My “Immediate Reactions” posts will go up at Buffalo.com this year. Look for them shortly after every game!
Game One showed us some signs of encouragement, but in the end more disappointment.
Some Bills fans seem to be equating the idea of “entertaining” football with “competent” football. It was fun and interesting to watch, so the Bills played really well? No. They were completely outplayed by a sub-par Patriots team.
The Pats had more yards, more first downs, way more time of possession, better 3rd down efficiency (on both sides), and far fewer penalties. The ONLY stat that prevented it from being a first half blowout was: 2 gifted fumbles, and a slightly improved run defense.
All that said, Buffalo STILL could have won that game. EJ played okay. Not great, but solid. He missed some easy throws, and missed badly on the deep ones. (I thought we got rid of Fitz?) But both TD throws were very nice. Pettine’s Defense showed some flashes. The win was within reach. The Pats were trying to gag it away. But questionable coaching decisions and unimaginative play-calling coupled with a defense that fell apart late in the game doomed the chance for a W.
Memo To: Marrone/Hackett: Yes, it IS okay to huddle, once in a while. In fact, it’s sound strategy when you have a lead late in a game. You keep the ball away from Brady for as long as possible, and you let your defense rest for more than 90 seconds between drives.
Bottom Line: That was a game that the Buffalo Bills should have won, but deserved to lose.