At the end of the first half, many fans were wondering if the Chiefs win had been too good to be true. By the end of the game however, the hearts were racing and pandemonium reigned at the Ralph with the Bills coming back several times to win a last second thriller, 38-35 over the Oakland Raiders. The now 2-0 Buffalo Bills are showing new life this season and are giving fans more to look forward to this season when they play.
Run Offense: A+
After a slow start, the Bills running game really took off with a couple of huge runs from Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Overall the running game notched 217 yards on the day. Jackson was once more really impressive with 15 carries for 117 yards (7.8 yards a carry) and 2 touchdowns including a huge 43 TD in the second half. Spiller also was on fire on his 4 carries for 63 yards. Brad Smith did well from the wildcat and Fitz had a few good plays running as well.
Pass Offense: B+
In the first half, Ryan Fitzpatrick had trouble finding open receivers and placing the ball as well as throwing his first (and only) pick of the season. The second half saw the persona that was with the Bills in Kansas City throwing 3 touchdowns late in the game including one with just 14 seconds remaining for the go ahead score. All in all Fitz was very good, completing more than 60% of his passes (28-46) and 264 yards. WR Steve Johnson had his best game of the season with 8 catches for 96 yards and 1 TD with slot WR David Nelson recording another strong performance with 10 grabs for 83 yards and the game winning TD. TE Scott Chandler also caught a touchdown on the day.
Blocking Offense: A-
Despite some inconsistencies throughout the game, the Bills offensive line once again put forth a surprisingly strong effort. Chad Rinehart had to take over for the injured Kraig Urbik halfway through the game and despite a few mishaps was fairly solid. The Bills dodged a few bullets with a few sacks waived off by penalties (of which Oakland had 8 for 86 yards), and could do with more solid play throughout. TE Scott Chandler had some good plays as well.
Run Defense: A
Despite giving up a few big runs here and there, particularly in the first half, the Bills "D" buckled down and held Darren McFadden to just 72 yards (3.6 a carry). Nick Barnett did a great job marking him all day while the Bills held the Raiders to just 131 yards total (4.4 yards a carry which is a huge improvement from last week.) The defense also forced a big second half fumble but still have some room to improve. Stopping the run against Oakland was huge test which the Bills reasonably passed.
Pass Defense: C-
Speaking about passing, the Bills secondary struggled today, partially do to some superb throws from Jason Campbell. Leodis McKelvin in particular struggled going up twice on big plays to have the ball lost to the wide receiver in the end including a late 50 yard TD pass. The Bills need more consistency and stronger coverage from their linebackers and defensive backs especially when they face the pass happy Patriots next week. Da'Norris Searcy recorded an interception at the end of the game on a Hail Mary.
Pass Rush Defense: F
You know its sad when you look back and wonder why Jason Campbell had all day to throw the ball and did not once get sacked. Admittedly Kelsay and Williams both had a few good hits, but this group needs to deliver more pressure in the future.
Special Teams: C+
At the end of the first half, Rian Lindell had a field goal blocked much to the chagrin of the Bills. Fortunately his other field goal was good. Brian Moorman had good punts while the kick and punt coverage was superb. Spiller and Parrish had OK punt returns.
To lead back a team from an 18 point deficit and keep them going until the very end is very impressive. Chan had some really good play calling towards the end (although I may want to give Freddy a shot with two time outs on 3rd and 1). Perseverance really does pay off.Other Notes:
The Bills aerial comeback in the end was made all the more impressive after losing Roscoe Parrish in the first half and then Stevie Johnson on the last few plays. Here's hoping that it is nothing serious! As noted early starting right guard Kraig Urbik went down with an injury as well.