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Great Plays of the 2008 Buffalo Bills

It was a year marked with early excitement, but perhaps inevitable disappointment as Buffalo notched a 7-9 record for the 3rd season in a row. But not forgotten were some memorable plays, some offensive, some defensive, and some from Buffalo's vaunted Special Teams unit. In many cases they were plays that changed the course of the game, plays that raised morale and gave the team hope for victory. To me that is what a great play is. And so here are the 5 that I thought were great, among others.

 

1. Seattle Shamed by Special Teams Shenanigans

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pic via cache.daylife.com

Buffalo's first game victory over Seattle was devastating for the Seahawks, who lost one of their better receivers for the season, and had to deal with the embarrassing realities of how they lost. It was bad enough when Roscoe Parrish returned a punt for a touchdown while spinning through tackles like he was in a video game, but things got even worse.  Backup defensive end Ryan Denney had reported in as a WR weighing a slim 6-7 265, as the Bills got ready to attempt a field goal. Or so the Seahawks thought. Holder and Punter Brian Moorman, tossed a pass to an uncovered Ryan Denney to give Buffalo a touchdown.

"We got kicked around pretty good today." - said then Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren.

Yeah.

watch the play here:

2. Jackson knocks Jets off course
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pic via nfldotcom.files.wordpress.com

A loss by the Bills week 15 will always have one play remembered above all others: Losman going back to pass, and literally fumbling the game away. However, one of the most inspiring plays the Bills ran received far less acclaim.

It wasn't the design of the play but rather the execution that made it one of Buffalo's great plays of 2008. As for the play it had Steve Johnson lined up as a WR to the inside, Josh Reed on the outside and Lee Evans on the opposite side of the field. Fred Jackson was the single back and shot the B gap between LG and LT.

But Jackson simply would not go down. He was met head on by multiple defenders at the 4 yard line and it appeared that he wasn't going anywhere But Jackson's unstoppable willpower and leg drive and help from a hungry offensive line led him to pay dirt.

watch the play here:

3. Hardy Tames the Jaguars

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via prod.static.bills.clubs.nfl.com

James Hardy who was drafted in the second round of the 2008 draft, would miss most of the season with an injury but in this well designed play  that sealed Buffalo's win against the Jaguars in week two, Hardy shines.

Buffalo called their "bundle" formation which features three WRs in a bunch at the top and a single WR at the bottom. Hardy was the "inside" man meaning he was lined up closest to the line. Robert Royal the TE was lined up between Hardy and Josh Reed who was to the outside(nearest to the sideline). Both Hardy and Reed who were the outside receivers moved inside, and hardy moved outside and ran a corner route. QB Trent Edwards throws a high pass to the corner and Hardy comes down with it. The X-factor of the play was Rasheed Mathis , the Jaguars top corner back. Josh Reed was able to occupy Mathis long enough to delay him getting to Hardy.  Trent Edwards throws a high spiral that  takes advantage of James Hardy's height. Edward actually threw the ball slightly late which made the play that much closer and exciting as Hardy came down with the ball he is in bounds by only a few inches at the most. But as football is a game of inches Buffalo escapes with a victory.

watch the play here:

Mitchell Stuns the Chargers

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via www4.pictures.gi.zimbio.com

LB Kawika Mitchell became the hero of the day  when he picked off Phillip Rivers in the end zone to seal the game for Buffalo.  The Chargers were on the cusp of scoring at about the 10 yard line and Buffalo met them in their 4-3 defense. The corners were both playing man to man, the safeties were playing back also in man to man coverage and were ready to double team certain receivers. One of the linebackers was playing against the running back. The LB that would have had that responsibility was based on what side the RB lined up on. The LB that doesn't have RB responsibility is "free". In this case Mitchell's job was to read the QB and seal off explosive Chargers TE Antonio Gates. Mitchell was in the right place at the right time for the interception which helped Buffalo short out the offensively electric chargers.

watch the play here:

Edwards Charges at Chiefs

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via assets.espn.go.com

The Buffalo Bills were on the verge of having a total breakdown. Once touted as the team to beat early in the season, the Bills had been humbled by their entire division losing to Miami, New England and New York, and then losing a key Monday night game to Cleveland. But in the final play of the half in their week 12 match up against the Chiefs, Edwards put it all on the line and dived for a touchdown. Another effort over design play, Edwards had been looking to pass, but the Chiefs had good position on all of the Bills skill players. However, the left side of the offensive line had effectively and completely sealed off the left side of the defensive line, and Edwards decided to take the chance and dive head first into the endzone. If he fell short the half would have ended so it was effectively an all or nothing play. The Bills offense rallied behind Edwards and the Bills handed the Chiefs their worst loss at home in franchise history.

watch the play here:

 

EDIT: okay okay the other situation should be "fixed"

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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