But that win was far more reaching than just Western New York. After the game, I took phone calls from Bills fans around the world who were watching or listening, then turned on WGR550.com just to be a part of it and continue to get their fill. I remember a call from Australia. Got one from England. And one from, I think, Panama. It was a day for former Buffalonians, but still current Bills fans, to celebrate and rejoice together, even if they were separated by thousands of miles of earth and 31 other teams' fanbases.
After watching the game again, I wanted to remember what that world-wide-Buffalo celebration felt like again, if even only for a few seconds at a time. So I went to YouTube. Typed in the search bar, “Bills Patriots 2011 celebration.”
There are plenty of videos from inside Ralph Wilson Stadium. But it’s the ones from outside the area that really capture what that day was like for fans of the team everywhere, and what it meant to people who suffered through “The Streak.”
Here are some of those clips from Bills Backers Bars, or just places former Buffalonians gather to watch the game every Sunday (heck, maybe you're reading this and are in one of these videos):
Fort Worth, Texas:
There are plenty more and although we all know the outcome, they’re all just as fun to watch. Here they are.
More on this game 53 weeks later in a moment. But first…..
3 other “Must-See” NFL Games for Week 4….
--49ers at Jets: The loser of this game drops to 2-2 and will have to start answering some serious questions about who they really are. The Niners started off the first two weeks looking like maybe the best team in the league. Then they went to Minnesota and got drilled by the Vikings. The Jets offense answered a lot of critics with their opening week blowout of the Bills but has since looked more similar to the lackluster unit it was in preseason than the explosive one it was in week one. It’s also the start of a three-game home stretch for the Jets. They have the currently unbeaten Texans in Jersey next week. The most interesting part of this game from an Xs and Os standpoint may be to see how the Jets try to compensate for the loss of CB Darrelle Revis.
--Saints at Packers: Tough to put an 0-3 team down on a “Must-See” list, but that’s exactly why it is. It’s the Saints. Can they really go 0-4? It’s very possible, maybe likely. Green Bay is steaming mad coming off their ridiculous controversial Monday Night loss at Seattle. That means one of two things – they will either let that loss linger and have trouble getting over it this quickly and get lit up by Drew Brees……or take it out on the Saints defense, which is dead last in the league in yards allowed and 30th in points allowed. Last time they played, Aaron Rodgers carved up the Saints defense. He was 27 of 35 (77.1 pct.) for 312 yards with 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for a 132.1 QB rating in a wild 42-34 Pack win to open last season.
--Giants at Eagles: I’m wondering at this point if Michael Vick will even get out of this game fully intact facing that Giants defensive line. His QB counterpart, Eli Manning, is off to an incredible start to this season, already throwing for over 1,000 yards in the Giants first three games. The Eagles have actually won seven of the last eight in this series. A bit of surprising how dominant they’ve been in recent years over a team that’s won two of the past five Super Bowls.
NFL Fact Hopefully Not Only I Find Interesting:
Talk about parity and how close of a league this has become….so far, 28 games have been decided by 8 points or fewer. That’s tied for the most in NFL history through the first three weeks of the season. The only other time that many games were decided by 8 points or fewer was 1998.
Time to brag, because I'm sure it won't last:
Each week when I host on Sports Talk Saturday on WGR (11am-2pm), I give three underdog NFL teams I like to cover the spread in a segment called, "3 Dog Saturday!" The rules are I can only pick underdogs, which really limits my three selections. However, I've gone 3-0 the past two weeks (6-0 total) for a yearly record so far of 7-2. You can hear the picks every Saturday, including this weekend, during the 1pm hour of the show.
3 College Games Worth Your Time:
--Baylor at West Virginia: An interesting matchup between two dynamic, athletic teams who are now conference rivals. And this will be WVU’s first game in the Big 12. Baylor’s averaging 51.3 points a game. West Virginia is averaging 47.3. WVU’s passing offense is 3rd in the nation, averaging 370 yards a game through the air. Baylor’s is #5 overall at 361.7. The Bears have survived quite well without RG3. Nick Florence has already thrown 11 TDs in three games. If you haven’t seen Mountaineers QB Geno Smith play, you’re missing out. The kid is extremely talented and in the Heisman Trophy mix. He’s thrown 12 TDs and no – that’s right a big, fat ZERO - interceptions so far this season.
Geno Smith can play!
--Texas at Oklahoma State: OSU isn’t quite what they have been the past few years. But they’re still a good team, exciting to watch, and have a very explosive offense. The Cowboys are 2nd in passing offense and 6th in rushing offense nationally. Texas appears to be back on the road to challenging for a conference title. Something the Longhorns haven’t done since 2009. In fact, Texas was a surprisingly disappointing 6-11 in conference (Big 12) games over the past two seasons. This is a huge game for them to show they’re back.
--Wisconsin at Nebraska: Big Ten conference opener for both teams. Nebraska will have revenge on its mind after losing last year’s conference opener (and its Big Ten debut) 48-17 at Wisconsin. Cornhuskers QB Taylor Martinez is a special college player. He’s completed 70.7% of his passes for 878 yards, has nine touchdown passes, only one interception, and has rushed for 191 yards. The Huskers lead the Big Ten with 48.5 points and 541.8 yards per game.
Come on out!
This week's "Out of Bounds" TV show, which airs on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, will be taped once again at Yellow Jaguar, 7200 Transit Road in Williamsville, on the corner of Transit and Main Street. Bills LB Arthur Moats is my co-host and our guest this week is WR Donald Jones. We start taping at 7pm. Afterward, the players stay to sign autographs and take pictures. So come out to say hello and have a great time with us!
Out of Bounds!
NFL Fact Hopefully Not Only I Find Interesting Part II:
New Orleans QB Drew Brees has thrown a touchdown pass in 46 straight games. He needs to throw one against Green Bay to tie Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas for the most consecutive games with a TD pass at 47. On that same list, Patriots QB Tom Brady can tie Brett Favre for the third-longest such streak if he throws one TD pass against the Bills. That brings me back to……
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills:
Earlier this week, I broke down how well the Bills were running behind each individual offensive lineman, and then how the Bills can try to attack the Patriots, according to what the stats say about the Pats defense. Of course, if the Bills have either Fred Jackson or CJ Spiller close to full strength, it will help them tremendously and could change their offensive philosophy. Chan Gailey would love nothing more than to run the ball the way his team has through three weeks, control the clock, and keep Tom Brady off the field.
But even giving Brady a little time is enough for him to make plays and carve up defenses. He’s so good at diagnosing, getting rid of the ball quickly, and finding the open man. The Bills were able to disrupt him just enough in last year’s game in Buffalo to cause him to make a couple errant throws and force mistakes to the tune of four interceptions. They'll have to do that again in this one, and do it with the front four. Adding an extra player to the pass rush takes one away from coverage, giving Brady and his receivers more room to operate underneath.
If the Bills win this one, they’ll be a whopping two games ahead of New England in the standings. The Pats are coming off two tough, close losses. The last time they lost three in a row was 2002, when they lost four straight in weeks 4-7. For his career, even with last season’s four interception game and the loss, Brady is 18-2 with 46 TDs vs. 17 INTs and a 102.4 rating against the Bills. Incredible numbers. Bill Belichick is 21-4 against Buffalo. Of course, I’d love to see the fans still at The Ralph celebrating a big win just like last season, and then talking about it afterward with everyone on the radio. But Brady is still Brady – great. And in this spot it’s going to be really tough for the Bills to stop him. Too tough. Patriots 30-26.
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