BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Buffalo Bills cannot win games comfortably, but they did enough to defeat the Baltimore Ravens 23-20.
Buffalo kept Baltimore at bay on the ground, so much that the Ravens only tried to rush the ball two times in the entire second half. The Bills’ most impressive feat was forcing five interceptions on Joe Flacco. Kiko Alonso had two interceptions, Aaron Williams had two interceptions and Jim Leonhard chipped in with one. Alonso’s second interception helped seal the game for the Bills late.
Offensively, C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson both ran well, although both were banged up in the game. E.J. Manuel threw two interceptions for the Bills but looked a lot more poised for Buffalo this week. My biggest gripe with Manuel is his running style as he’s doing a poor job of protecting himself with late slides. That said, the rookie quarterback deserves praise for rebounding from his performance against the Jets.
Buffalo cannot take too much time to celebrate as they’ll be playing Thursday night against the 2-2 Cleveland Browns.
The Bills defeat the defending Super Bowl Champions 23-20!
Buffalo is going to win the game due to a personal foul on Terrell Suggs.
The interception stands and Buffalo has the ball with 54 seconds remaining.
Kiko Alonso may have just ended the game with an interception of Joe Flacco. The play is currently under review.
Torrey Smith catches a 21 yard pass on third and 18 to move the chains. Buffalo is their own worst enemy on third and long situations.
Marcell Dareus sacks Joe Flacco for an eight yard loss on first down as we head to the two minute warning.
A three and out for the Bills leads to a Ravens timeout. Buffalo will punt the ball to the Ravens with 2:32 remaining in the game.
EJ Manuel fumbles the ball deep but it is luckily recovered by Stevie Johnson.
Injury update: Aaron Williams has been ruled out for the remainder of today’s game.
Bills 23 – Ravens 20
Buffalo held the Ravens to a field goal and their lead now sits at three points. The Bills will receive the ball with 4:04 remaining in the game.
The Ravens have the ball on Buffalo’s 13 yard line after a long completion and personal foul penalty.
Buffalo goes three and out and following a poor Shawn Powell punt, the Ravens take over on their own 44 yard line with 5:43 remaining.
Bills 23 – Ravens 17
The Bills give up a huge 74 yard reception to Torrey Smith but then stop the Ravens and hold them to a 35 yard Justin Tucker field goal. Buffalo has a six point lead with 7:12 remaining in the game.
On the Ravens first play following the interception, Torrey Smith and Joe Flacco connected for 74 yards.
EJ Manuel under-threw a deep ball intended for Robert Woods and Corey Graham intercepts the ball. The Ravens take over on their own nine yard line.
Colin Brown is by far the worst offensive lineman on the Bills, but Eric Wood comes in second. He’s played poorly so far this season.
Robert Woods is slowing taking the WR1 duties from Stevie Johnson. He has better hands and is just as strong as a route runner.
Jim Leonhard calls for a fair catch even though he seemed to have a good five yard cushion.
Bills 23 – Ravens 14
Buffalo looked as though they scored a touchdown but the ruling was overturned as Robert Woods bobbled the ball in the end zone. Dan Carpenter converted a 22 yard field goal to extend their lead to nine with 1:56 remaining in the third quarter.
Robert Woods caught a pass for a touchdown, but it’s currently under review after it appears Woods bobbled the ball.
Buffalo had a touchdown there but Lee Smith fell over his own feet.
Kiko Alonso is a legitimate contender for defensive rookie of the year as he snags his third interception of the season.
The Bills decline the illegal formation penalty and the Ravens convert the 3rd and 6.
Buffalo has not looked sharp in the second half against the Ravens. The Ravens take over on their 23 yard line.
That pass will be ruled incomplete as Scott Chandler was not able to get his second foot down in bounds.
Injury Update: C.J. Spiller has an ankle injury and is questionable to return.
Bills 20 – Ravens 14
Joe Flacco connected with Torrey Smith for a 26 yard touchdown reception to narrow Buffalo’s lead to six points.
