Offense derailed in loss

One week after blowing up against Tampa Bay, Buffalo's offense took a major step backward, says BFR's Spencer Timkey. Trent Edwards didn't push the ball downfield and the Bills were wiped out by New Orleans, 27-7. There are problems in Buffalo...

On a day where Buffalo's offense needed to produce, it did just the opposite. Like it has most of this decade, the Bills' offense sputtered. The result was a 27-7 loss to New Orleans and a losing record.

Buffalo needed to do a few things to win. Contain Drew Brees, check. Put pressure on Drew Brees, check. Put points on the scoreboard, epic fail. Buffalo scored on a trick play courtesy of Brian Moorman and Ryan Denney. No Trent Edwards touchdown passes, no Fred Jackson rushing scores, no Donte Whitner pick six's.

The Bills couldn't even muster a field goal. Last week, we were fooled. What happened to that offense everyone saw last week that picked apart a Tampa Bay defense? Sunday in Buffalo, everyone was violently awoken from the good dream.

The people who labeled Trent Edwards the future of the franchise after last week's outing have been proven wrong — terribly. He has regressed back to Captain Checkdown, refusing to take shots downfield. Twice did he try a deep pass to Terrell Owens and neither was successful. Owens' multiple steps on the secondary could have turned into a touchdown and swung the momentum in favor of Buffalo. Instead, Edwards overthrew him, and the frustration continued.

It is a sad day when a punter has more touchdowns than the quarterback. Edwards went 20-of-35 for 156 yards and one interception. Worse, that pick came at the worst time possible. On third-and-2, with the Bills knocking on the Saints' door, Edwards misread the coverage and was picked off. A field goal would have tied the game and kept Buffalo very much in this. The pass defense did their part.

Fred Jackson was nowhere to be found, rushing for just 71 yards on 18 carries. His big-time playmaking ability never took off in this one. Buffalo's offense could have used some big runs by Jackson, but instead got five- and seven-yard carries, often unable to convert on third down.

Contrary to the offensive woes, the defense stepped up admirably against the NFL's No. 1 rated offense. Buffalo made Drew Brees look mortal today, limiting him to 172 yards on 16 completions with no scores. Drayton Florence played well at cornerback when Leodis McKelvin left the game with a leg injury. Terrence McGee shut down the deadly Marques Colston. The blitzing packages continue to look unique and are effective against opposing offensive lines. Chris Kelsay and Aaron Schobel may have played their best games of the season, combining for two sacks and a forced fumble.

Defensively, Buffalo did what they needed to do. Brees' stats show what will happen when defenses get in his face and knock him around. Flush him out of the pocket or put pressure on him and he isn't the messiah anymore. However, Buffalo's run defense was gashed. The ‘D' gave up 222 yards on the ground and saw Pierre Thomas blow by them for two scores at the end of the game.

Offensively, the offense should be ashamed. They didn't put any points on the board, which is a bi-polar swing from last week. Against Tampa Bay, Edwards looked calm, cool and collected. He took shots downfield, he commanded the no-huddle and he responded when he needed to. Sunday, he looked like the Trent Edwards everyone saw in the last eight games of last season — inept and flustered.

The Bills travel south to face 0-3 Miami next week. If they don't get their act together, we could be looking at another 7-9 season — or worse.


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