Edwards struggles for first time this season

For the first time this season, Trent Edwards was not the flawless, calming influence in the pocket. And it cost the Bills their first division game...

There probably aren't going to be any guest spots on national TV or radio this week for Bills quarterback Trent Edwards.

For the first time this season, Edwards participated in a loss -- he played only three snaps in the team's other defeat at Arizona -- as Buffalo fell at Miami, and Edwards certainly played a role in the result. With the Dolphins insisting on rushing only three or four linemen and covering with seven or eight, Edwards struggled to make plays in the passing game. He also was uncharacteristically sloppy with the ball, committing three turnovers.

"We all know this," coach Dick Jauron said. "He's a young quarterback. There was a lot of three-man pressures, so he had a chance to hold it. They did a nice job in coverage. They won some first and second downs and got us in those third-and-whatever situations you don't want to be in to give them the opportunity to play that kind of coverage. But again, I think the credit goes to them. They did a really nice job (Sunday) preparing their guys and playing."

Edwards played like the second-year pro that he is, something he hadn't been doing all year as he drove the Bills to five victories and the top of the AFC East standings.

Edwards completed 21 of 35 passes for 227 yards, but he threw an interception, lost two fumbles and was unusually inaccurate with some routine throws.

"We made mistakes that got us beat, and that's what is frustrating, that we didn't play our best game," said Edwards, whose passer rating dipped to 92.9, still one of the top 10 marks in the league. "I would rather walk off that field with us playing the best game we can and still losing the game."

Edwards' first fumble came when he tried to extend the ball forward in an effort to gain a first down on a quarterback sneak. Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter snatched the ball away and short-circuited a promising drive at the Miami 33 with the Bills trailing only 20-16 early in the fourth quarter.

"I don't have a ton of experience with QB sneaking like that," Edwards said. "It didn't really feel like we had gotten the first down, and I was trying to get a little more of a push and felt I could reach it out a little bit. When I reached it out, they took it out of my hands. It's a learning experience that won't happen again."

The second fumble came in his own end zone as Porter beat both Jason Peters and Derrick Dockery to nail Edwards on his blind side. Edwards dropped the ball, and the Dolphins scored a safety to increase their lead to 22-16.

"I can't reach the ball out like that," Edwards said. "That's something I'll learn from, especially in that situation; fourth quarter, in our own end zone, you can't make that mistake."

Right tackle Langston Walker wasn't ready to lay the blame for the defeat at Edwards' feet, though.

"Trent was Trent," Walker said. "If you thought he did a bad job, I'd have to disagree. It's hard to get 10 or 11 yards with nine guys in the passing lanes. I thought Trent did a good job under the circumstances. It's a team game. We all win and lose as a team. Trent will bounce back. He always does."

And Jauron understands that Edwards is going to have days like this, but he's the type of player who will file away these mistakes and improve.

"He's performed at such a high level," Jauron said. "He's a very bright guy, and he learns from what happens to him on the field."

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