Sunday, December 02, 2007

Here on Earth

Skins safety Sean Taylor was shot and killed earlier in the week. The Skins hoped to honor his memory with a dramatic win to cap a traumatic week. That's not the way things work here on Earth.

The first snap the Buffalo Bills ran, the Skins gave tribute to Taylor by only playing ten men of defense. Somewhere, Sean Taylor was screaming, "Put another guy in the game!" The Bills third string running back, Fred Jackson, gained 22 yards (almost 21, Sean Taylor's number).

The Skins got out to a 16-5 lead over my beloved Bills. I've admired coach Dick Jauron's ability to stay level-headed. It paid off this week. Down eleven with his offense not moving the ball much, time after time, he elected to kick field goals on 4th and short. The strategy brought the Bills back to within two at 16-14.

The Bills defense was the same old bend-but-don't-break group. This was partly due to a play that didn't go their way in the first quarter. Skins tight end Chris Cooley clearly caught a pass and then fumbled. The Bills recovered. It was erroneously called an incomplete pass. This led to a long Skins drive and an eventual field goal. the Bills defenders couldn't catch their breath until halftime.

The Bills' ball stoppers managed to corral Clinton Portis with a minute to go in the game. Trent Edwards began the Bills' drive deep in their own territory. It was a long pass to Josh Reed over the middle that put the Bills in position to kick a field goal. The ball was thrown in Sean Taylor's area. Reed caught it surrounded by four Skins.

Rian Lindell nailed a 51 yard field goal, which was his fifth of the day. Except, Joe Gibbs had called timeout before the play began. The teams set up again. Another timeout was called. Gibbs had called a second straight timeout, which is illegal. A fifteen-yard penalty was called on the Skins. It wasn't the first coaching mistake Gibbs has made since his return. He's a habitual bad-decision-maker. Lindell knocked the shorter kick through the uprights. I went crazy!

After a couple of tense moments involving the kick return (I remember the forward pass game against the Titans in the playoffs a few years ago) and a couple plays, the Bills ran away with a win to climb to 6-6.

After the game, Joe Gibbs said that he didn't know the two timeout rule and had asked the official if he could call another timeout. He said he thought the answer was yes, but said he wasn't blaming the official. That's like saying, "It's his fault, but I'm not blaming him." Then Gibbs said he guessed he should take responsibility for making a decision that "probably" cost his team the game. You don't have to guess, there's no "probably" about it. It was simply classless on Gibbs part.

It was personally a big win, because I live in the DC area. The Bills play at home against the Dolphins next week. It could be a trap game against a 0-12 team, but they're our hated rival. At the moment, things are looking better.

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