Man in the middle
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams was the unsung player of the first quarter.
The fourth-year man from Louisiana State was a wrecking crew in the middle of the Tampa offensive line. Williams had a tackle for a 6-yard loss on the second play of the game.
On the Bucs' second possession, Williams got late pressure up the middle and fell at the feet of quarterback Byron Leftwich. It forced an overthrow that Donte Whitner intercepted and ran 76 yards for a touchdown. The Bills had a 14-0 lead just 7:44 into the game.
Good audible: Trent Edwards changed the play at the line and threw a 32-yard TD strike to Lee Evans.
Zebra report: The Bucs challenged an interception by Bryan Scott, and it was a close call. Sammie Stroughter muffed a low pass over the middle. It popped up in the air and was scooped by Scott. Replays seemed inconclusive. Good thing it was ruled an INT on the field.
Special idea: Taking a page out of Tennessee's playbook, the Bills tried a throwback play on a kick return. On the Bucs' first punt, Roscoe Parrish lateraled to Ashton Youboty, who had a 16-yard return. It would have been more if Youboty didn't drop the lateral.
The Tampa Bay organization took what some viewed as a financial gamble in April when it traded for Kellen Winslow, then gave him the biggest contract ever for a tight end.
The ability of Winslow, who got a six-year, $36 million deal, is unquestioned. However, he had missed 36 games in his first five NFL seasons.
Winslow paid some dividends in the second quarter, catching a 42-yard TD pass to get the Bucs back in the game. The pass was a bullet from Byron Leftwich. Winslow got a step behind Terrence McGee to pull Tampa within 17-7.
Key play: Fred Jackson's fumble at the Bucs' 16 at the end of the half was a killer. Instead of Buffalo tacking on another score, the Bucs returned the gift -- the ball popped right into the hands of Sabby Piscitelli at the 20 -- 72 yards. That set up a TD strike from Byron Leftwich to Cadillac Williams to make it 20-14.
Early gamble: Dick Jauron went for it on fourth-and-1 on his own 36 four minutes into the quarter. Trent Edwards gained the yard on a keeper and the Bills got 15 more on a personal foul by the Bucs.
Subs do fine job
The injuries started to pile up for the Bills in the third quarter.
Starting right tackle Brad Butler went down late in the second quarter. Leodis McKelvin never came out of the locker room after halftime due to an ankle injury. Tight end Derek Schouman went down with a knee injury late in the quarter.
The replacements? The Bills had a reliable man at corner in Reggie Corner. Subbing for Butler was fourth-year man Jonathan Scott, who played in 20 games for Detroit in 2006 and 2007 and was on the Bills' roster for only two games last season. Derek Fine took over for Schouman because rookie Shawn Nelson already had gone out with a sore shoulder.
Key play: The Bills were on the march at the Tampa 32 but Trent Edwards overthrew Lee Evans by a big margin near the goal line, and Tampa's Sabby Piscitelli got an easy pickoff.
Second guess: By the letter of the law, it was the correct call. But the unsportsmanlike conduct foul on the Bills' Jairus Byrd was chintzy. Byrd was blocking on a punt return. The Bucs coverage man was pushed out of bounds. As he was coming back in bounds, Byrd hit him again. For blocking him O.B., he got the foul.
Big plays seal deal
There was no tension for the home crowd the last 15 minutes because the Bills made all the big plays.
First it was a 43-yard touchdown pass from Trent Edwards to Terrell Owens to break the game open. The throw was perfect down the right sideline, and Owens made a nice grab against tight coverage. It gave the Bills a 30-14 lead with 9:16 left.
After the Bucs responded with a touchdown, Fred Jackson ripped off a 43-yard weaving run to the Tampa 11. That set up a 20-yard Rian Lindell field goal to make the score 33-20.
Blitz: The Bills attacked Bucs quarterback Byron Leftwich relentlessly all quarter.
Unsung: Josh Reed had two key catches on a field goal drive early in the quarter that gave the Bills some breathing room.
Bad timing: The Bucs had to burn a timeout with 11:27 to go because they had 12 men on the field. It didn't matter, but it's the kind of play that drives fans mad.
Second guess: Cadillac Williams, who rushed for 97 yards in the Bucs' opener, carried only seven times in the game for 9 yards. Credit the Bills with good defense, but the Bucs needed to get him the ball more.