The Ravens are moving the ball following a few completions and a horse collar tackle on Aaron Williams.
Buffalo punts the ball into the Ravens end zone with 8:48 remaining in the third quarter.
Aaron Williams intercepts Joe Flacco in the endzone to give the ball back to Buffalo on the 20 yard line.
EJ Manuel tried to throw a pass to Stevie Johnson in a tight space and the ball bounced off of Johnson and into Daryl Smith’s arms for an interception.
Buffalo takes over on their own 12 yard line after forcing a Ravens punt.
Baltimore forces a three and out and Shawn Powell punts the ball to Baltimore’s 45 yard line. The Ravens take over in excellent field position.
Editor’s Halftime Thoughts:
Say what you will about the 2013 Baltimore Ravens, but the Buffalo Bills have a two-touchdown lead on the defending Super Bowl champions at halftime. The Bills have played a strong 30 minutes of football, and are in position to move to .500 on the season if they can finish this game out the way they started out.
Offensively, the Bills missed out on two red-zone opportunities early, settling for two 27-yard Dan Carpenter field goals. They started taking advantage of good field position with big plays in the second quarter, however, with back-to-back touchdown drives.
The Bills have put up 222 total yards of offense thus far in this game. They have moved away from their no-huddle, quick-passing based offense from the first three weeks, instead establishing the run to set up the pass. The results have been very promising: EJ Manuel is averaging 14 yards per passing attempt (6-of-9 for 126 yards, one passing touchdown), while C.J. Spiller has led the Bills to 116 first-half rushing yards.
Defensively, the Bills have also been making more big plays than usual. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has struggled mightily, and the Bills have already taken advantage for two interceptions, one by Aaron Williams and Jim Leonhard each. The Bills’ run defense, which has struggled in the first three games, have instead been superb today, shutting down the Ravens for just 15 first-half rushing yards.
The Bills have outplayed the Ravens on both sides of the ball, and could have a commanding lead if they took advantage of early touchdown opportunities. If the Bills can keep the momentum going and continue to execute for touchdowns and defensive stops, they are likely to score their first marquee win of the season.
— Dan Hope
Buffalo heads to the locker room with a 20-7 lead.
Joe Flacco will attempt a Hail Mary to end the half.
Torrey Smith takes a crossing pattern for 23 yards on first down. Flacco throws an incompletion on his next throw.
Buffalo took themselves out of field goal range and will punt the ball with 1:17 remaining in the first half.
Why would the Bills hand the ball off about 3-5 yards back on third and short?
We’ve reached the two minute warning in the first half. Buffalo faces a 3rd and 1 on Baltimore’s 28 yard line.
Marcell Dareus sacks Joe Flacco on third down to force another Ravens punt. Buffalo’s defense is playing great football through the first half.
Jim Leonhard and Nickell Robey may have just forced a fumble on Tandon Doss. It was ruled a fumble and recovery for the Bills, but it’s currently under review.
Easley has returned the game after suffering an ankle/foot injury. He was just penalized on fourth down.
In other injury news, Marcus Easley is out for the game with an ankle/foot injury.
Kraig Urbik looks hurt following the Spiller run. Sam Young is in to relieve him.
Buffalo forces a three and out on the Ravens and will receive the ball with 6:10 remaining.
Bills 20 – Ravens 7
Buffalo took advantage of Jim Leonhard’s interception and scored a touchdown to extend their lead to 13 points. Buffalo scored on a 16 yard rush by Fred Jackson.
EJ Manuel had Stevie Johnson WIDE OPEN in the endzone but Manuel tossed the ball over Johnson’s head due to pressure from Terrell Suggs.
Jim Leonhard intercepts Joe Flacco on a pass off of Ed Dickson’s hands. Buffalo takes over on Baltimore’s 28 yard line.
Bills 13 – Ravens 7
The Bills run a play-action pass and find Robert Woods deep for a 42 yard touchdown. There’s 8:40 remaining in the first half.
