Buffalo Bills quarterback Thad Lewis (9) fumbles during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
Bills Fall To Saints
New Orleans, LA (WBEN) Most NFL observers were not giving the Bills much of a chance against the New Orleans Saints, especially without their most dynamic player, C.J. Spiller and for a while it looked like they may have been wrong. In the end though the more talented team came out on top as the Saints topped the Bills 35-17.
Spiller who was deactivated before the game due to an ankle injury may have provided a bit of a spark but it was evident from the first play from scrimmage that it would not be the Bills’ day. That play was a tough one for the Bills as quarterback, Thad Lewis was hit by the Saints, fumbled and on top of it, appeared to be injured. The Saints were unable to capitalize thanks to strong play by the Buffalo defense and came away with no points as Garrett Hartley missed a 47-yard field goal.
Lewis was able to return to the game and drove the Bills down to the saints’ 32 yard line but Dan Carpenter missed his first field goal try from 50 yards out. Buffalo’s defense again came up strong and got the ball back for the offense but Lewis came under pressure and fumbled for the second time and the Saints were in business at the Buffalo 21 yard line. Saints’ quarterback, Drew Brees was able to capitalize on that opportunity when he hit Lance Moore on a 15 yard pass to give the Saints a 7-0 lead.
The Saints took the ball down field again but Hartley missed another field goal attempt, this one from 32 yards out. Buffalo got the ball and finally got on the board as Lewis guided the team on an eight play, 72 yard drive capped by a 13 yard scoring pass to Stevie Johnson. Johnson suffered an injury later but continued to play hobbled. His availability will most likely be in question next week.
The Buffalo defense played admirably in the first half, limiting the Saints to just 64 yards of offense with 5 minutes left but it was only a matter of time before Brees and company found their legs. Those legs belonged to rookie, pass catcher, Kenny Stills who took advantage of a blown coverage and torched the Bills for a 69 yard touchdown to give the Saints a 14-10 lead.
The Saints were again marching down the field when Leodis McKelvin intercepted Brees in the end zone but offsetting penalties were called on the play and that gave the Saints another chance from the Bills 15 yard line. Tight end, Jimmy Graham who was in question to play then caught a Brees pass to up the Saints’ lead to 21-10.
The Saints picked up where they left off at the end of the first half as Brees once again found Graham on their second possession of the second half to give them a 28-10 lead.
The Bills took advantage of two roughing the passer calls by the Saints and opened the final frame with a short touchdown run by Fred Jackson to tighten the score at 28-17.
The Saints though answered a short time following Lewis’ third turnover of the game as Brees found Stills again for his fifth touchdown pass of the day to make it 35-17.
The Bills are now 3-5 and host the surprising Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday.