Oh man what a way to start the season! The Buffalo Bills never trailed the Denver Broncos while there was any time remaining on the clock. In a pretty sloppy, very defensive game, the Bills seemed to have done just enough to sneak away with an opening day victory. That all changed just after the clock hit 0:00 in the 4th quarter as the football, kicked by Jason Elam, sailed through the uprights to give Denver a 15 – 14 victory.
It was a game that probably should have been a pretty ugly loss for Buffalo. Denver’s defense choked almost every aspect of Buffalo’s offense with one exception; rookie Marshawn Lynch. Lynch played a very impressive game. He was always moving forward to gain a few yards here and there. He proved to have the power and decision making it takes to make it in the NFL. His most impressive display came midway through the 3rd quarter when he broke free for about a 15 yard run, then once a would-be tackler locked him up, pounded forward into the end zone for a 23 yard touchdown run. You could almost hear a sigh of relief from the fans in Ralph Wilson Stadium. Those were the type of plays that seemed to elude Willis McGahee. The red zone always prevented Willis from really performing well. Let’s hope that Lynch’s great opening game is just the beginning of something much bigger.
True to their usual form, the Bills special teams actually ended up keeping Buffalo in this one. With the exception of Lynch, the special teams were just about the only players able to move the ball in the Bills’ favor. Early in the first quarter, Roscoe Parrish received a punt at his own 26 yard line, then proceeded to turn into a speedy blur for 74 yards to score the first touchdown of the game. As predicted, the special teams were the shining pillar for Buffalo.
The Bills had some great blocks and hard hits. One great special teams tackle on the kickoff to start the second half was made by Kevin Everett, a reserve tight end. Everett’s head snapped back on the tackle and he dropped to the field. He was rushed to a hospital where he underwent immediate surgery. Everett suffered a cervical spine injury. I saw reports on SportsCenter that as of Sunday night, he was out of surgery and in ICU. Doctors said they wouldn’t have much of an idea on his condition until another 24 to 72 hours. There was a report that at the moment he has incomplete paralysis, with very little movement in his extremities. I hope that every football fan out there is praying for the full recovery of Kevin Everett. I’ll try to keep this blog up to speed on his status.
Other Bills went down today. Free safety Ko Simpson went down early when he fractured his left ankle. Cornerback Jason Webster broke his forearm in the fourth quarter. Neither of those players have a time table for their return at the moment. Safety Coy Wire, playing at linebacker for this game to fill in for injured Keith Ellison, went down with a sprained knee early in the game.
Overall, we saw that Buffalo looks pretty similar to last year’s team, but with an improved running back. They got off to a quick start, had great special teams plays, then almost completely shut down on offense, with the defense and special teams keeping them in the game. Look for the passing game to do better in upcoming games. Denver has one of the best secondaries in the league, so today’s lack of aerial performance was no surprise.
Bills Record: 0-1
Buffalo vs Denver Box Score