham: Wow! He stepped up huge in this game and should be starting opposite Gilmore in my opinion. McKelvin had a rough game with the exception of the forced fumble. EJ played very well in the first half, and our running game is solid. Boobie Dixon broke off a 47-yard run, which was overshadowed by Fred’s amazing, almost-game-winning run. Woods and Williams made some nice catches, and Watkins is fast! Our defense was consistent even though we were missing players. It shows the depth we have. Mario had consistent pressure. Kyle and Marcell controlled their gaps. The linebackers were weak in coverage but played well against the run. Preston Brown was filling in for the suspended Nigel Bradham and was beat several times. Rivers was doing a better job in coverage but then went down injured. Our offensive line still needs help at guard. Chris Williams played OK but missed several key blocks. Erik Pears looked awful. The guards tend to pull on screen passes, and neither of these guys could get out and block, which is why our screens failed and the Bears were successful. This was a good team win, and it definitely should give them something to build on.

Dan Carpenter nails home the victory! - Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Dan Carpenter nails home the victory! – Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

So that’s it, Bills Nation. What do you think? What did you like or dislike? Predictions for the season now after week one? Does this win change any doubters? As always, leave me a comment here, or follow me on Facebook @jasonsins. This is our town, this is our team, and this… is our time! (Click here for best Inspirational Bills Video. Thanks William Fichtner!)

By: Jason Sinsabaugh

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