Thad Lewis’ debut has been the main storyline for the Buffalo Bills this week, but Jairus Byrd’s season debut should improve Buffalo’s secondary immensely. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)
BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Bills lost 27-24 to the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime on Sunday to fall to 2-4. Not many people expected the Bills to give the Bengals a game, but Thad Lewis almost helped Buffalo pull off the upset. The Bills came back late in the game with a 40 yard touchdown reception from Lewis to Marquise Goodwin, but in overtime the team couldn’t move the ball deep into their own territory. This led to a nice punt return from the Bengals which effectively put them into field goal range instantly.
It’s always hard to find silver linings in losses, but Buffalo nearly pulled off an upset with a quarterback that was on their practice squad one week ago. Lewis showed excellent touch on his deep passes today. He found T.J. Graham for a 47 yard reception, Marquise Goodwin for 40 yards and placed a ball where it needed to be deep to Goodwin earlier in the game. A blatant pass interference that wasn’t called prevented the catch from being made. Lewis only made one mistake in the game, a fumble as he was scrambling wildly. Overall, Bills fans should be thrilled with Lewis’ performance.
In the run game, C.J. Spiller averaged 5.5 yards per carry but was out for much of the second half with an injury. Fred Jackson was held to 35 yards on ten carries. The Bengals have an impressive defense and being held in check in the run game should not come as a surprise to anyone.
Defensively, the Bills struggled to stop the Bengals early in the game. BenJarvis Green-Ellis had 86 yards on 18 carries and Gio Bernard was effective in the passing game (6 receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown). Buffalo did cause one turnover, a Jim Leonhard interception in the first half. In the second half, Buffalo made adjustments and only held the Bengals to seven points.
The most talked about play this week will be Buffalo going for it on the Bengals one-yard line in the first half. Instead of going for a chip shot field goal, Buffalo attempted to punch it in for a touchdown. The play call was questionable, a Thad Lewis roll out. The play resulted in a sack for a loss of one yard and a big swing in momentum. No one truly knows if a Carpenter kick there would have won the game for Buffalo, but it’s going to be discussed a lot this week in local media.
Keep an eye out for Dan Hope’s thoughts on the game later today!