Tied at seven early in the second quarter, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila sacked Buffalo quarterback, J.P. Losman for a safety, only to see an illegal contact penalty on Hannibal Navies negate his efforts. Losman regrouped and threw two crucial first down passes on third downs en route to a 15-play drive capped by Rian Lindell's 41-yard field goal.
The hair-pulling didn't stop there.
After a second quarter three-and-out series, B.J. Sander sailed a 44-yard punt to Drew Haddad. Green Bay's Todd Franz jolted the ball loose and recovered Haddad's fumble at the 50-yard line. But Roy Manning was flagged for illegally running downfield, prompting a re-kick.
Franz threw the ball across the field because he was so angry with the penalty.
"It's frustrating," Franz said. "You can't make mistakes like that and expect to win a football game."
Much like Losman, Haddad redeemed himself on the ensuing play with a 37-yard punt return setting up a six-yard Willis McGahee touchdown run.
"We didn't give ourselves good field position, obviously," recalled Green Bay head coach Mike Sherman, referring to Haddad's return and Rashard Lee's 69-yard kick return on Buffalo's first offensive drive. "We had a great week last week and I thought we were making progress there, but I guess you can't have it every week."
Sherman was quick to credit Buffalo's explosive special teams posse that produced five touchdowns in 2004.
"Buffalo does have an excellent special teams unit," he said. "They were one of the top teams last year…It's a wake-up call on just how valuable special teams are. You can lose a ball game on special teams. Our special teams was a no-show today."
Tough night for rookie QB
Aaron Rodgers displayed nimble feet, evading Buffalo DE Aaron Schobel for a 22-yard run on his first series but has maintained a chronic handicap concerning stretching the field. The rookie threw for only 21 yards, was sacked, and had a forced pass to Antonio Chatman intercepted by Jabari Greer.
Packers Coach Sherman is not ready to panic.
"(Rodgers) obviously had a tough night," Sherman said. "He's had some good practices. This is just one night. I'm sure he'll pull himself out of this."
The first time that the Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills ever met resulted in a 27-7 Bills win in 1974
Rian Lindell booted a 54-yard field goal in the third quarter … His longest make last season was from 43 yards.
Defensive starters Al Harris (quad), Joey Thomas (hip), Na'il Diggs (knee), Mark Roman (hamstring), Corey Williams (back, side, ribs), Cletidus Hunt (knee, shoulder), and Grady Jackson (knee) all did not suit up.