Can't say that I wasn't impressed with the Buffalo Bills. Considering they went 1-4 in the preseason, they made some drastic changes that really benefited the team and allowed them to make the plays that they did Monday night. Although, they haven't mastered one thing, keeping a lead. The Bills have lost horrifically on Monday Night Football for the past two years, first to Dallas in 2007 by the same exact score, then to Cleveland 29-27 in 2008, and now a 25-24 loss to New England. Here's just a smattering of the rise and demise of the Bills' Monday Night Fiasco.
First Success: No-huddle offense
The no-huddle offense proved effective. The new strategy really wore out the New England defense rather quickly. Quarterback Trent Edwards had an excellent night with the play calling and demonstrated that he is an extremely qualified leader for the team.
Second Success: Defense and special teams
The defense was on fire, with a tipped pass and interception by Aaron Schobel. The special teams also had a big night except for the last kick return by Leodis McKelvin.
Third Success: Use of wide receivers
The Bills did not just choose one receiver to be the "receiver of the day." Derek Schouman, Terrell Owens, Lee Evans, Shawn Nelson and Fred Jackson all saw the ball, more than once leading to a very dynamic evening.
Fourth Success: Fred Jackson
Jackson could easily replace Marshawn Lynch. Jackson
has so much power with his runs that often seems to be lacking with Lynch. With a combined 140 yards, Jackson has shown that he not only can run but catch as well.
First Failure:Maintaining a lead
Many don't seem to understand, possibly the coaching staff as well. They don't seem to understand that they can't blow an 11-point lead. It happened when the Bills played Dallas in 2007 and in 2008 against Cleveland. It just seemed like the defense ran out of power to fight against the Patriots' offense.
Second Failure: Kick returns
I think it's pretty logical that a kick return should be run back as far as it possibly can, but if you're stuck in the end zone, naturally, take the safe route and take a knee. Guess it was a spur-of-the-moment type of deal.
Third Failure: Pressure on Brady was missing
Didn't seem like the Bills wanted to pressure Patriots quarterback Tom Brady with only one sack, rather embarrassing for a defense that was praised all night as "revamped" and "redone." Guess the Bills will have to find another way to make the defense a little more effective. When I say a little ? I mean a lot.
It all went down hill after McKelvin's disastrous kick return. I guess we'll just have to wait for another Monday Night Football appearance and lose to the score of 25-24.
Carl Lam is a senior at Hamburg High.