Buffalo Bills Week 13 review: 7-5 and Still Alive!

So it’s December 3rd, 2014, and the Bills have a legit chance to land a wild card to make the playoffs! We are currently the 8th seed after beating the Browns on Sunday but still have to move up two spots to lock up a spot. To do that, the Bills have to face three of the best quarterbacks of all time and beat at least two of them over the next four games. For the first time since 2000, the Bills are at 7-5 and have yet to be below .500 winning percentage all year! This is our best season in 15 years, and, of course, this is the year so many teams in the AFC are also having great seasons! This definitely isn’t the year to finish with six or more losses.

Bills Browns

The Bills D held the team in the game through the first half. – Photo via photos.cleveland.com

Looking back on Sunday, for 36 minutes, the game looked bleak. At the half, Cleveland held a 3-0 lead. So what happened, and how did the Bills end up with 26 second half points? The first half wasn’t good for the Bills offense. They came out passing against one of the top passing defenses in the league, but Orton was off the mark much of the day. The Browns missed a field goal in the first half and blocked a Bills attempt just before halftime. The defense was playing well when it mattered, but the Browns were moving the ball between the 20’s. However, the Bills made adjustments at the half, and the defense came out pissed off! They held the Browns to eight total yards of offense for almost a quarter and a half.

Midway through the 3rd quarter the Bills offense finally got into the end zone thanks to some great catches by Robert Woods. Kyle Orton completed a touchdown pass to Chris Hogan, making the game 7-3. On the very next series, Jerry Hughes made a great play, stripping the Browns running back Terrance West and returning it for a touchdown. It was a great heads up play as the running back was being held up by two other Bills at the line of scrimmage. No whistles were blown, and as West was going to the ground, Hughes attacked and jarred the ball loose. The ball layed on the turf about one yard from the sideline, and he was able to stay in bounds, recover it, and return it the other way for a touchdown. Da’Norris Searcy had a good game, recording two interceptions and helping to chase Hoyer to the bench in favor of John Manziel. Manziel came in and led the Browns on an eight-play scoring drive thanks to some lucky plays, but the Bills ended that progress rather quickly.

Trademark Johnny.  -Photo via www.nydailynews.com

Trademark Johnny. -Photo via http://www.nydailynews.com

Just a few plays into their next series, a bad snap led to what should have been a Bills touchdown. Manziel wasn’t ready for the snap but was able to recover it. Kyle Williams and the rest of the Bills line were right there, and Manziel couldn’t throw the ball away. He tried to throw it and then tucked it away and fumbled while being thrown to the ground. Jerry Hughes recovered the ball in the end zone, but it was ruled an incomplete pass. It was a horrible call, and it should have been a fumble. But it was the old Tom Brady made up tuck rule! Dan Carpenter would add four field goals in the 4th quarter as the Bills rolled to a comfortable 26-10 win.

This game was important as it was an AFC opponent which works toward tie breakers and the Browns were one of the teams ahead of the Bills on the “In the hunt” list for the playoffs. The game plan was quite questionable as the Bills chose to come out throwing against a team that has one of the best Cornerback tandems in the league. However they have one of the worse run defenses. The Bills finally got their running game going after they went up 14 to 3. Orton has now looked less than stellar in the last 3 of 4 games. They say backup QB’s will get you to a .500 record and they might be right on Orton being no better than a backup. But a win is a win and the Defense finally took over a game and scored to help win a game the Offense just wasn’t doing anything. Next up is Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Denver. The Bills need to win this game as it’s another AFC opponent. Manning doesn’t really have a history with the Bills. He’s only faced Buffalo a few times in his career and most of the time he barely played as the games were late in the year after the Colts had already locked up a playoff spot and manning was rested. For the Bills to win they will need all three phases to produce. They will also need to take risks. If Marrone plays the field position game and punts from the 39 and coaches to not lose the game instead of couching to win then the Bills won’t have a chance. The Rams were able to hold the Broncos to 7 points in St. Louis and pull out a 22-7 win. The Bills defense is better than the rams and will need to get pressure on Manning often to make him throw when he doesn’t want to. We’re going to need turn overs and points from the defense.

Kyle Williams forces a Manziel fumble that was later overturned - Photo via GARY WIEPERT AP PHOTO

Kyle Williams forces a Manziel fumble that was later overturned – Photo via GARY WIEPERT AP PHOTO

Orton is going to need to play 10 times better than he has lately. The lowest score the Broncos have put up at home is 27, so the Bills need to at least score 30. The Broncos have found a good running game in CJ Anderson who’s playing because Ball and Hillman are injured. Julius Thomas is expected to play after missing two weeks with an ankle injury. The Broncos have Wes Welker, who has a history of torching the Bills defense, and Demaryus Thomas, who’s just a monster with Manning throwing him the ball. The next four games are playoff games. I think the Bills can pull this off, but it falls on the arm of Kyle Orton and the brass balls of Coach Marrone. Playing or coaching scared is going to equal a loss. As much as I want to predict a win here, I don’t think the Bills will pull it off, and Manning and the Broncos will roll 37 to 13 over the Bills. The Bills haven’t done well against Rivers and Brady this year. Stafford still killed them while having only one receiver who could catch, so I’m expecting Manning to dissect this defense in the same manner.

This week’s game is at 4:05, don’t forget, and for a very cool and unique viewing experience, the Transit Drive-in will be showing the game on the big screen! Gates open at 2:00 and admission is free. The concession stand will be open with all proceeds going to the City Mission. So make sure you check it out and give to a good cause! The Bills will need our help to pull out a win!

So there you have it Bills fans, what do you think? Did the Cleveland win give you hope? What chance do we have this Sunday? How do you feel about the playoffs?

Watch the game at the Transit Drive-In for free. All snack bar sales will go to the City Mission - Photo via www.facebook.com

Watch the game at the Transit Drive-In for free. All snack bar sales will go to the City Mission – Photo via http://www.facebook.com

Make sure you follow up on Facebook and twitter: @wgoinbuffalo and me @jasonsins.

Can this be the year?

Lets go BOYS!

Where else would you rather be than right here, right now, talking playoffs in Buffalo IN DECEMBER! AHHHHH!!

By: Jason Sins

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