Buffalo Bills fans have seen the team collapse many times in the last 15 years and on Thursday night, it appeared that the Bills were going to do it all over again.
After holding a 22-3 lead, Buffalo's offense couldn't move the ball and the defense struggled to stop the NY Jets. With just over seven minutes left in the game, the Jets had cut the lead down to 22-17. You could feel that another Bills error on the way and sure enough, it happened.
Buffalo picked up eight yards on three plays and the team brought out Colton Schmidt. Throughout the evening, Schmidt had to move to his right to catch the ball and get the punt away. This time, the ball went to the right but Schmidt couldn't handle the ball and it fell to the turf. Schmidt retrieved the ball off the turf but he had no chance to punt the ball. He was tackled and the Jets were in business. Down five, the Jets now had the ball on Buffalo's 13 yard line.
The Bills defense held the Jets to six yards on three plays and let up a 4th and 4. Based on the time left and Buffalo's inability to move the ball, the Jets could have kicked the field goal and used their three timeouts on defense. Instead, New York went for it and Ryan Fitzpatrick lofted a ball into the end zone over the head over tight end Kellen Davis. To Fitzpatrick's credit, Davis could have pulled the ball in for a score but the tight end had no idea that the ball was in the air.
Buffalo's offense had a chance to seal the win but just fell short. Sammy Watkins ran a brilliant route on 3rd and 2 that crossed up Darrelle Revis. The four yard gain moved the chains and allowed Buffalo to milk more time off the clock. After another first down run by LeSean McCoy, the Bills had the opportunity to put the game away with one more first down. It didn't happen but the Bills were able to punt the ball away with just 35 seconds to go.
The Bills, well aware that Fitzpatrick doesn't have a big arm, dropped back into coverage. Bacarri Rambo, the team's Thursday night MVP, made one last play, intercepting Fitzpatrick.
Instead of getting the conclusion that they've seen so many times in the last 15 years, Bills fans were given a different ending. The win was ugly and too close for comfort, but the Bills delivered and kept their season very much alive.