The Buffalo Bills pulled a rabbit out of their collective hats yesterday, coming from behind with less than five minutes to go in the fourth quarter to beat the Tennessee Titans, 13-12. While the Bills led for most of the game, it appeared that they had blown it in the fourth quarter. Then, the team engineered a ten-play drive that brought them into field goal range, and the special teams unit did the rest.
There were numerous players deserving of recognition yesterday, but we narrowed it down to three for our game balls.
K Stephen Hauschka
The man of the hour received a game ball from head coach Sean McDermott, but we felt like our virtual game ball would be just as valuable to him. Buffalo’s kicker was 2-for-2 on the day, and he probably would have made it 3-for-3 had punter Corey Bojorquez not botched a truly bizarre field goal attempt in the second quarter. Hauschka made a 40-yard field goal in the third quarter to put the Bills up 10-6, then made a 46-yard boot as time expired to give the Bills a 13-12 win. He also hit an extra point in the first quarter to cap off Josh Allen’s 14-yard touchdown rush.
CB Taron Johnson
Buffalo’s rookie slot corner certainly looks like a great find in this year’s NFL Draft. The fourth-round choice out of Weber State logged his first career interception, jumping a slant route to secure a Marcus Mariota pass in the second quarter. Johnson also added four tackles, and he continues to look stout in run support even though he is of smaller stature. He left the game briefly with another injury to his right shoulder, and appears as though he’s battling through a more serious injury. Johnson is a gritty player who continues to mature each week.
DT Jordan Phillips
Honorable mention here goes to linebacker Matt Milano, who was absolutely everywhere on the field yesterday, notching ten combined tackles. I want to recognize the new guy, though, by giving Phillips the nod here. The waiver-wire claim from earlier in the week is a former second-round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins, and he came in to his new digs on Sunday looking motivated and disruptive. From my perch in section 107, Phillips not only appeared to be in on multiple plays, but he also seemed to log a high number of snaps for someone merely considered a depth piece upon his acquisition. He did a great job firing up the crowd, as well, bringing some energy and some swagger to a defense that held Tennessee to 221 total yards and 15 first downs. Phillips also managed three tackles on the afternoon, which is as many as fellow DT Star Lotululei has made on the season.