C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are running the ball with ease on the Ravens in the first half.
Aaron Williams has returned to the field.
Aaron Williams breaks up a pass nicely but comes down awkwardly on his wrist or shoulder. This is a huge loss for the Bills as their secondary is extremely thin right now.
The Bills are stopped on third and one and are punting the ball. The Bills should be using Fred Jackson in short yardage situation in my opinion.
Manuel slides for a five yard gain and gets hit helmet-to-helmet for no penalty.
T.J. Graham uses a stutter step on an end-around to gain a first down.
Ravens 7 – Bills 6
Marlon Brown catches a 10 yard touchdown pass to help the Ravens take the lead on the Bills. Buffalo has dominated the game, but due to their inability to score touchdowns, they find themselves down on the scoreboard.
EJ Manuel gets the ball stripped from behind and Cordy Glenn failed to recover the loose ball with no one around him. The Ravens take over in great field position.
The personal foul call on Cordy Glenn was an awful call. What was Glenn supposed to do? Let the player get up and go after Manuel?
EJ Manuel looks good in the pocket today as he connects for 19 yards with Robert Woods on first down.
Justin Rogers comes up and tackles Doss on third down to force another Ravens punt. Jim Leonhard calls for a fair catch and Buffalo has the ball on their own 29 yard line with 58 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Bills 6 – Ravens 0
Dan Carpenter hits a 26 yard field goal to extend Buffalo’s lead, but the Bills need to score touchdowns when given such favorable field position.
Buffalo’s lack of imagination is forcing them into predictable third down passing situations.
Aaron Williams intercepts Joe Flacco on a pass intended for Tandon Doss. Buffalo take’s over on Baltimore’s 25 yard line.
Buffalo looked sharp on their first drive and Dan Carpenter’s touchback gives the Ravens the ball on their own 20 yard line with 6:11 remaining in the first quarter.
Bills 3 – Ravens 0
Buffalo moved the ball down the field with great success against the Ravens but couldn’t get the ball into the end zone. Dan Carpenter’s 27 yard field goal put the Bills on the board first.
E.J. Manuel has converted two third down conversions early to Scott Chandler and T.J. Graham.
It’s extremely early, but it’s encouraging to see C.J. Spiller running the ball well on back to back carries.
The Bills take over on their own 27 yard line after Jim Leonhard returned a punt eight yards.
As predicted, the Ravens convert on third and long to keep the ball moving.
The Ravens are taking a page out of the Jets playbook with two straight penalties. This will probably lead to a long third down conversion if it’s anything like last week.
Marcus Easley stops the Ravens on their own 17. He’s been quite a standout on special teams.
We are a few minutes away from the start of Buffalo Bills vs. Baltimore Ravens.
If you haven’t already, check out Eric Samulski’s game preview!
Today’s inactives for the Baltimore Ravens:
WR Jacoby Jones
S Jeromy Miles
LB Arthur Brown
NT Terrence Cody
OL Jah Reid
OL Ryan Jensen
WR Brandon Stokley
Running back Ray Rice is back in the lineup after missing the Ravens’ Week 3 versus the Houston Texans due to injury.
With Jones and Stokley out, rookie Marlon Brown will start at wide receiver opposite Torrey Smith, who could give the Bills’ depleted secondary trouble Sunday.
With Leodis McKelvin, Stephon Gilmore, Jairus Byrd and Ron Brooks all out due to injuries, the Buffalo Bills announced their starting secondary versus the Ravens will consist of usual starting strong safety Aaron Williams at left cornerback, Justin Rogers at right cornerback, Da’Norris Searcy at free safety and Jim Leonhard at strong safety.
The Bills have posted their inactives for Sunday’s game against the Ravens:
5 K Dustin Hopkins
21 CB Leodis McKelvin
24 CB Stephon Gilmore
31 S Jairus Byrd
33 CB Ron Brooks
59 OL Doug Legursky
88 WR Marquise Goodwin