To almost no one’s surprise, the Buffalo Bills tallied another loss to the New Orleans Saints Sunday. The final score was 35-17, but the game was a little closer than the score indicates. Here are a few takeaways from Sunday’s loss.
Thad Lewis has been surprisingly competent over the past few weeks, but this week he looked like an undrafted scout team quarterback. Lewis showed that he was unable to handle the pressure that Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was throwing at him, throwing errant passes all over the field. Lewis also had trouble taking care of the ball, fumbling 3 times and throwing an interception. He’s going to need to improve on this going forward if the Bills want any chance of winning.
But, I do tip my cap to Mr. Thaddeus Lewis. Lewis took a beating Sunday and didn’t shy away from the contact. On Lewis’ first fumble of the game, he took a nasty helmet shot to the ribs that looked like it was going to put him out of the game (I wonder what the bounty on Lewis was….too soon?). He came back out and played the rest of the game while continually getting hammered by defensive linemen. Kudos to Lewis for showing his toughness.
This leads me to the offensive line play. The offensive line hasn’t been playing very well over the course of the season, and Sunday was no different. They weren’t able to stop the blitzes that New Orleans was throwing at them. This not only affected the passing game, but severely limited the running game. The Bills were only able to rush for 88 yards Sunday, which is way below their 140 yard per game average. Running backs Fred Jackson and Tashard Choice struggled all game to find holes to bring in the secondary. Since the running game is such a vital part of Buffalo’s offense, the o-line is going to have to step up.
Defensively, the Bills struggled to find answers for Drew Brees. Buffalo allowed Brees to throw for over 300 yards and 5 touchdowns on the afternoon. Buffalo’s secondary had a few breakdowns, and Brees capitalized on every single one of them. I can’t be too disappointed in the way New Orleans was able to pick apart the secondary because, let’s face it, Drew Brees can pick apart just about any defense in the league. It would have been nice to see them play a little better though.
Buffalo’s front 7 played pretty well. The defensive line is starting to become a strong point of this unit. Kyle Williams registered 1.5 sacks and Mario Williams got in on the action with 1 sack, giving him at least one sack in the past 5 games. If they can continually keep playing well, this defensive unit could become pretty good.
All in all, I thought Buffalo put up a good fight against a far superior team. We all knew it was going to be tough asking a 4th string quarterback to go into the Superdome and beat one of the best teams in the league.
Looking ahead to next week, Buffalo heads back to The Ralph to host the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.