The first thing I told my neighbor when he called yesterday after the Bills' game was, "We're supposed to lose those kind of games." And, maybe it's the curse of having former Bills head coach Gregg Williams as their defensive coordinator, but the Redskins truly lost in Bills-like fashion.
With 23 seconds to go, Bills wideout Josh Reed managed to get open 30 yards down the field on a post and make a catch to put us in field goal position -albeit a long 51-yarder in the rain. Well, thanks to Redskins Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs calling 2 consecutive time outs, the Bills found themselve 15 yards closer, on an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and the kick was up and good. Bills win by a point.
The pass that rookie quarterback Trend Edwards threw to Reed was money. It looked like star receiver Lee Evans ran a deep route over the middle to clear some people out, and then Reed ran a post underneath. Edwards released the ball as Reed as making his cut, so the defense had little time to react. That landed perfectly in Reed's arms 35 yards from where it was launched and Reed was summarily smothered, but it was too late.
A great catch and run for 10 yards on the play before by Roscoe Parrish set up the Reed play. Parrish even managed to fumble out of bounds on the play to stop the clock. These are the types of games we always lose.
To add to the bizarre feel of the game was the fact that the Redskins were grieving safety Sean Taylor's shooting death earlier in the week. They may have been a bit off because of this, but it was a home game, and they also should have been somewhat inspired. However, inspired once again was not good enough in the cutthroat world of the NFL. (If you remember the Bills had severly injured tight-end Kevin Everett gives an inspirational talk right before they got waxed by New England two weeks ago.)
Here's SI columnmist Peter King's account of the first play of the game from his excellent Monday Morning Quarterback column on SI.com:
"In an attempt to fire up his unit, assistant head coach in charge of defense Gregg Williams told his players on Saturday night they would play the Bills' first offensive snap with 10 players, as a tribute to the absent Taylor.
'When coach told us that,' Fletcher told me Sunday night, 'I can't tell you how excited we were. We thought it was a perfect tribute to Sean.' One problem: Williams neglected to tell Joe Gibbs, who, from all indications, did not know about it until the game began.
It wasn't a happy surprise for Gibbs, who watched Buffalo running back Fred Jackson rip off a 22-yard run on the first snap."
Right. Not to mention that the game-winning pass was completed in an area of the field that likely would have been Taylor's responsibility as a safety.
Anyhow, we're headed up to the Bills-Dolphins game next week. Takin' Joey to bust his NFL cherry. Got some pretty inexpensive seats off of eBay. Should be cold. Should be fun. A win would move the Bills to 7-6 with three games remaining - Browns, Giants and Eagles in that order, with the toughtest team-the Giants, in Buffalo
They're all must-wins if the Bills hope to make the playoffs, but the Browns game at Cleveland is shaping up to be the biggie-especially for fans around here. Cleveland is one of the teams battling the Bills for an AFC Wild Card spot. Now, I'm not saying the Bills have a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl or anything, but a 10-6 finish and makng the playoffs would at least take some sting out of that embarrassing national TV waxing by the Patriots.